SuperBot's director Omar Kendall also premiered a brand new level for the game, combining the worlds of Heavenly Sword and Wipeout into a beautiful but precarious environment. The actual pricing (and release date) for the level hasn't yet been decided.
While letting us play a little bit with each character, Kendall talked to us about the reaction to PlayStation All-Stars, why these two characters are the first to make the DLC cut, and what else SuperBot has planned.
Kendall said that after such a long (and relatively open) development process, getting PS All-Stars out to the public was a nice reward. "You've got all of these people who've been following the game for so long," he said. "Our unofficial announce happened about two years ago, so fans have been telling us to do certain things this way and that way for so long. It's cool to see that people get it and that they're having a lot of fun. That's very gratifying."
Because fan interest was so high and the team was so open, most of the All-Stars core audience already knew a lot of the ins and outs even before release. Despite that, Kendall was surprised when some followers didn't understand all of the mechanics. "I was surprised that the super system and the way that our AP works, and how you fight to build meter, and you fight not to deplete health bars – and how that still surprised some people, even people who were followers of the game."
Gravity Rush and Starhawk are both relatively new entries into PlayStation's history, and Kendall admitted the team "wanted to hit some contemporary characters" with the first DLC release. In the case of Gravity Rush's Kat, there were some fan requests for the appearance. She's "the most requested first-party character," said Kendall, and the team wanted to fit her in as soon as possible. Kat aptly plays with gravity, and most of her super attacks have her floating around the screen, sending out projectiles and even embodying the power of her black cat companion.
Emmett Graves of Starhawk is a heavier brawler, with more traditional punches and firearm attacks in his arsenal. With supers, he can call down extra weapons and turrets, or fire a powered-up projectile across the field.
Kendall said both characters were chosen not only for their games and popularity, but because they fit two "really interesting combat playstyles" that All-Stars needed.
The Heavenly Sword/Wipeout stage is fun, but not exactly revolutionary: The level begins on a round elevated platform with a Wipeout track in the background, and then falls down into a canyon, where the electrified track becomes a dangerous boundary on the right side. It's not completely finished, but aside from that track (and the Wipeout vehicles racing by on it), the level isn't as dynamic as some of the other choices.
Kendall agreed that Heavenly Sword may not have been as financially successful as other featured franchises, but the goal with including it as a stage was to capture the memory of the game that PlayStation fans have. "We think about PlayStation history, the moment when Heavenly Sword is announced and you're seeing this crazy character fighting dozens and dozens of enemies, capitalizing on that memory was important for us."
Not to mention that SuperBot has a soft spot for Heavenly Sword that it jokingly hopes to someday take advantage of: "It's kind of our joke," laughed Kendall, "that once we're done with PlayStation All-Stars we'll get to work on our vanity project, Heavenly Sword 2."
PlayStation All-Stars, however, isn't done yet. While no other DLC has been announced, Kendall said it's a no-brainer. "We'll continue to support the game as long as people show interest, both with characters and levels."
Though Kat and Graves are from more recent adventures, Kendall said SuperBot won't pass on the rest PlayStation's history by any means. "If you're specifically asking if we'll get another character from a [visited] series, I think we will," he said. "I think we'll eventually dig deeper into the catalog and hit some of the older characters eventually."