Aspiring animal fight pit enthusiasts can now skip the hard work of capturing, breeding and training their definitely-willing combatants, and instead jump straight into Temtem's PvP battles. The Pokemon-like MMO's 1.2 update introduces Showdown, a ranked competitive ladder where players are free to twiddle with their line-up using simulated Temtems.
The update also tweaks how PvP ranking works, adds new PvP battle zones, and a beauty centre where you can tweak your character's appearance. There's a new season of cosmetic doodads, too.
Showdown mode comes on top of the existing Ranked matches, which remain for anyone who wants to assemble their team the hard way. You can edit your Showdown team at will, picking whichever Temtem you like along with their SVs, TVs, movesets and traits. You can also share your teams and import other people's via codes, though those codes will work differently for tournament line-ups and won't be sharable, so as "to keep play fair and honest".
You can jump into it from the start of the game via a menu, before you even get your Temdeck. I wouldn't dream of putting in the gruelling hours of training I suspect are required for a properly competitive squad, despite the autoscaling, and I do like the idea of giving players the option to subvert that. It speaks to a confidence that the battling is fun, with depth beyond the appeal of slowly building up your own animal arsenal.
The ranked PvP system has also been brought in line with the in-game Seasons, with balance patches arriving at the start of each. Rather than just displaying your TMR number, you now work up a ladder with different ranks and subdivisions, going from Bronze through to Legend. Oh, and if you're sick of staring at the same old battle zone, there are now new ones that match the six island themes.
There's more I haven't mentioned, seen as developers Crema have rolled what they had planned for update 1.1 into this one. Check out the update notes here.
Hayden described the game as "a fantastic experience poised to elevate the creature-catching formula" in his TemTem review, though he wasn't sure he'd stick around for the long-term.