While walking up to the Playlogic booth to get some time with Fairytale Fights during PAX, a chill went through me. Seeing all those characters that were the biggest celebrities in my little childhood world — Little Red Riding Hood, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and the Naked Emperor from the Emporer’s New Clothes — beating the crap out of everything in the fairytale kingdom in order to regain their fame and fortune was an answer to a prayer I never knew I had asked for; I had to go in for more.
On the show floor kiosks were running Fairytale Fights, both on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. I opted for the PS3 version and dove into what looked like Quentin Tarantino had joined Castle Crashers in a re-telling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Right from the start of my demo, it was evident that the game is definitely not for plopping the kids in front of as a baby sitter, nor is Playlogic shooting for a T-rating.
Dropped into a co-op map that looked oddly cheery, I took control of Little Red Riding Hood and wandered around a bit until I was promptly nailed in the head by a cuddly animal armed with a sword. Knowing, from years of gaming, that I needed to procure myself a weapon, I disarmed my attacker with a series of melee blows using the right analog stick. Now that I was armed and ready to fight, I leapt along the scenery, hacking and slashing teddy bears and gingerbread men like there was no tomorrow, gathering dropped treasure and better weapons as I went along. It was all fast and furious until I noticed the blood…
Running on the Unreal Engine, the developers had some gameplay technology designed solely for use in Fairytale Fights. The two main pieces of tech are called dynamic slicing and volumetric liquid dynamic. Dynamic slicing allowed me to use the right analog stick to slice up and down, diagonally, and any other way possible while still be recognized by the game and portrayed accordingly. In fact, whenever I did an especially good hit on an enemy, a picture-in-picture animation would appear and allow me to see the hit in all its gory glory. Say that five times fast.
The Volumetric Liquid Dynamic allowed me to interact with various liquids in the game, from lakes and water to potions and blood, they all reacted different from one another. It is the blood that stopped me in my tracks – sort of. The more I sliced and diced, the more the bodies piled up and, as I would expect, so did the blood. You see, the VLD makes the blood stick to blood and pool instead of disappearing, so I did what any other rational human being playing as a fairytale character would do, I jumped into the pool, thinking nothing would happen. I was wrong. I began sliding around in circles, attacking enemies as I did so to add more and more blood. I asked the Playlogic representative standing beside me if this had any gameplay ramifications, to which he replied that I could slide at an enemy but it is, “not that much faster, more shits and giggles.” Giggle I did, until he told me there was an Achievement/Trophy for the longest blood slide. Then it became serious business.
Near the end of my play time, I encountered ‘Glory Mode,’ which is a kind of super rage mode, for lack of a better word. The more you kill and the better your strikes are, the more your Glory meter is filled. Once the meter is filled all the way, I unleashed a fury of blows with my sword, throwing my character into the picture-in-picture mode discussed above, but this time I could slice and dice the enemy all I wanted. Had I been wielding a ranged weapon, the ammo would have changed to unlimited and I could have gone all machine gun crazy with my blunderbuss, or sword crazy with my swordfish.
At the end of the time I had, I was left intrigued by the gameplay. With a single-player story mode as well as four-player drop in/drop out co-op and an arena mode, there is alot of choices to be made in this Grimm’s Fairy Tales gone wrong. I did not get to see those modes, but if they are anything like the story mode I played, someone is not going to live happily ever after when the game releases this October.