Brawlhalla is a free to play, early access 2D brawler with a lot going for it. As a genre, I love a good brawler (and hate a mediocre one). I hesitate to make a comparison to Super Smash Bros, especially because it isn’t a PC title, but hear me out. Brawlhalla is the best PC alternative to SSB I have seen yet. I want to make it clear I am not calling Brawlhalla a SSB clone or ripoff. The only reason I mention SSB at all is it is a very well polished brawler, which is what makes it so fun and competitive. There are a number of brawlers out there that try to live up to the SSB name and fall miserably short (I won’t name names), and Brawlhalla is thankfully not one of them. It has smooth, fast paced, combo-heavy combat that will have you playing “just one more match” all night.
Brawlhalla features online and local multiplayer (including two ranked modes),and a decent lineup of characters (called Legends) with a variety of weapons and abilities. Rather than having entire move sets that are completely unique to each character, every Brawlhalla legend has their own signature moves, and a combination of two weapons taken from a pool of weapons available to other legends. At first, this came across to me as lazy game design – create a few weapons, reuse them and slap a signature move or two in there and we have a new legend. While that might be true, there are a few reasons I actually have come to like it quite a bit. First, it gives the player a way to comfortably switch between characters they have not yet mastered. Second, (assuming a legend has the combination they want) it allows players to pick and choose certain play styles they enjoy. Third, once the weapons are balanced, it lets the developer pump out new legends quickly without worrying too much about balance.
I’ve put a decent amount of time into the game, and have really been enjoying it. I expect to see it continue to grow in content and in popularity in the competitive scene (even more so than it is already).
Please note that these opinions are of a pre-release version of the game and may not reflect the game at release.
Ben is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PCGR. He writes much of the content, manages the site, and does other editorial things that would bore you to tears.