Earlier today I was given a private tour through Sony’s E3 booth where I was treated to some hands on gameplay with their cross platform Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale title, as well as the multiplayer mode in God of War: Ascension. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed both experiences, and each game had their own merits. I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t prefer God of War: Ascension over All-Stars, but I’d be continuing to fib if I said that I didn’t like it either.
Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale is most easily described as a four person brawler in the same vein as Super Smash Bros., but that may not be a fair description. Its unique use of cross platform play and interactive levels is a gaming experience that should be had by all Playstation fans. The All-Star lineup features some of the most popular Sony video game characters of the last decade. To cement the homage to the likes of Drake, Sly Cooper, Sweet Tooth, and others, every level is unique to one of the 8 combatants. Within these brand specific levels there’s also a boss that will come in to attack all four of the players regardless of who they are, which makes the already frenetic action that much more intense.
I mentioned earlier that one of the more memorable features of Playstation All-Stars is its support for cross platform play between the Vita and PS3. I took on the PS Vita version of the game to play against three others who were playing on the PS3 to give this innovative concept out. I have to say that I was very impressed with how the game handled on the Vita. Graphically it looked nearly as crisp as the PS3 version, and I think it handled just as well. The controls worked perfectly, and I never felt like I was at a disadvantage against my console playing counterparts.
While we battled each other with our iconic Playstation characters we could use a variety of attacks that were all unique in size, shape, and smell. The main goal is to essentially beat the living hell out of your opponents in an attempt to rank up your super power meter to a level 3 status, which more or less enables you to own the universe. I played as Kratos, so when I raged out enough to hit level 3 I easily hit the Vita’s shoulder buttons to unleash a giant sized version of myself chock full of devastating super attacks. In this overpowered state I could pretty much have my way with the other gamers vying for a first place finish, but alas, I didn’t fair so well even with my super duper Kratos.
Regardless of the outcome, I still was amazed by how much fun I had playing this game on the Vita, and in general. It’s definitely shaping up to be a game I’d consider adding to my Vita’s scarce game collection. I have a trailer embedded below for your viewing pleasure, so check it out before you move on to my thoughts on the new God of War multiplayer experience.
Without a doubt one of the games that I had to get to know while at E3 was God of War: Ascension, so I was thrilled to finally give it a go today. I played the new multiplayer mode, which is one of the most unique types of human versus human modes I’ve ever encountered. I would describe it as being a God of War campaign experience, except for battling AI enemies you have to fight off living beings with other teammates to win the day.
One would think that this game mode sounds like nothing more than an exercise in button mashing randomness, but that is not the case at all. You will get your lunch handed to you if you just try to go lone wolf and pound the living hell out of your attack buttons. Trust me. I tried. And I failed. Miserably. I quickly found out that teamwork is a must in Ascension’s multiplayer mode, so there’s much more strategy to attacking than just punching your dual shock’s face buttons like a Parkinson’s patient.
On top of the whole teamwork thing you’re also bestowed with some special powers to help turn the tide of battle in your favor. These can be executed once their meters are full by pressing the L1 button plus square button, or the triangle button. My charged attacks allowed me to clear out an entire area full of bad guys to help my team on the path towards victory in a typical big action God of War moment.
The gameplay is engaging and looks fantastic. I had to make a small mental high five while watching some of the over the top gore taking place on the screen in front of me. I’m talking individual guts spewing from a fresh stomach wound after taking one too many hits to the old life meter type of insane video game gore. I loved it.
I would have loved to have played some of Sony’s other exciting titles such as The Last of Us, but I had a great time with Ascension and All Stars. Both of these games had their individual merits, and virtually no major faults that I could note. I’ll definitely be picking up the Vita version of All-Stars, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting 2013 to get my hands on some more God of War action. Speaking of which you should check out its E3 footage below.
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