E3 2012: Hands-on - PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale
- — 06 June, 2012 22:00
PlayStation's answer to brawler Super Smash Bros is playable on the show floor at E3 2012 here in Los Angeles, and we hustled over there this morning to play.
All-Stars: Battle Royale features the best-known characters from Sony's exclusive titles over the years, including God of War's Kratos, Sly Cooper, and Twisted Metal's Sweet Tooth. All of these characters have unique abilities that are accurate to their original in-game characters, and each carries a story about their motivations for being involved in a massive, all-out brawl. A rep from Superbot Studios, which is developing the game, said whether the stories were canon or not would be up to the intellectual properties that hold the characters. However, he said BioShock's Big Daddy may have a story that is not strictly canon, but is "accurate to the character".
What differentiates Battle Royale from Super Smash Bros is the kill system. As far as we could tell, it's not possible to get a kill on another character without charging up what's called your 'super'. You charge your super by attacking other players, so you're always fighting, but you can't kill anyone without using a super attack. You can charge your super attack one bar and use a weaker super, or you can keep charging two or three times and make it more powerful, garnering you more kills. Getting a kill is worth two points, but dying deducts a single point.
This system is interesting and new - it means that at the beginning of the game when you're fighting, you're trying to keep the other people's characters on the ropes, because every time they're up and attacking, they're charging their super. It also means you have to keep track of whether other characters' supers are charged: charged characters are dangerous and you'll want to avoid them.
We played two games with two different characters, Kratos and Sly Cooper. Kratos uses his chain to pull people in, then attacks them with a spear or a giant mallet. Sly Cooper, on the other hand, would bounce quickly around the environment taking pot shots before leaping away. He also had a parachute that would pop out when you jumped and then continued to hold down the X button.
If you have a PS Vita, you can play with people who are gaming on a PS3 from it. The controls are slightly different, since the Vita is missing triggers, but there was no visible lag between the two devices in the demo. All-Stars: Battle Royale actually seems like it might be better suited for than the PS3, as matches are bite-sized.
If you liked Super Smash Bros but you want something modern and fresh, All-Stars: Battle Royale might be your cup of violently swirling tea. It's quick, casual good fun with loads of familiar faces to choose from.