June 9, 2012 by Paul Curtin
Like the kart racing genre, Sony is also dipping their hand into the crossover fighting genre that has helped build the house of Nintendo. Almost identical to the Super Smash Bros. series but with iconic PlayStation characters, Sony’s PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale already boasts an impressive roster full of first party characters and are teasing that plenty more first and third party character announcements are still on the way.
With an already impressive roster featuring Kratos, Sly Cooper, Mael Radec from Killzone, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess, and PaRappa the Rapper, one of Sony’s big announcements at E3 was that the PlayStation’s current frontman, Nathan Drake from Uncharted, is also on the roster alongside the iconic third-party character, Big Daddy from BioShock. Another huge announcement is that All-Stars Battle Royale will also be coming to the PlayStation Vita handheld device with a new Cross-Play feature that will allow Vita users to brawl against PlayStation 3 owners online.
We got a chance to go hands-on with the game’s four player multiplayer and must say that it’s very enjoyable. Both the game’s look and feel are very similar to the Smash Bros. series but with little tweaks to make gameplay feel unique. In the game, players build up AP (Action Points) by attacking other players and grabbing LittleBigPlanet-style orbs that are released periodically throughout each match. AP goes towards a meter, which when full allows players to use a special move and instantly take out an opponent. Like other popular fighting games, AP can also be stored up so that players can achieve higher Level 2 and 3 Supers that do more damage and last longer. For example, when playing as Sweet Tooth, I spent the whole game building up the meter and was able to use my Level 3 ability to transform into his mech ice-cream truck and kill anybody I hit with his truck’s machine gun for about ten seconds.
Fans of the Smash Bros. series will be able to catch on quickly, but some differences might upset hardcore players of the genre. The maps we played had no way of falling off, so trying to kick opponents off was a useless tactic. Since each player can’t fall off a map, Battle Royale doesn’t use a percentage system or any type of health system at all. Instead, the game is all about building up meter so that you can use finishers on other players to instantly kill them. Our demo also didn’t feature any sort of indication of a score, so there was no way of telling who was winning until time ran out and a kill/death report was shown. Hopefully, there’s an option like in Smash Bros. that lets you view the score while playing.
Expect many more new character announcements as the game gets closer to shipping later this year, and check out the game in action below from E3’s showroom floor.