Top Critic Average
Despite having a perfect soundtrack and wonderfully creepy voice-over, Brawl's single-player misses the mark thanks to its insane difficulty. Over-powered characters also make the local versus multiplayer hit and miss, and add in the steep price point and Brawl fails to light the fuse. It's particularly disappointing as Brawl is almost a second attempt of Basement Crawl, but Bloober Team simply haven't learnt from their past mistakes.
Leaps and bounds ahead of their previous effort, Brawl might not be the most polished title available and the dark setting certainly feels overdone but as a multiplayer party title, the game arguably brings the thrills where it counts.
If you purchased the developer's 2014 game Basement Crawl you can download Brawl for free, but other than that it should be avoided.
________________________ “The story mode's narrator did a fantastic job
If you're interested in a horror-inspired Bomberman clone with shaky movement, non-distinct stages and a toned down freneticism BRAWL might just pique your interest. For the rest of you looking for a party/combat game there are other, more solid feeling, options out there including but not limited to Switch's own Super Bomberman R.
But then again, BRAWL isn't really about being easy. It is about forcing players to make strategic moves and plan accordingly, all while giving them a limited amount of time to do so. It's fast, it's smart, and it's absolutely worth picking up, especially if you dig party games. While it has some flaws, BRAWL is a game that will keep you occupied for quite a while. It also should be noted that PlayStation Network accounts that purchased Basement Crawl will be credited with BRAWL for free, giving you yet another excuse to download and play the game when it releases.
Ultimately, Brawl falls well short of being a great game. The control issues and, in my personal experience, difficulty finding players to match up with fail to capitalize on the visual design and setting.
Brawl takes an existing concept and adds a B-grade horror theme to give it a unique twist. It's not as fun as its source material, but horror fans may get a kick out of its dark, twisted humor.
BRAWL tries really hard to bring something new to the bomb blasting formula but for the most part, just ends up being a scarily average clone. There's a lot wrong with BRAWL but if you can get past that, this is an alright affordable alternative to Bomberman with an interesting theme and minor gameplay twists. While the story in this game suffers from many cliches and the game can feel terribly uninspiring and glitchy, the voice acting and art style help make up for this and make this explosive mess somewhat bearable. If you're interested in a different alternative to something like Super Bomberman R to shake things up, BRAWL might be worth a look for you, but otherwise, you'd probably rather be blown up than play this.
BRAWL is by no means a perfect game, but it does well enough to join the ranks of party games I will be playing when friends come to visit. The game is unforgiving when it comes to the AI, and some players can learn from this while others will be destroyed constantly, which is unfortunate. With some tweaking here and there and adding difficulty levels, BRAWL could be amazing. Taking the game as it is, however, I have to say that I would really only pick this up if I had people that I could call up for an evening of beers-and-bombing.