Big Games of 2012: Sony Goes Smash With PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale (PlayStation 3)

We go hands-on with Sony’s all-out brawlathon.
Sony Outs Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

With Nintendo announcing that development has just begun on the next iteration of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting the game this year, as the team makes time to really have everything balanced.  So what’s a hardcore player to do while they wait for that brawlathon?  Well, how about engage in another?  Today, Sony announced that it is bringing its much-rumored PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale out for the holiday season, with a slew of fighters from the 15-plus year Sony gaming legacy and a smorgasbord of levels.  The company recently invited us to an event to go hands-on.



Senior Producer Ivan Glaze Previews Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale

So far, only six of the fighters have been revealed thus far.  You’ve got Parappa the Rapper, Kratos from God of War, Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal, Fat Princess, Sly Cooper and Colonel Radek from Killzone.  More will be unveiled in the months ahead and at E3, including possibly rumored favorites like Ratchet (with Clank) and Nathan Drake.

In addition, the developers at Superbot are also throwing in some dedicated backgrounds that take all sorts of inspiration from classic and current Sony games.  One starts out in a futuristic city taken from Ratchet and Clank, but over the course of the battle, serpents pop out of the ground, turning it into an homage to God of War.  Another stage has you fighting in what appears to be a Littlebigplanet design, but then it converts into a Buzz!-style stage, where you have to scramble to platforms in order to stand on the right answer – or take a penalty in health.

When it comes to gameplay, All Stars Battle Royale does borrow a bit from the Smash Bros. lexicon.  You can pick up weapons over the course of the game that provide an advantage, like spike mines and a powerful laser-shooting spear; you can hit enemies with small and large attacks, holding a direction on the analog stick or D-pad to change up the attacks; and you can perform supers.

But there are slight differences.  PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale takes out the cheap knock-out deaths, so you won’t fall to your doom if you miss a platform, or get knocked into the stratosphere.  Instead, the super attacks will be the key to eliminating foes from the playfield.  The more aggressive your attack style is, the better your meter will build up.  Level 1 lets you knock out an enemy or two within close range.  Level 2 is a little better, expanding your attack with a longer second count and better range.  Level 3…well, watch out for that guy.  Anything can happen here, from Parappa rockin’ the stage with a rap battle to Radek going first-person on the stage, shooting everything that moves.  There really is some amazing variety here.