PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale has been brawling rather well over the past few months, between updates to the game to address its balancing and the addition of new characters, including Kat from Gravity Rush and Starhawk’s Emmett. But this month will see two big new additions to the game via downloadable content, as the main boss of God of War III, the mighty Zeus, and Dead Space’s long-suffering protagonist, Isaac Clarke, will be joining the fray, along with a new background that mixes elements from the classic PS1 series Medievil with the ink-blotting effects of the recently released PSN game The Unfinished Swan.
The background itself is rather interesting. One minute, everything is in full color, with demonic trees and monsters roaming around amidst a graveyard backdrop. Then, suddenly, the screen changes to a white background, with only small pieces of the platforms visible, and ink balls begin pouring onto the screen, giving it some color – and also proving a threat to anyone that gets in their way. It’s a unique combination, similar to what the Heavenly Sword/Wipeout hybrid background did for the game when it was added a few weeks back.
But the fighters are the big draw with this new DLC, and Zeus is as big as they get. He nearly towers in size over all the characters in the game (save for the looming Hades in the God of War/Patapon backdrop), and he backs up his immense size with plenty of strength. He likes to use a lot of lightning with his attacks, super charging opponents with nearby bursts and occasionally launching a shadow body double, who not only fools incoming opponents, but, upon evaporating from the screen, leaves a shock charge that leaves anyone who touches it dazed.
In addition, Zeus can fire a quick bolt upward to hit anyone on a higher-up platform, and has the ability to charge forward with a teleport punch, sending people flying across the stage. He can also do quick charge punches in the air, as well as slamming down on the ground to daze those beneath him.
As for his super techniques, they’re quite cool. His Level 1 is quite similar to the Incredible Hulk’s Thunderclap, as he can destroy anyone within its range. With Level 2, he really picks up the pace, as he can fly around anywhere on the screen, letting loose with an explosive blast that can hit multiple people at once. As for his Level 3, it’s similar to humans swatting flies, as he grows even bigger in size and slams down his hands on anyone wandering around the floor. Sometimes it’s a guessing game – it takes a while to prep each arm swing – but the results definitely pay off with necessary knockouts.
You can check out Zeus’ “highlight reel” here.
While Isaac Clarke may not have the same girth as Zeus, he makes up for it with plenty of firepower. His plasma cutter is a good traditional weapon for quick hits (you can see the range from the lights emulating from it), and he can also shoot a sort-of portal beam, one that hits an opponent upon being launched, then leaves a black hole-ish vortex still swirling about, causing additional damage to anyone who touches it. Also worth noting are his plasma bursts, which have a way of rebounding off walls, perfect for ricocheting shots or hitting someone that could be behind him.
But Isaac can also do damage with other tools. He’s able to launch statis at opponents, which freeze them either on the ground or in the air, letting him get close to deliver some punishing blows – including his traditional stomp move. He can mix all of these attacks together to create some significant combos.
As for his supers, Isaac has a few good ones to choose from. For his Level 1, he launches a combination of a statis ball and a homing attack to eliminate a certain opponent off the playfield. Level 2 is more effective, with a gigantic plasma burst that takes out anyone within its range. (Think Chun Li’s super move from later Street Fighter games – something like that.) Finally, for his Level 3, the action shifts into outer space, where opponents float around aimlessly, and Isaac, using his helpful hover boots, can blast them into oblivion. (Just make sure you watch out for that flying debris. Space is so littered.)
You can watch Isaac’s introductory video here.
Even though we were looking for more traditional Sony additions to the game (where is Crash Bandicoot when you need him?), there’s no question that Zeus and Isaac will add extra variety where needed to this series. No pricing has been given on this new DLC yet, but to fighting fans, it’ll certainly be worth it. It’s set for release on March 19th.
PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale is available now for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.