OK, full disclosure…this game is somewhat similar to the ever-popular “super smash brothers”, however, one shouldn’t get the wrong idea, it is in fact a fairly original title. While “PlayStation All-stars Battle Royale” does incorporate some cute characters, it’s largely a game aimed at fighting. So, instead of a roster full of cute, colorful characters, you’ll get to play as PS luminaries like Kratos, Nathan Drake, Sack Boy, and a Big Daddy (from Bioshock). In total there are 20 characters you can use, with more being added pending upcoming DLC releases.
Getting back to just how this game is different from its apparent inspiration; everything in “All-stars” is slightly more sophisticated than that of its Nintendo-universe counterpart. This is to say that it’s much less of a “button masher” than one might expect, and sort of players like a bona-fide fighting title in some respects.
Graphically speaking, this game is very solid; the on-screen action is not only very fluid, but the environments are also extremely detailed as well as interactive. Likewise, the character models are superb and true to form. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this title is how its various levels juxtapose the surroundings from each character’s game world. For example, you might find yourself in a colorful animated dojo (via Chop Master Onion) only to inexplicably witness its destruction at the hands of a towering (and humorously out-of-place) Metal Gear. It could be argued that part of what makes this game function so well is the randomness and nostalgia of its environments.
No fighting / brawling game can be considered worthwhile if the gameplay isn’t deep enough to merit multiple playthroughs, right? Well, luckily for gamers, “All stars Battle Royale” will treat you to some excellent, yet somewhat subtle mechanics. There are multiple types of attacks, each of varying strengths, as well as a slew of jumping and power assaults. However, what keeps things interesting is the effect that counter-attacking has on opponent moves. In other words, power attacks are not fool-proof; they can be easily undermined by a well placed counter attack.
While there is a fully-fledge and enjoyable single player campaign, there is also a great multiplayer component to this game, replete with an online community that will certainly challenge your skills. Furthermore, cross-play is also available between the PS3 and the Vita, which is certainly a welcome addition.
Needless to say, those who consider themselves devout followers of all things Sony are going to bask in the glow of this fantastic mash-up of influences, characters, environments and concepts. This is a title that is good for more serious gamers as well as those who are simply looking to have a good time. While it’s not perfect, it is an extremely polished offering and will certainly keep most gamers busy for weeks on end.