Brawlout Is a fighting game developed and published by ‘Angry Mob Games‘. The game itself supports local and online play so you can get 4 of your friends over to brawl things out on the couch. Now as you can see in the pictures and videos, the game has a very familiar mechanic similar to another fighting game. To win a match, players must try to knock each other off the stage until the last player standing on the stage wins.
The story in this fighting game is almost non-existent. There is no dedicated story mode for this game so there is a lack of character introduction for any of the fighters but each fighter has a background story which can be read from brawler menu. Players who manage to complete a round in Arcade Mode are treated to a short story but the effort of storytelling feels like an afterthought in this game. Variant characters have the same story as the core characters so there is not much replay value in terms of story.
The combat in Brawlout is simple and easy to pick up. There is a button for attack and a special button that performs various move depending on the direction you are pressing. Using attack moves will fill your power bar while using special moves will exhaust your power bar instead. In the end, the variety of moves did not stop us from button mashing our ways at each other.
The only technical skill in the game is the use of Rage Burst and Rage Mode. Rage Burst can be activated once your power bar is half full. It will break any combo and stop you from flying off the stage midway. Rage Mode, on the other hand, can be activated once your power bar is full. Activating this will give you increase knockback ability and increase defence. Activating Rage in the correct situation can be a determining factor in who wins the match. Unlike a certain other game, there are no pickups or items during combat.
Character and Stages
Characters in the game are only a few but they look decent. Each has their own unique look that it is easy to differentiate them even when the camera zooms out. There are a total of 9 core characters in the game which include 2 guest character from Guacamelee and Yooka Laylee. Included are also 15 character variants which are a reskinned version of the core characters. The variants usually have 1 or 2 moves which are unique to them but overall they perform the same as the core characters.
Stages in Brawlout looks colourful but does not stand out as unique. Not much animation is going on in the background of the stages during combat which makes long matches feel blend. This also does not help as each stage feels the same with minor changes like adding moving platforms or additional ramps to jump on.
Brawlout includes an online multiplayer component to it. There are somethings great they did like allowing you to select which servers you want to play in and a rank system for those hardcore fighters out there. Sadly, no matter what server I tried including Asia, I always fought with a really bad connection. Playing amongst with friends in the same country was better as I had minimal lag. One thing that I felt was a let down is you are not allowed to add any AI opponents during multiplayer online. I just wish they implemented this because it would be great if you and your friend could beat some AI opponents to relieve some stress. Even playing while friends the game gets very dull quickly. There is no super or moveset which ‘WOW’ us or create an exciting moment.
What we liked :
- Character design. Each character feels unique and has their own character movesets.
- Player progression. Players can unlock variants just by levelling up the core characters in the game.
- Vibrant colour palette. The use of striking colours on the characters makes them distinguishable next to each other.
What we think can be improved :
- Boring stages. Each stage has to feel more unique by challenging the players on using a different strategy for each stage.
- Grinding. The need to grind to unlock everything in the game will be tedious after a while.
- Impactful finisher. Every character has the same Rage mechanic and there is no proper “super” finisher move.
- Character development. All the story for the characters is one dimensional. It is very hard to care for them when all they have are one-liners in the game.
- Online play. The net code for this game is very bad. Even when I tried on the Asia server, the ping was above 300ms and the match was reduced to a matrix-liked battle.
I would like to thank my colleagues Darren, Puntart and Shayn for helping with the review and playing with me online. Here is a short video with some details on the game.
Brawlout is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. Reviewed on the PlayStation 4.