Since we post a ton of Lollipop Chainsaw news I felt it was only fitting that I go hands on with the game at E3 2012. Now if you’ve been following our coverage you’d know that I’m excited for Juliet’s zombie slaying adventure, but I’ve expressed concerns about the animations. So read on and see how things turned out.
The demo took place during the first level of the game. It starts off with Juliet (in first person) coming to school on her bike and running down zombies (this isn’t playable, but the controller rumbles). The presentation is slick and it features a ton of pop art and dialogue bubbles. Overall, its look resembles that of a comic book.
Once you take control of Juliet you’re tasked with killing hoards of zombies. These aren’t the fast moving variety, they’re slow and harmless from far away (this is the first level, more types will be introduced in later stages).
The PR woman standing next to me explained how the game is played. Basically the face buttons are mapped to different attacks. One is for a low attack; the other is for a high attack, and so on. And the up button on the d-pad refills Juliet’s health (she eats a lollipop).
I was easily able to behead zombies without even paying attention, certain types require a certain attack – but most of the time you can just button mash. Though, the PR woman did tell me your score would be higher for using appropriate moves, and even showed me how to jump over a zombie and slice them in half.
The controls felt responsive and I’m positive this was the final build (I unlocked an achievement). Although, the animations still looks a little on the stiff side — Juliet’s movements aren’t smooth (while fighting), it’s like she’s pausing for a split second and then attacks. This didn’t take away from my enjoyment, but I could see how this may bother some. For all I know this could be a stylistic choice, because eventually it started to look cool. And let’s face it; Lollipop Chainsaw is all about looking cool while kicking some zombie ass.
There were a few times when Juliet had to open a gate, these actions were performed via OTE. You have to press a button (X if I remember correctly) and then you have to press one of the sticks in the right direction to make Juliet chainsaw open the gate.
Sometimes I encountered a survivor and it was my job to get them to safety. They have a health bar and you must make sure the zombies don’t kill them. Now this doesn’t sound too fun – it’s an escort mission and almost every gamer hates escort missions.
Well you’re in luck; these aren’t your typical escort missions. If the person you’re trying to save dies you don’t have to start over — they become a super zombie. Now you have to kill them and all the other zombies. This could make a few fans ignore saving people, but if you care about unlocking everything you’ll do all you can to earn the most points. I like this because it’s forgiving and you won’t be forced to restart if someone in your custody dies.
Overall I really enjoyed my brief time with Lollipop Chainsaw. The animations look a little off at first, but it controls like a solid hack and slash adventure. Add a ton of zombies, great music, one too many panty shots, and truckloads of style and you have one enjoyable game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.