Today, Kat from Gravity Rush and Emmett Graves from Starhawk became available as DLC for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. There was other DLC released today, such as some new minions (49 cents each, sold in 6 packs for $1.99, or all $18 for $6.99, and yes, I see how the math doesn’t make sense there), and a new playable stage, which is free to play in online ranked matches, but will cost $2 to play offline. However, the characters are the main event here, and they will be free for 2 weeks, after which time each character will cost $4.99. All DLC is Cross-Buy. Both characters come with full story modes, new minions to unlock, combo trials, icons, backgrounds, a second costume, and everything else that a character has in the game. They are full fledged members of the roster.
Kat is a close range brawler who can actually use her second jump to dash in any of 8 directions. Reminiscent of some characters in Marvel vs Capcom 2, her rushdown capabilities are top class. She has decent combo capabilities, though she is outshined by Dante and Raiden, but she also has many close range area of effect attacks that get opponents off of you. She is clearly designed to gain the upper hand at point-blank range, then press the attack with moves that can seemingly hit from any angle.
At a distance, she is far more limited, but just like in Gravity Rush, she can pick up items by pressing Circle, and then throw them with repeated presses of the button. She has other attacks that remind me of Marvel vs Capcom 2, such as her Forward + Triangle, which can be repeated like Wolverine’s Drill Claw. It’s no surprise that she plays this way, as famed Marvel vs Capcom player Clockwork is the community manager of Superbot. Legend has it that when naming her moves, Clockwork shouted out “Gravity Squeeze”, a name for one of Magneto’s moves. Gravity Squeeze is Kat’s Level 1 Super.
Her Supers are all very strong. Her level 1 travels across a horizontal line with very good range. When she connects with an opponent, she pulls an energy ball from them, just like in Gravity Rush. She then squeezes the ball to pop it, obliterating her foe. Any other opponent’s near her victim are also defeated. A great move when approaching a crowd that’s not paying attention to you.
Her Level 2 is one of her super moves from Gravity Rush. Kat rises into the air and aims two waves kinetic rock projectiles at her opponents. The initial direction of the shots, as well as aftertouch to nudge them into the right place, are completely controllable by the player. It seems easily dodgable, and will likely not get more than 2 kills, but it’s not the worst level 2 Super out there.
In her Level 3, Kat merges with her unusual cat Dusty to form an unstoppable killing machine for a limited time. Pressing square swipes the air in front of her; this action can be repeated. She can press triangle to dash to a target area, and press circle to turn herself into a spherical vortex, taking out enemies in a nearby area. As with many Level 3 Supers, one hit kills. Kat’s unique advantage is that she can move up or down, hover, and fly through the air, making it much easier to catch a fleeing foe.
Her story mode intro and outro are reminiscent of the comic-book interludes from her game Gravity Rush, and I found I enjoyed them a bit more than the intros of other characters because of the faithfulness paid to the universe from which Kat comes from.
With my limited time with her, I have found Square x 3, (wait) Triangle, Up + Triangle (in air) to be a good combo that gains 70 AP. It leaves you very far away from the opponent, but you can take this time to press Circle to summon throwable items. Combo training is especially useful with her. Being the first day, I haven’t really found a use for her Down + Circle attacks except as a reset in combos, and her Up + Circle could stand to do more damage, but they are both effective at controlling a crowd and asserting dominance in close range.
The first time I fought Emmett in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, I couldn’t get over how annoying his turret was. Emmett can use the Build and Battle system from Starhawk to drop ordinance onto the battlefield. While he can use this to change the primary weapon he is holding, I found his ability to drop a turret onto the battlefield frustrating. A turret that, while destructible, was able to take a beating. Which meant that any attention paid to it meant Emmett was free to do as he pleased. And if I focused on Emmett, the turret would interrupt any combos I would attempt. Emmett’s other drops include a Rift Generator which can shoot out AP Orbs, and a Shotgun or Pulse Rifle. By dropping one of these two weapons and picking them up by pressing R1 (or touching the screen), Emmett can, for a limited number of shots, replace his normal triangle attacks with either long range (Pulse Rifle) or short range (Shotgun) attacks.
Emmett’s close range attacks generate AP at a very scary rate. His simple Square, Square combo generates 40 AP! Add that to his utility on the battlefield, and you’ve got someone who can gain steady AP at any distance from his opponents.
His Level 1 Super is a simple, medium ranged, horizontal shot. Nothing really to explain.
For his Level 2, Emmett drops a large structure from the sky, a fixed distance from himself. Anyone caught underneath is toast. I imagine at first it will be hard to gauge the exact position it will land, but that will come with practice.
Finally, for his Level 3 Super, Emmett climbs into an Outcast Hawk from Starhawk, and wrecks havoc in mech mode for a limited time. Square fires its gun, which can be vertically aimed, and triangle lays air mines. Pressing circle transforms to jet mode, and results in a strafing run. This move automatically depletes the timer.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale benefits greatly from these two characters. There’s nothing quite like how these two play among the roster, and the added depth is a welcome addition. You should download them now, while they’re free, but even at the future price of $4.99 each, I really like them.