Now that the roster for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale has been finalized it’s high time that gamers begin really mulling over which character is going to be their go-to fighter. While fans of Sony‘s prized franchises like LittleBigPlanet and Sly Cooper will certainly go for those series’ stars, there are just so many varied characters that settling on just one will be very tough.
For developer SuperBot Entertainment, though, there was a task even harder than playing favorites: balancing such a diverse roster. Whereas some characters in Battle Royale have been featured in fighting games before, a few had never even shown themselves capable of violence.
To that end, SuperBot is shedding a little light on the development process — letting gamers in on how they balanced, licensed, and fine-tuned the game that releases later this year. More importantly, it appears they want gamers to know that developing All-Stars Battle Royale was no easy task.
Speaking about the licensing of characters, Game Director Omar Kendall reveals that the hardest characters to develop and balance were the ones that had yet to make official debuts — namely DmC‘s version of Dante and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance‘s Raiden. It was hard for Kendall and his team to get approval on skill sets, moves, and abilities when the developers might not have settled on those ideas for their own game.
“The third party characters who represent the biggest challenges are the ones that appear in games that aren’t out yet: Dante from the new Devil May Cry, Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, those were characters that were being developed [at the same time as PlayStation All-Stars], and we’re constantly pushing on [those studios] to answer questions that maybe they haven’t even answered for themselves yet. It’s certainly tough and challenging, because we both want to, on both sides, make sure we represent those characters as faithfully and accurately as possible to meet fan expectations.”
Additionally, Kendal tells CVG that it was Kratos who gave the development team a lot of trouble because of his large arsenal of weapons and moves. The star of God of War has undergone so many transformations across several different games that it’s hard to pin down just what represents the character. Sure, the ‘Blades of Chaos’ is a perfect place to start, but that can’t be all he’s known for.
“Even a character like Kratos, who has appeared in half a dozen action games, his problem is that he has so much functionality. He has so many weapons, so many appearances and so many iconic moments. The Kratos that appears in the mind of players when they imagine Kratos is really hard to get. Is there a particular weapon, or a particular moment in that character’s history that speaks to players as the quintessential Kratos move or moment? It’s characters like that which present the greatest challenge, the ones that have the longest lineage. You need to try to capture that essence in a few dozen moves.”
Obviously there’s a lot for SuperBot to consider when developing a game like Battle Royale — even if it is ostensibly a Super Smash Bros. clone. From character balancing to making sure the spirit of each character is preserved, there isn’t just one area to focus on. At E3 2012 we weren’t too impressed with some of the SuperBot’s design choices, but further time with game has us coming around. We’ll see how the finished product holds up very soon.
What do you think of SuperBot Entertainment’s interpretation of these beloved first and third party characters? Do you like Battle Royale‘s version of Kratos?
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale releases November 20, 2012 for the PS3 and Vita.