The big bad wolf had better seek shelter because Little Red Riding Hood is leaving nothing but blood and carnage in her wake as she rampages through candy castles and lumberjack forests in a quest to regain her lost fame. Fairytale Fights is a hack-and-slash platform adventure set in a magical floating island above the sea and made completely out of storybooks. It's fast-paced, bloody, and incredibly twisted--definitely not for the faint of heart or for those who would rather not see Hansel and Gretel as conjoined twins that vomit periodically. Representatives from Playlogic stopped by our offices to give us a demo, and we were surprised by just how much blood can be spilled in a land of bunnies, bears, and magic-porridge-producing kettles.
In this magical realm up in the clouds, a giant has taken the fairytale books from Red Riding Hood, Beanstalk Jack, Naked Emperor, and Snow White. When a lesser known character named Little Boy Tailor takes the spotlight, the others, who were once well known, are eager to slay whatever is necessary to regain their former glory. As any one of these characters, your goal is to take on quests in the fairytale world--regardless of whose fairytale it is--in order to get your story rewritten.
Our demo led us through a bustling village, which acts as your main menu. You'll see Puss in boots napping in a corner, a giant sitting on a pile of books in the distance, and plenty of other random characters milling about as you decide what you want to do. Visiting the taxidermist's house will give you a list that keeps track of all your kills, the amount of blood spilled, the number of heads chopped, and all the other gory details. We jumped into one of the first levels, a lumberjack area in which our goal was to find the magic-porridge-producing kettle that was stolen from the three bears. As we walked through the forest, we noticed Goldilocks sitting on one of the three beds in the background, and she was drunk out of her mind. There's quite a bit of work that needs to be done visually and aurally before the game ships--it's still in beta and runs on the Unreal Engine 3--but it definitely had the atmosphere and personality down.
Another area we visited was the candy castle, which was populated with gingerbread men that were ready to be mowed down by our vindictive axe-wielding Red. Children were also running amuck, making them easy targets to slice and dice. The dynamic slicing system brings up a separate screen on the right where you can--in real-time--hack up your 3D victims any way you choose. Once we reached the level where the children were on the porky side, we watched as our demonic Red cut up a poor child like a Christmas ham. As we made our way through the elaborate candy castle, we watched as a cackling gingerbread man pushed pudgy little children off a ledge into a pool of mystery substance below.
Our next stop was the giant's home--on his shelves in his house to be exact. With the giant and his wife moving about in the background, we slid playfully across pools of blood, slaughtering every tin man and garden gnome that got in our way. There's so much blood all the time that as you run by, you'll end up leaving bright red footprints. We eventually had to maneuver carefully past the giants, who were moving jars around on the shelves. We deftly dodged the glass traps and used them as platforms to continue on our way.
It's obvious that a lot of thought has been put into these environments because there's so much to see and a lot of moving parts. There isn't a shortage of weapons, either, so whether you're slicing with a sword or hitting children with blunt objects, there's always some sort of dynamic system that will allow you to physically harm your opponents in the most brutal fashion possible.
Up to four people can play together in Quest mode, and players can easily jump in and out whenever they please. The entire quest should take about eight hours to complete, and the Arena mode offers four modes of play on at least 10 maps. The standard Death Match and Last Hero Standing modes are included, as well as a couple of modes called Gold Rush and Greedy Bastard, in which you aim to get the highest score and most coins, respectively. We didn't get to see how this part played out, but we were told that it's going to be like Super Smash Bros. in which you have a map with environmental hazards, and your job is to basically beat the living snot out of one another.
Fairytale Fights takes children stories and turns them into a bloodfest for grown-ups. It's remarkable to see what the developers have come up with by taking your favorite Grimm fairytale characters and transforming them into deranged killers. The game still needs work to keep things running smoothly, but if plucking an axe out from between your eyes and tossing it at your friend sounds like something you'd like to do, then keep an eye on Fairytale Fights when it is released later this year.