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PlayStation All-Stars game director: 'Kratos was the hardest character to create'

Interview: SuperBot's Omar Kendall on coordinating Sony's mash-up fighter

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What kind of personality does Battle Royale have, in your opinion?

That's an interesting question. I think there's something very absurd in the basic premise of a game where Kratos is fighting PaRappa the Rapper. It does lend itself to a bit of ridiculousness. Just based on the premise, we've got a no-holds-barred approach to move design, level design, different ideas for systems... there's a sort of tongue-in-cheek light-heartedness that the game just intrinsically has. At the same time we're pretty serious competitive fighting game dudes, or at least a large contingency of the guys at SuperBot are, so I think despite the ridiculous nature of some of the elements, at its heart Playstation All-Stars is a pretty serious fighting game. We really embraced the mash-up concept. We allowed ourselves to really embrace all sides of the type of game Playstation All-Stars represents.

Zoom

It looks like some of the arenas will be interactive. Is that true for every level?

Yeah, all of the levels have a bit of interactivity. The way we look at it, each level has a mash-up, so [for example] you'll have the Stowaway - which is an Uncharted level - fly by the Bioshock Infinite city of Columbia. Each level represents two different worlds, but each world has interactivity and a liveliness to it. It's not just a level that you're fighting on, it's a world that you're fighting in. The world is constantly acknowledging your distance, acknowledging the distance of the two mash-ups, and being able to negotiate a level hazard and what your opponent is doing to you are vital skills in PlayStation All-Stars.

What's your personal favourite character?

I will preface this by saying that just because they're my favourite doesn't mean they've received any special attention, and are not overpowered in any way! My favourite is Nariko. I think she has a really cool style, and just in general she's a character that has always been very interesting. She hasn't had the loudest voice to date, but I think the way she comes together really pays tribute to her character. She's got a real high risk / high reward play style that I enjoy.

Zoom

Was there any particular character that was really tough to bring to life in the context of a game like this?

Again, the hardest characters are the Dantes and the Raidens, the ones that are still being developed, and we take a lot of educated guesses in terms of how players are going to respond to those characters. But 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.

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