DON'T FORGET YOUR UTILITY BELT
That’s right: pull the wrong pair of pants over your super-tights and you’ll be down on power against a better-equipped rival.
It’s a clever system, really: each randomly-earned loot drop can boost stats like damage dealt, or the amount of health you start each match with. Level up your character and you can use more powerful gear, with even greater effects. Matches earn credits, which can be exchanged for loot crates that add to your collection.
You can’t buy them with real-world money, either - just cosmetic gear if you really want it, so there’s no pay-to-play nonsense going on.
Each piece customises your character’s looks, too, so you’ve effectively got an entire wardrobe of gear to play dress-up with. Once you unlock it all, anyway. Gear drops are entirely random, and you’ll be lucky if a piece drops for your main character, so getting it all can feel like a real slog.
The best add-ons tweak your character’s abilities, mixing things up and giving you new ways to play. It’s a shame these ability modifiers aren’t available in the versus multiplayer mode, as they’re a great way to personalise your play style. Netherrealm proved this can work with Mortal Kombat’s variations, but here they’re of limited use.
You have the option to disable gear stat bonuses completely when you head into the competitive modes, but most players seem happy (at least at launch) to duke it out with them enabled.
It means that if you haven’t spend hours levelling up your character, Tamagotchi-style, so you can equip the best gear, you’re going to have a hard time. Good job there’s somewhere else you can work alongside other players, instead of against them.
There’s a never-ending rotation of matches, modifiers and challenges available in the Multiverse mode, which you can tackle by yourself or as a guild with up to 50 other players. One fight might have meteorites randomly striking the arena, another might scatter health power-ups during the fight.
Each one only hangs around for a few hours, and the constant changes mean there’s always something new to try. Even if you never play against another human, there’s enough here that’ll keep you coming back time after time - if only to max out each character and unlock their entire gear list.
You’ll need to climb up the ranks to beat the harder difficulty matches, and sometimes that won’t even matter - you can be forced to use a level one character with no gear against a fully-equipped level 20 enemy. It’s brutal, but oh so satisfying when you beat it. Naturally you’re earning experience and gear unlocks every step of the way, with a constant drip-feed of new stuff to open and equip.