Back in November 2012, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was released, a crossover brawler fighting game featuring various characters from PlayStation’s past and present, akin to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros series. Although the game received generally average reviews, 74 on Metacritic, many fans of the original have been hoping for a sequel for many years now, and with the upcoming release of the PlayStation 5 now seems as good a time as any.
It’s important to note that unfortunately the game didn’t sell incredibly well either, and in February 2013, Sony Computer Entertainment cut-ties with developer SuperBot Entertainment which has been pretty much silent ever since. However, there was a reason for fans to get excited again when rumours began circulating last year that a sequel was in the works as a PS5 launch title. But considering that the credibility of the original rumour is not great, and we’ve not heard anything since and that it’s clearly not going to be a PS5 launch title, the chances of a sequel now seem unlikely again.
Regardless, here is my wish list for characters that could appear in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2, in no particular order. I believe these characters best represent PlayStation and could work alongside the existing characters with the mechanics of the original game. Of course, a list like this could go on forever but I didn’t want to include characters which are too similar to one another or simply wouldn’t work in a brawler-style fighting game. So let me know some other characters that you think could be in the sequel in the comments of this article.
I believe that most if not all of the characters from the first game should also be included in the sequel. If it wants to compete with a game like Super Smash Bros Ultimate, which now has a roster of 77 characters, then it would need a huge list of characters to choose from. Also, many fans of the original may have used only the one character and would be accustomed to their move-sets and play-styles so if a certain character was not included it could alienate long-time fans. Characters such as Nathan Drake, Kratos, Ratchet and Clank, and Sackboy have persisted as PlayStation icons for over a decade and have not waned in popularity since the release of the first game; so it’s a no-brainer to include these.
Although on the other hand there are characters whose relevance in gaming is not what it once was. For example, Fat Princess from the strategy game of the same name, Emmett Graves from the fun but short-lived Starhawk, and Toro Inoue who is a sort of mascot for PlayStation, mainly in Japan. So I could excuse these characters not being in the game if they don’t want to put characters in there just for the sake of having a large roster to show off in trailers and other marketing material.
Then there are the characters who fit somewhere in-between. Those that are undoubtedly PlayStation icons but haven’t appeared in a game for a while due to developer issues or just less demand from fans. Examples of these include Sweet Tooth from the Twisted Metal series, Cole Macgrath from inFamous and Spike from Ape Escape. Nevertheless, these characters should be included if only for nostalgia’s sake
1. Crash Bandicoot
If there was one complaint that was prevalent in comments sections and online forum around the game’s release, besides comparisons to Smash Bros, it was about the absence of Crash Bandicoot. Crash was one of PlayStation’s first consistent mascots especially throughout the PS1 era so the fact that he wasn’t in the first game upset many fans and likely turned people off from buying it. Therefore it would only make sense for them to correct this in a sequel, as long as Activision plays ball.
Crash Bandicoot has seen a renaissance in recent years, firstly with the massively successful N. Sane Trilogy in 2017, then Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled in 2019 and now with a true sequel in the form of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time in 2020. All this has helped to cement Crash’s place in the zeitgeist of gaming which means he would be a perfect fit for an ensemble fighting game such as PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2.
In terms of gameplay style, Crash’s moves and abilities in his own game would translate well to a fighting game. Of course, you’ve got his spin move, jump attack and now there are the added abilities which appear in It’s About Time related to the quantum masks. The game could also feature Coco as an alternate costume similar to how they handled Kratos / Deimos in the first game.
Horizon Zero Dawn released in 2017 and the main character, Aloy, immediately became a beloved PlayStation protagonist almost on par with the likes of Nathan Drake and Kratos. Obviously, Aloy only became popular once PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale had long since faded away, so she would fit perfectly in a sequel which would update the list of PlayStation’s ‘all-stars’ to the present. Many of the original characters that were included at launch or were added as DLC had recently been featured in new games or had a sequel coming out soon, therefore, due to the upcoming release of Horizon Forbidden West in 2021, it makes even more sense for Aloy to be included.
The Horizon games feature various types of weapons ranging from primitive bows to highly advanced robot machinery, alongside several types of traps and utility items. Many of these could translate well into a fighting game for Aloy’s abilities/ moves, power-up items and the stages themselves. Aloy could have a series of close-range attacks with her spear but also longer ranges ones with her bow or scavenged machine parts for example.
Starting all the way back in 1997 with the release of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, the Oddworld series starring the Mudokon Abe has since become a significant gaming icon and has often had a close relationship with PlayStation, becoming an early unofficial mascot. Abe was also one of the fan-requested characters for the first game and it was unfortunate that only 4 characters were added post-launch and that Abe was not among them.
It may be difficult to translate the character over to a fighting game considering that Abe doesn’t actually fight in his games but instead uses stealth and strategy to save his fellow Mudokons. However, if development was handled by a competent team of fighting game developers, they could create a move set and ‘fighting’ style that is completely unlike any other character which would continue to add variety to the gameplay of the sequel.
Is there any other character more iconic than Spider-Man? Although he hasn’t been associated with PlayStation for that long (unless you count the use of the title font from the Raimi trilogy for the original PS3 model), he was the star of Insomniacs hugely successful game in 2018 and Miles Morales’ version is set to lead the PS5 launch title Spider-man Miles Morales. Spider-Man is also no stranger to fighting games with appearances in the Marvel VS Capcom games for example. This could be a good thing because it shows a precedent for how his abilities could translate to a 2D fighting game, but it would be difficult to do something new with the character besides including the 2018 ‘white spider’ suit.
The recent release of Marvel’s Avengers has continued to demonstrate PlayStation’s close connection to the character of Spider-Man as the web-slinger is set to appear in the game exclusively on PlayStation consoles at some point in 2021. This demonstrates that the people over at PlayStation are keen for videogame Spidey to be closely associated with PlayStation going forward, so his appearance in a PlayStation All-Stars sequel would continue to solidify this.
If there’s one gaming community that is demanding a sequel on the same level as fans of PlayStation All-Stars it is fans of Knack. Originally a PS4 launch title the original managed to get a sequel in 2017, despite a low average review score. So with more support for the series Knack could soon become fully established as a PlayStation mascot (if that even needs to be a thing anymore), which would satisfy fans who have been clamouring for a sequel and would convince a passionate following to support PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2.
Knack’s shapeshifting abilities could work well in a fighter. For example, the special abilities could transform Knack into his larger version for a period of time, allowing for more nimble and fast-paced combat one minute and then a more tank-like powerhouse mode the next. The various energy-based projectile attacks could work well for gameplay variety or potentially other super abilities.
6. Jin Sakai
Despite being the newest PlayStation character on this list there’s no doubt that Jin Sakai from Ghost of Tsushima would work well in a fighting game both from a gameplay perspective and for a way to entice gamers into buying the game. Back in July when Ghost of Tsushima released it was immediately met with huge critical acclaim and by some calling it their game of the year (or even generation). So, therefore, it’s fair to assume that a sequel is in the works for release in a few years meaning that Jin Sakai is here to stay in the PlayStation ecosystem, especially considering that he will be joining PlayStation All-Stars alumnus Sackboy in sack-person form as part of the deluxe edition of Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
Jin could be a more melee-focused character who can attack rapidly with his katana while showing off the slick moves which featured in Ghosts of Tsushima. One thing that the original developers Superbot did really well was making each character feel just like they do in their own game and this would be important for Jin as the combat in Ghost of Tsushima is one of the best things about the game with its emphasis on stylish but effective swordplay.
7. The Hunter
Despite having less of a personality than others on this list, the Hunter from Bloodborne is still iconic and could work well in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2. The Hunter could introduce a gothic aesthetic to the character list as well as the levels themselves but of course, there shouldn’t be too much of a dark tone as a brawler fighting game like this must remain relatively light-hearted. I should also note that like many of the game mentions on this list there has also been a demand for a Bloodborne sequel for a while as well.
The Hunter’s various melee weapons and long-range attacks could fit well into PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2 while acting as a more grounded character. The all-powerful rolling of the ‘SoulsBorne’ games could help to make the character more manoeuvrable to get into and out of combat. The special abilities of the Hunter could even borrow other aspects of Bloodborne such as some of the bigger bosses to allow the character to represent Bloodborne as a whole rather than just the playable character.
So that is it, my list of 7 characters that would be great additions if a sequel was ever made. This list could go on for much longer which just highlights the real potential for this franchise if it was to continue. You may be wondering, what about Ellie or Joel from The Last of Us? I decide to not include them from this list, despite how synonymous they have become with PlayStation, because the tone and style of those games simply wouldn’t work with the tone of a fighter like this. In fact, I think it might even hurt the image of these characters and sort of cheapening who they are as characters. Of course, never say never as a skilled developer team could make it work especially if they collaborated with Naughty Dog.
Let me know what other characters from PlayStation’s huge library could work and also spread the word if you also think that Sony should make PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2 (but maybe with a more succinct and easier to say/type title).