Show of hands, who hasn’t wanted to see Kratos go head-to-head with Sweet Tooth in a battle to the death? You can put your hands down. We can’t actually see you, you know. Besides, it’s a rhetorical question, because everybody wants to see that. And that is where PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale comes in.
Developer SuperBot Entertainment has begun beta testing for its PlayStation-exclusive brawler. For a full recap of the game, check out our hands-on preview from April.
The game features four players going at it, with a roster made up of the biggest names in the PlayStation library. So far 20 characters have been revealed and more are to come, but only six have been made playable thus far: Kratos, Sweet Tooth, Sly Cooper, PaRappa, Fat Princess, and Colonel Radec.
These six characters are just a small sampling of the gameplay, as each playable character will have their own moves, which in turn means their own strengths and weaknesses. These six, however, give a good mix of the gameplay styles; they encompass a variety of types, from the brawlers to the ranged fighters.
The game moves quickly – so quickly that you may at first overlook the stages. But that would be a mistake for two reasons: First, they are fairly impressive and attractive mashups of some of the most popular levels in the PlayStation library, and secondly because they all feature an interactive element. Some will just occasionally try to murder you, but others will test your knowledge. One level primarily based on LittleBigPlanet features a quiz. The players are given four options, and each option is represented as a platform. Make it to the platform in time and you avoid getting hurt– assuming you can fight off the others and avoid getting pushed off when the countdown ends.
The six available characters all have their advantages, and each can take the day. The health bar, which I felt was out of balance to the point that it didn’t work at all, has been fixed, and now you have a realistic idea of where you stand — as well as who is the most vulnerable.
The scoring is based entirely on the number of kills versus deaths. This means that you will want to always be the person who scores the last strike that gets the kill. That gives the scoring a bit of a slant. Points based on hits might have made a bit more sense, but the fights do switch from one a free-for-all to more coordinated attacks when a health bar is low and there is blood in the water. On the other hand, that is also a great time to unleash special attacks or target someone who is vulnerable because they are going for the kill. Four players are enough to keep things unpredictable.
The action can get hectic and confusing, but part of that is due to the limited character selection, which leads to multiple players using the same characters. When there are more options, this will likely be greatly improved.
For now the beta is definitely worth checking out for yourself, but it’s hard not to want to see what the game will be like when you have more than six characters. How they are balanced will be the determining factor of how much fun it is to play. On paper, BioShock’s Big Daddy should have no problem with Sackboy, and Nathan Drake’s wit probably wouldn’t mean much against a super powered, lighting spewing Cole McGrath from Infamous. How the characters are balanced will make all the difference.
That said, the beta is something you should definitely check out if you are interested in the concept of having the best and brightest of PlayStation’s library beating the snot out of each other. Check it out now, then look for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale on November 20 on both the PS3 and the Vita.
And with that in mind, we have ten beta keys to give away so you can try the game out yourself. For you shot at receiving a beta key, simply post a comment below and let us know what character(s) from the PlayStation lineup you would either like to see, or are most excited to play as.
We’ll pick winners on Monday at random. The giveaway is for North America only. Good luck!
Quick update: No need to post your email addresses, and thanks to everyone that has signed up!