Hands-On With Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
At the event, we only had access to three different levels, but what we did see indicates that Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale is going to be a beautiful mess of a game. First up, things are very, very busy. It’s easy to lose track of where your character is on the board because of all the stuff going on in the background. Secondly, each level’s theme contributes to the environmental hazards you’ll encounter. In the level set in God of War’s version of Hades, Hades can be seen in the background in all his creepy bondage glory (writing, as per usual), and you’ll frequently have to dodge when he randomly attacks the fighting area. Anyone caught by his lashing into the foreground will be instantly vaporized, respawning without their accumulated Super Meter — an ironic, Greek punishment if you ask me.
What’s especially clever is the way the developers mash up Playstation properties for each level. The best example is the level set in Ratchet and Clank’s Metropolis. You begin playing in the R&C universe, with Captain Qwark mincing and hamming it up in the background and the Art Deco future in all it glory, with environmental hazards straight out of Going Commando. And then, halfway through, the Hydra from God of War shows up and begins chomping into the foreground at any random character. Better is the level set in LittleBigPlanet, where midway through, the background turns into Buzz! Quiz World. In this case, the environmental hazard becomes a sudden trivia contest in which answers are placed on several points in the level. Players put their characters in front of the text to choose their answer, and those who choose wrongly are punished by being delivered some rather gooey damage that puts them at a disadvantage as the winner(s) can lay into them for a couple of seconds without restraint.
While we saw a very limited version of the game, one thing is certain: Sony intends to advertise the hell out of their franchises. I kid, I kid. They intend to exploit them in the most satisfying way possible. Probably.