Since it came out last November for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale has been stirring up a ruckus for fighting fans of all ages and skills. A game that's as universally acceptable as Nintendo's long-running Super Smash Bros. series, it's been nothing short of tremendously fun beating up the likes of Kratos and Heavenly Blade's Nariko with Parappa the Rapper and LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy, amongst other characters.
Now some more people are joining the party, as SuperBot Entertainment, the game's developer, has announced the first batch of downloadable content for the game, which is coming on February 12th. Joining the fighting game are two new playable characters, who will be available at no charge for the first two weeks of their release, along with a new fighting stage, which blends elements from the action-packed Heavenly Sword with the futuristic racing series WipeOut HD.
Let's talk about the stage first, which is called Fearless. Those who purchase this stage (no word on pricing yet, but we're guessing around $2-$3 at most) will be able to use it in both offline and non-ranked lobbies, though you can still interact with it in online matches for those who bought it, even if you didn't. In this extraordinary stage, Feisar and other flying vehicles zoom by on the track, creating a possible hazard for you as you fight along the floating platforms in the Heavenly Sword world. It's a neat little hybrid, along the same lines as the Killzone/Parappa the Rapper and Uncharted/Bioshock Infinite stages.
But it's the two characters that will really make a difference in the game, the first of (hopefully) many more to come, including the likeliness of Crash Bandicoot, who's been a long-requested favorite. (Nothing confirmed yet, but you never know.)
First up is Emmett Graves, and his trailer is here.
As you can see, Emmett brought a great deal of his "Build & Battle" systems with him from his previous game, the all-out multiplayer battlefest StarHawk. He's able to call upon different structures that can help him out when fighting against others, including Rift Extractors that provide additional AP and Flak Turrets, which can fire bullets in a multitude of directions, causing damage for those who try to zone in on Emmett's location. Emmett has plenty of firepower to aid him, including his default rifle and pistol, which can blast off several shots, as well as the ability to use a shotgun and rocket launcher when necessary. (And you thought Nathan Drake's weapons were something.)
But where things get really interesting with Emmett is with his Supers. His level one, for instance, allows him to modify his loadout and use a number of techniques for eliminating enemies, from a simple shot from his gun to something a little heavier in effect. As a result, he has five different modifications he can use in all, changing the way he plays tremendously.
And then there's his level three, which enables him to load up into a super-sized walker and do some damage, like he owns the place. He can zip around the screen and hit enemies rather easily, eliminating them from the playfield. Then, as he zooms off, he can leave a few parting presents, in the form of bombs that destroy anything they touch once they hit the ground.
The other character, Kat, isn't so heavy on the firepower, but she shouldn't be so easily disregarded. Here's her trailer.
Kat is very versatile – and effective – with striking attacks, and her control of gravity serves as an advantage to flying around and hitting with precision. She's also able to conjure up objects, like chairs and tables, which she can use as projectiles, which is useful for bouncing off incoming bullets or other projectiles. She can also dash and slide, perfect for dodging and sneaking up on someone.
As for her Supers, she can utilize her special magic powers in a number of ways, whether it's bringing someone down with a spiritual slam, creating an energy ball that allows her to shoot homing projectile arrows across the screen, or transforming into a shadow panther (her level three) and giving her immense strength, even for just a few seconds.
She does take some getting used to as far as speed and focused attacks, but she looks like she'll be well worth it to the players who are willing to accept her. Plus, those projectile attacks are quite killer, without the need to chase after weapons all over the map.
It's good to see SuperBot moving forward with their DLC initiative for All Stars, and while we're still wondering what's next (fingers still crossed for Jumping Flash's Robbit), it'll be great to see what damage these guys can do on February 12th.
PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale is available now for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.