E3: Fairytale Fights is cute and hilarious, but not for the squeamish

It's hard to resist a game where adorable little fairy-tale characters hack each other to bits. Playlogic Game Factory's Fairytale Fights is still in development, but it's looking seriously promising. And it's definitely not for children. SCI FI Wire got a chance to check out this upcoming hack-and-slash behind closed doors at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles last week, and we are finally able to share the details with you.

It seems that a few fairy-tale characters are not quite as famous as they used to be. And like an aging Hollywood star punching paparazzi for publicity, they are not taking this lying down. In fact, they're being rather cutthroat about it ... literally. Dark and mysterious forces are affecting Fairy Tale Land, and you must fight them to regain your fame and fortune. Nothing like hacking up a bunch of bad guys to get your 15 minutes, eh?

We were shown a demo of what appeared to be Little Red Riding Hood taking an ax and hacking through the woodsmen who were trying to do the same to her. She ran around the village throwing enemies onto spinning turbines of death and cutting them into multiple pieces. But in a cute way.

And now a word about the violence. The game is super-cartoony, and the violence is comical and slapstick. If you don't get that, or if Snow White with a chainsaw is going to mess with your childhood memories, this game is not for you.

If you get the joke, it's a riot. As our character was cutting up woodsmen, we were told that the chopping style is up to you, meaning that you can slice through any part of the body and the animation will look different. In fact, you get to see it close up in a PnP window on the side of the screen.

With Playlogic's newly developed "real time dynamic slicing," (nicknamed "Salami Violence") you can slice off the top of someone's head and see brains. Chop someone in half and you get to see the skeleton. Chase someone onto a piece of mill equipment that is going to tear them to shreds and you see the body parts go flying. No pre-rendered chopping here. And then there's the blood. Lots and lots of blood. With their "volumetric liquid system," you not only get to slide through the blood like a macabre Slip 'n Slide, but you can also see it dripping off objects, including you.

While you are creating a bloodbath, you also get to hunt for treasure and solve puzzles. And if you are playing in the multiplayer mode (which supports up to four players), you can hack up your friends to get to the treasure first. Multiplayer mode looks like even more fun than single-player. You can help each other or kill each other, though you'll need each other to solve some of the puzzles in the game. And if you die, your tombstone shows your status in Fairy Tale Land. If you're on the D list, you get a wooden cross. If you're Angelina-famous, you get a gold sarcophagus.

You get to choose from 100 upgradeable weapons to attack each other with. We saw a chainsaw, an ax, a hammer and a hacksaw. PvP is available online and offline, and in a trend we've been seeing a lot of lately, multiplayer is drop-in, drop-out, for people who have jobs and doorbells to deal with.

Fairytale Fights is based on the Unreal Engine 3, and visually the game is—well, "adorable" probably isn't the right word here. I'll go with colorful and richly textured. The cartoon violence is hysterical to watch. We didn't get to play, but I think I speak for almost everyone in the room when I say we were dying to. I cannot wait for this one to come out. Fairytale Fights will be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC late this year, and surprise, surprise, it's expected to get an "M for Mature" rating.

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