Fat Princess, developed by Titan Studios, was revealed last year at E3 2008 and since then, the majority of PlayStation gamers have been waiting patiently for a release date to be set. The game puts an entirely new spin on the classic Capture-the-Flag game mode. While the title left many media personnel impressed after E3, CES brought forth a build that boasted cleaner visuals, tighter controls, and more polished gameplay, leaving the game looking and feeling better than ever.
The idea behind Fat Princess appears quite unique, though only initially, as the core concept is one we’ve seen several times in the past (Capture-the-Flag). The game divides players into two teams, each holding the other team’s Princess hostage. In order to succeed, one side must rescue their Princess while still imprisoning the other sides Princess within their castle walls. To help accomplish this goal, you must fortify your castle, upgrade your character class, collect resources, and feed your captured Princess with cake.
Collecting resources works similar to RTS games from the past, such as Warcraft. Workers can chop down trees for wood or collect rock fragments from larger pieces of rock. These resources can then be utilized to create castle doors or upgrade your character classes in order to unlock new weapons and abilities. Thankfully, you won’t have to drag the resources all the way back to your castle each time. Instead, there are carefully planted outposts strewn through each level that your team can capture. Once occupied, these outposts serve as resource drop-off points as well as healing centers.
Outside of the Worker class, there are four other classes you can choose: Rangers, Mages, Priests and Warriors. To pick a class, you simply run over to that class’s "Housing Unit" and put on a hat that represents that class. Once done, the hat transforms you into your new class. Each class has a starting weapon that is generic to their field. Priests use healing magic, Mages utilize elements, Warriors have their swords and finally, Rangers are equipped with bows. Once you manage to level up a character class, the weapons made available to that class are increased by one. An example of this is the Shotgun that can used by Rangers once they’ve been upgraded.
Control schemes can make or break a title, leaving all of the aspects we’ve previously mentioned a waste of time. Luckily, Fat Princess includes controls that hardcore and casual gamers can pick up and use with ease. There are attack, jump, pick-up, and target enemy buttons. If you hold down the attack button, your character will charge up a stronger attack, but his speed will decline slightly. Thankfully, the incentive to charge attacks is a potential one-hit kill. While this control scheme is simple, it’s fully functional, allowing players of all skill levels to enjoy the game without being discouraged, which in return should give the game a nice lifespan.
Graphically, Fat Princess is an adorable title filled with surprisingly blood-splattered visuals. Each character has a fierce look, but it’s hard to cower when the artistic overview is pushed in the direction of cute. The color palettes within each level design are bright and vivid, but the game also features some darker tones throughout certain maps. It won’t compete on a graphical level with PSN titles like WipEout HD or Quest for Booty, but why would we want it to? It has the perfect art style to complement its concept.
Fat Princess is shaping up to be a premiere single and multiplayer experience that can be picked up and played for a moment or for hours on end. While Capture the Flag is a great mode to play, we’re curious to see exactly what the secret "Soccer" game mode will offer. When we questioned the Fat Princess representative on what it entailed, his lips were sealed, so it looks like we’ll have to wait and see. Anyone on the fence about this game should quickly hop off on the greener side. It’s going to be a hit.