Seven years after the game launched in 2012, some never before seen footage of an old build of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is appearing online, giving a glimpse at the early stages of Sony’s brawler. This footage is from when the game was called Title Fight before its initial unveiling with its shiny new, mouthful of a name.
If you’re unaware of the game, PlayStation All-Stars was a Super Smash Bros.-style fighter featuring mascots from various PlayStation games. This included modern heroes like Uncharted’s Nathan Drake and Kratos from God of War (pre-reboot) and even some older characters like Parappa the Rapper and Medievil’s Sir Daniel Fortesque. It was developed by Superbot Entertainment, a studio formed under Sony specifically to develop the game, and was released in 2012 to mostly positive (albeit not glowing) reviews. After two DLC packs featuring new characters and stages, development was handed over to Sony Santa Monica before on-going support ended and the servers were shutdown back in January.
However, YouTube user Kuriatsu has come across a very early build of the game in a debug PlayStation 3 unit, which gives a look at the early days of development, which included a different UI and set of playable characters.
While some of the fighters that were in the final game are here like Drake and Sly Cooper, characters present in the debug build’s character select that never made it into the full game include Blasto, Ratchet & Clank villain Dr. Nefarious, Buzz from Buzz! and soldiers from Warhawk, but according to channel Beta64, who did an abridged rundown of the unearthed footage, only Buzz and the Warhawk soldier were character concepts ever considered to be in the game. The soldier doesn’t actually appear as a playable character in the build, but Buzz does show up as a CPU-controlled fighter.
Other information Beta64 runs through in their 32-minute video includes comparisons between early and final versions of stages and some context from people who worked on the game about decision to cut or add content in the game that ultimately shipped.
While Beta64 has an overview of everything found in the early build, Kuriatsu has a multi-part deep dive scheduled to roll out between now and December, so if you’re interested in an even more thorough look at the old build be sure to keep an eye on their channel.
The internet may lead you to believe otherwise, but PlayStation All-Stars did manage to sell over a million copies which was, according to Beta64’s interviews with developers, considered to be enough to green light a sequel, but it never came and Sony severed ties with Superbot in 2013. The studio has since closed down.
Every few months or so rumors of a sequel come up before big events like E3 or PlayStation Experience, hinting at expanded rosters featuring new and old characters like Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn and the highly requested Crash and Spyro. But none of these rumors have ever led anywhere, unfortunately. It would be nice to see Sony get another shot at a crossover fighter. I’d love to see new additions like Delsin from Infamous: Second Son or see how they’d approach Kratos in the style of last year’s God of War reboot.
Plus, PlayStation All-Stars was good, actually. So hopefully we’ll see another sometime in the not so distant future.