The game world in Fairytale Fights -- powered by the Unreal Engine -- is every bit as colorful and cartoony as the title suggests, which makes the contrast between the environment and the brutal gameplay all the more apparent. The game essentially plays like an old-school beat-em-up, with players plowing their way through hordes of enemies and hazards to reach the end of the level. Each level is littered with different weapons -- axes, lollipops, carrots, etc. -- that can be picked up at any time. Weapon swings are controlled with the right analog stick, resulting in some wild flailing animations, though the developers giving our presentation could manage to string together combos and even juggle foes in the air.
The levels of the game are all based on different fairytales. One level we saw was based on the story of Hanzel & Gretel, only in this version, the witch has an entire candy castle instead of a cottage. The level is populated with increasingly fat children, which the player is free to slice to ribbons. Keep in mind that these aren't actually enemy characters, but that didn't stop our demonstrators from taking the axe to them. We don't blame them though, as Playlogic has put a lot of effort into the game's slicing mechanic.
Fairytale Fights features dynamic slicing, which means that enemies -- gingerbread men, gnomes, villagers, etc. -- are dismembered precisely along the same lines as the slicing instrument. If you slice through an enemies neck and shoulders with your trusty axe -- and you will -- they will slide right off the body. Oh, you can feel free to slice up your friends during a co-op session, too.
The game uses the slicing system to great effect when players initiate a glory attack. Glory attacks slow down the gameplay and pop up a picture-in-picture window that shows the player and enemy in close detail. With the gameplay slowed, players are free to slice up the enemy as they see fit, watching as bloody lines are carved through its body.
Fairytale Fights features dynamic slicing!
Fairytale Fights currently supports four-player offline co-op and two-player online co-op, though Playlogic is hoping to have four-player online co-op for the final release. Our main concern about the game is whether the combat and dynamic slicing are enough to carry the entire game. There is no experience system, so the characters will have the same abilities from beginning to end. Playlogic informed us that there are over 100 different weapons though, which should add some variety.
At any rate, Fairytale Fights is on the radar now. The game lets Snow White hack children to bits, after all. It's kind of hard to forget about it now.
Editor's note: This post originally indicated that it was a hands-on feature. The title has been changed to reflect that it was an eyes-on preview.