The original PlayStation All-Stars seemed like a missed opportunity, but the time feels right for Sony to take another stab at this promising series.
With Nintendo’s blockbuster crossover fighting series Super Smash Bros proving to be a hit with gamers, allowing dream tag team matches and showdowns to be made a reality, Sony wanted to have a similar smash success of its own with 2012’s PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. While a decent enough brawler in its own right, a number of flaws and lack of polish kept it far behind the competition Nintendo’s own fighting game series had established itself as, remaining the defending champion of the brawler genre.
Flash forward a few years and Nintendo’s franchise remains extremely popular with the recent Switch release Super Smash Bros Ultimate being one of the biggest hits of the generation. On the other hand, Sony has been developing new PlayStation IPs with Horizon Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Days Gone all entering the fray. With an even larger roster of first party characters than ever before and many still mourning the untapped potential of the original, the time seems right for a follow-up with PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2.
Huge Cast of Characters
It only takes a quick online search of the many PlayStation exclusives to stare in awe of the many protagonists like Nathan Drake, Kratos, and Ratchet who have all become some of the most instantly recognizable faces within the entire industry. Add to this, the extensive backlog of legacy characters like Sir Daniel Fortesque from MediEvil, Sly Cooper and Jak and Daxter and the hypothetical character select screen would be absolutely monstrous. The key, however, is to really showcase the principal fighters that gamers would expect in a game called PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and not end up with puzzling omissions in place of random third party inclusions like Isaac Clarke in the original game.
Most importantly though, all of these characters bring a different genre to the table, similar to the list of fighters in Super Smash Bros all inhabiting a particular playstyle for different player tastes. Kratos is a close quarters brawler, Ratchet would specialize in long range attacks, while Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn could serve as a balance between both combat styles. The original game’s fighting system was fun and competent enough, but with a sequel, each fighter should feel completely unique from the others and take full advantage of why these PlayStation mascots are all-stars in the first place.
This is not to suggest that third party guest fighters mentioned above would have no place on the roster, but rather it would be welcome to further diversify the selection so long as all the first party heavy hitters are there. Sony could snatch up rights to include long desired Super Smash Bros additions like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon into the fray, which would actually feel more appropriate here considering both characters found success initially on PlayStation platforms.
Be More Like Smash
From initial gameplay previews for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, it seemed to just be a carbon copy of Super Smash Bros but there are some fundamental design choices, not all of which beneficial to the game, that largely change the experience. The most glaring difference is that as opposed to the main goal being to ring out opponents like in Super Smash Bros, players were instead tasked with filling up a ‘super’ meter to unleash an attack that would result in guaranteed kills. While appreciated for trying something different, the main issue with this design philosophy is that it removes all semblance of strategy, resulting in matches that were nothing more than button mashing to fill said meter.
In a potential second game, although it would be a blatant copy of Nintendo’s own series, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2 should keep things simple and have a combat system that emulates Super Smash Bros in its entirety. This would further emphasize learning the combat moves of each character mentioned above and deliver more intense, electrifying game matches in the process. After all, if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it, and with Nintendo already perfecting the formula, it leaves the development team more time to be creative with game modes and other additions.
Big Multiplayer Exclusive
While PlayStation is known for its first party lineup of high quality games, there is one common complaint aimed at all of them, being that the titles all fall into a similar category. From The Last of Us to Death Stranding, some have argued that Sony’s original offerings all tend to be third person action games, resulting in a sense of deja vu. To respond to this issue, a triple-A fighting game developed on the same caliber as these other titles would help spice up the first party offerings and provide the public with something different.
Furthermore, should the game prove to be a hit, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2 would serve as a flagship multiplayer game available only to PlayStation owners, adding further incentive to choose that platform over the competition. Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt the PlayStation exclusive library one bit to have at least one standout multiplayer title under its belt, especially in this era of online gaming being so massively popular.
Nintendo has titles like Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart while Microsoft has Halo and Sea of Thieves to appeal to multiplayer gamers. In order to cater to that market, Sony can really push PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2 as a must have multiplayer game for the PlayStation 5, especially if that area proves to be lacking in the coming years.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2 is rumored to be in development for the PS5.