PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale has been mocked as a Super Smash Bros. clone with Sony characters ever since its announcement. After playing the game at E3, the similarities are evident, and that’s not a bad thing.
During the ten minutes I had with the PlayStation 3 version of the game, I played three rounds, one each with Sly, Nathan Drake and a Big Daddy. The differentiation between characters are easily seen and felt when playing them back-to-back.
Sly relied on speed and stealth for defense and offense. One effective strategy I found while playing was using his dash move to flank an opposing player repeatedly before they could react. The dash move was also useful to move away from some of the bigger opponents’ attacks.
Nathan Drake was a bit of a mystery to me. In the short match I was playing with him, I never really figured out an effective method of attack. He’s quick like Sly, but his attacks seemed weaker. I’m sure Sony will adjust character balance before launch, however.
The Big Daddy is a brute of a character. Slow and lumbering, the dash maneuver is the best way to move across the screen. What he lacks in speed, he more than makes up for in power. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the most powerful character in the game when all is said and done.
I was able to see two of the four stages available on the show floor. Hades combines God of War and Patapon. There is plenty of action in the background on this stage with Hades himself hammering down on the ground, sending an energy wave across the stage, and the Patapon launching arrows every so often.
The other stage I saw was Sandover Village, a mix of Jak and Daxter and Hot Shots Golf. This level was a lot less busy and more colorful than Hades. There were also a lot less attacks coming from the background.
I think this combination of games in each stage is the thing that helps make All-Stars unique and sets it apart from Nintendo’s brawler.
The actual combat of the game relies on Supers to kill opponents and score points rather than damage over time. There are three levels of Super, each one increasing in power and range substantially; two points for killing an opponent with a Super, negative one for being killed.
I’m not a huge fan of this system because it feels like the only attacks that have any significance are Supers. There’s only tension when a player gets a Super, as there is no danger for your character otherwise.
SuperBot says it still has other details about the game that it hasn’t revealed, like the different multiplayer modes, single-player, and the complete roster of fighters.
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale comes to PlayStation 3 and Vita this winter.