Sony revealed last month that PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale will soon receive two free new characters in the forms of Emmett from Starhawk and Kat from Gravity Rush. And last night at Sony's Santa Monica studio, we got the chance to test those characters out before their release.

Emmett's move set is comparable to Snake's from Super Smash Bros. Brawl; he's got an arsenal that includes an assault rifle, pistol, shotgun and rocket launcher, as well as grenades and mines. The twist? Just like in Starhawk, he has to call in "build-and-battle" drops from his allies in orbit to change weapons. He can also have turrets drop into battle to disrupt and distract foes, and his level three Super involves a powerful Hawk wreaking havoc on the battlefield.

Kat, on the other hand, focuses more on hand-to-hand combat. Or, more accurately, foot-to-face. Just like in Gravity Rush, she's got a lot of kicks. And instead of a double jump, she can jump into the air and then quickly dash in any direction. It takes some getting used to, but it definitely changes things up.

In addition, Kat has powers that take advantage of her gravity-altering, like the ability to chuck random objects at opponents and repel or attract other characters with brief spurts of energy. Her Supers involve hurling deadly rock spear volleys and changing into her werepanther (you read that right) form to fly around and one-shot other players.

We also got to check out a new stage, based on Heavenly Sword and Wipeout. The level begins on tall rock spire familiar to those who played Heavenly Sword, but the spire collapses partway into the match and leaves players fighting among its ruins as Wipeout's futuristic vehicles speed by on an electrified track to one side. It's got a simple layout, but some dynamic hazards keep things interesting.

Emmett and Kat will be released early next year for free, though players who don't snatch them up in the first couple weeks will have to pay for them later. Details about the new arena's release have not been announced yet. Are you looking forward to getting some new characters in PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale?