Apr 27, 2012

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Could PlayStation All-Stars Characters be Hidden in Sony’s “Michael” Teaser?

SuperBot Entertainment level designer Chris Molina once tweeted that Sony’s well-publicized “Michael” commercial served as foreshadowing for the game his studio was working on. We now know that game is PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. With Sony’s crossover brawler and six playable characters revealed, maybe it’s time to revisit the “Michael” promo and search for appearances of other playable fighters. After all, 50 percent of the six revealed characters appear in the video (66% if you connect Colonel Mael Radec with the video’s Killzone paraphernalia). Those are good odds, so let’s take a look at some of the cameos in “Michael” and discuss their fighting potential.

Nathan Drake

Everyone’s favorite wise-cracking treasure hunter seems like the perfect fit for a PlayStation mash-up, given both his popularity and close-quarters combat skills. I envision Nathan Drake as a hybrid character that combines the best aspects of PaRappa the Rapper and Colonel Radec. Drake would have a host of grounded melee moves to employ – kicks, punchs, grapples, throws – while making use of his trusty AK-47 or (better yet!) M32-Hammer grenade launcher to pepper opponents with damaging bursts from a distance. The Hammer could also be saved for a Level 1 Super, while Drake’s Level 3 Super might feature best pal Sully tearing through the stage and crushing opponents with his jeep. Imagine Drake as a heavy character who keeps his feet firmly planted and moveset grounded in reality.

Chimeran Hybrid

There’s plenty of potential for human characters in PlayStation All-Stars, but where’s the alien love? Let’s give Resistance its due and include one of the main Chimeran bad-boys as a playable fighter. I picture the Chimeran Hybrid as a fast melee character who employs rapid claw slashes and twirls to rip through opponents foolish enough to let it close the distance. A special ability could allow the Hybrid to make use of Hedgehog grenades semi-freely (perhaps as a Super), trumping opponents who can only wait for the item to drop. Finally, let’s make backside attacks on the Hybrid (presumably striking its cooling rods) especially deadly, knocking it around or stunning it briefly and granting opponents a few seconds of breathing room.

Ratchet

Like Drake, mechanically-inclined Lombax Ratchet is a perfect fit for the PlayStation All-Stars roster. Ratchet’s normal attacks would primarily make use of his Omni-Wrench, which could stretch to offer greater range than other melee fighters. Whether to make Clank an integral part of Ratchet’s fighting style is an interesting question. When Ratchet is knocked high into the air or off-stage, Clank’s rotors could offer a slow glide that keeps Ratchet out of harm’s way until he’s ready to dive back into the fray. Meanwhile, Ratchet’s Supers could feature his outlandish arsenal of weapons. Give me the Ryno V and some hoverboots, and I’ll be a happy gamer.

Cole MacGrath

Cole’s already had a chance to show off his fighting chops as a PS3-exclusive character in Street Fighter X Tekken. The hero (or anti-hero) of inFAMOUS could unleash lightning blasts from a distance or make creative use of The Amp for a close-quarters electric beatdown. His ability to hover could be used much like Ratchet’s glide as a means to read the battlefield before jumping back in. For balancing purposes, many of Cole’s more powerful super-moves could be saved for… well, Supers. The player could control where to send ice spikes shooting from the ground, or Cole could jump off-screen before sending a massive, damaging cyclone ripping through opponents.

Sackboy

While diminutive in stature, Sackboy could play much like Kirby from Super Smash Bros. Sony’s unofficial mascot could draw power from opponents and don costumes that grant him a limited moveset of another character. Imagine a Level 3 Super where hundreds of other Sackboys bum-rush the stage and KO everything in their path. To truly pay homage to LittleBigPlanet, SuperBot could even turn the “Sackboy” playable character into four Sackboys that fight and jump around together, much like Ice Climbers from SSB Melee and Brawl.

Old Snake

Stealthy operative Solid Snake (or Old Snake, as he’d likely be known in PlayStation All-Stars) brings buckets of experience in close-quarters combat and long-range weaponry to the arena. Imagine a Level 3 Super where Snake hops into the pilot seat of Metal Gear Rex, or a special move that makes use of his optical camouflage and turns Snake into the game’s deadliest predator. CQC, including traditional moves from MGS3: Snake Eater and MGS4: Guns of the Patriots, could factor into both Snake’s normal attacks and low-level Supers, allowing for quick-and-easy KO’s from a slower-than-most character.

Third-Party Characters

To many gamers’ surprise, Sony’s “Michael” promo featured a whole host of third-party characters alongside first-and-second-party PlayStation mainstays. Here’s how some of them could work as playable characters:

  • Ezio Auditore – The various weapons and gadgets employed by Ezio during the events of three Assassin’s Creed games could make this legendary assassin an exciting character with plenty of game-twisting tricks up his sleeves.
  • Agent 47 – The titular hitman of the Hitman series operates primarily with stealth, perhaps even more so than Old Snake. His fighting style could be quick and ruthless, making almost exclusive use of hand-to-hand techniques and chokes to get the job done.

  • ChellPortal’s lab rat would be a fantastic inclusion, especially if SuperBot finds a way to make her attacks revolve almost completely around the Portal Gun. The device could be used to summon objects from the Portal universe (think Weighted Companion Cubes and sentry turrets) from any surface, while her heel springs would allow for extremely high jumps that open the door for creative portal-tossing Supers.
  • Lightning – The main protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII would be another welcome female addition to the All-Stars cast. Expect rapid sword slashes and the use of Fire and Thunder magic to pepper opponents with damage from afar. One or more Eidolons (the summons from XIII) could create some visually-stunning Supers.
  • Isaac ClarkeDead Space’s survival expert has seen some serious s***. This psychological trauma could turn him into a deadly foe and crowd-control expert who uses his engineering expertise to employ Stasis Modules and machine defenses. Don’t be surprised if a Level 3 Super sets a small Necromorph army onto his opponents.

What do you think of our character picks? Are there any other possibilities you can spot in the “Michael” promo? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to Vivid Gamer for more on PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. For the full list of everything we know so far, check out our reveal post.

 

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About Kyle Prahl

You can friend him on PSN (geist226) and follow him on Twitter: @PaybackPrahl