Nariko (Heavenly Sword)
Heavenly Sword might not be getting a sequel anytime soon, but Nariko's appearance in Royale will surely appease fans of the franchise. The goddess of war has access to her dual blades and aerial attacks, and can call Kai for her level 1 super ability. Level 2 has her spawning a turret to blast enemies with, and 3 extends the length of her blades, allowing the femme fatale to take down foes from afar.
Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
There was very little surprising about how Nathan Drake played in Battle Royale. Most of his attacks are straight out of Uncharted, and include the protagonist shooting, punching, or diving around. He can also kick barrels, ride ziplines, and create his own cover at any time, making him a good mid-ranged character. His level 1 Super is actually fairly strong--he throws an explosive that arcs, hits the ground, and blows up, knocking anyone in the blast range out. It was easy to hit with, and we caught two enemies with it on several occasions. His level 2 is also powerful and hard to dodge: Drake pushes a column down, squishing anyone it lands on. His level 3 abilitiy turns all of his opponents into the creepy Descendants from the end of Uncharted 1 (which would technically make them stronger, but whatever), and gives Drake Eddy Raja's golden gun to shoot them with.
PaRappa (PaRappa the Rapper)
Parappa might be the coolest addition in the game, from his unorthodox fighting style to his 2D character model. The pint-sized rapper learned kung-fu from Master Onion--and he puts it to good use, chopping up foes in melee. He can also drop a boom box that spawns orbs that help buff his Power meter, which lets him ride a skateboard--which, surprisingly, might have been one of the strongest Power Attacks on display.
Ratchet & Clank (Ratchet & Clank)
Insomniac's Ratchet & Clank games are some of the most beloved releases on the PlayStation 3, and the titular lombax is synonymous with the PlayStation brand: of course he's included in the brawl. He has access to a number of his signature guns, as well as some of his most powerful weapons (including his ship) when his super bar is activated.
Sackboy(s) (Little Big Planet)
"But he's so small," you say, "how could he possible take on Kratos?" Easy: Superbot made him big. Sackboy, now as tall as Nathan Drake, looks to be a wonderful addition to the roster. Using his jetpack, grabber, and other tools from the game, the character appears to be an unorthodox--albeit flexible--fighter.
Sly Cooper (Sly Cooper)
Before Sucker Punch was giving Cole the power to shoot lightning, it was guiding a raccoon-burglar around the world on awesome capers. In All-Stars, Sly is one of the faster characters we played as, with skills that benefit from getting behind a character and unleashing a barrage of attacks. Luckily, he has a trick up his sleeve--instead of blocking, he simply disappears, making it easy to escape enemy attacks and sneak up on foes.
Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal)
Twisted Metals signature scary clown was the heaviest hitter we played as, with dash moves that smacked enemies across the map. Beyond that, he had the ability to swing chainsaws, fire shotguns, drop mines, and even get into a giant mech suit as his ultimate Power Attack. He may not dish out the same gruesome death as he does in the Twisted Metal franchise, but Sweet Tooth still packs a mean punch.
Killzones Radec was all about ranged attacks, making him the best fighting from afar, using a sniper rifle as his main weapon. It was absolutely brutal when we were able to pick off our opponents from across the map, and changed the dynamic of every fight. His first Power Attack, however, was hard to hit, and felt like the weakest of the bunch.
Big Daddy (BioShock)
Big Daddy is a melee-focused character, with powerful smashes and a devastating dash attack that renders him nearly invulnerable when he charges forward. We saw all three levels of his special, which varied from "almost impossible to hit" to "possibly the strongest in the game." At level one, a Little Sister jumps out from behind him, stabbing (and KOing) anything she hits. Level 2 makes the juggernaut glow red, enraging him and causing him to kill anyone he makes contact with. His level 3 attack is his coolest, flooding the entire level and allowing him to float around and knock enemies out with ease as they're frozen in place. Wearing a diving suit has its advantages.
Toro Inoue (Sony Japan marketing)
This cute l'il cat will be unbeknownst to most American Sony fans--he originated as a marketing mascot for Sony Japan, though he recently made a guest apperance in Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken. He looks to be something of a shapeshifting fighter, morphing into a ninja to chuck shuriken or donning a headband to call in his buddy Kuro. He also has a form that grants him a leopard-print loincloth and a bright red afro. Alrighty then.