E3 2012 Impressions: Lollipop Chainsaw (Microsoft Xbox 360/Sony Playstation 3)

Do you ever have one of those days where everything seems like it’s going perfectly, and all of a sudden, a horde of zombies makes a mess of things? Well, neither have I, but such is the premise of Lollipop Chainsaw. Juliet Starling was biking her way to school only to see it savaged and in ruins courtesy of the walking dead. Not to worry though, as her duffel bag carries a chainsaw for just such an occasion, and it’s off to punish the undead.

Lollipop Chainsaw plays like a full on action game rather than a survival horror, so you can equate the experience to be something close to Bayonetta or Suda51’s own No More Heroes. You’re given a number of attacks in both the light and strong varieties, as well as the ability to jump around or chop at zombies that are crawling after you. Sometimes your strikes will simultaneously decapitate multiple opponents and are awarded coins that increase your score (as well as a stylish scene showing your handiwork). A meter will charge up as you deal damage, allowing you to go into a berserk mode of sorts, much like the God or War or Devil May Cry games and inflict punishment more efficiently.

If you get roughed up during battle, there are lollipops that can be collected and later used to restore your health (which is depicted as a series of lollipops as well). There are also active time event sequences you have to be on the alert for, such as buses careening out of control towards you. Hitting the button shown at the right time will launch you into a dramatic scene of Juliet dodging out of the way. All of this stuff is all par for the course as far as action games go, but it’s done very well and the over the top nature of the game should appeal to Suda51 fans or enthusiasts of the utter ridiculous.

Along the way, you’ll encounter civilians that need rescuing. They each have their own life meter, and if you manage to defeat all of the zombies before it runs out, a helicopter will swoop by and pick them up. If you fail, they’ll rise from the dead and become your enemy during the encounter. Often times, they are much tougher than the standard zombies, mostly due to the extensive life meter they are granted. If a zombie gets too close to Juliet, you’ll have to button mash your way out as zombies will continue to surround and pile on you until you can break free.

Much of the demo is spent disposing of zombies around the campus while rescuing civilians. At the end, you are treated to a cutscene that is played up in a serious manner and then transforms into a hysterical bit surrounding a game mechanic that was sadly not present during this portion of the game. The dialogue is outrageous, the cinematics are hilarious, and I could definitely see myself getting into this game. Lollipop Chainsaw officially launches Tuesday, June 12th.



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