The objective of the game's main multiplayer type is to rescue your captured princess. The twist is that the princess cannot be swooped up like a heroine from movies of old; she'll have been force-fed ungodly amounts of cake by the opposing team, making her as heavy as a house. You'll need to work as a team, gathering resources and upgrading your factions abilities in order to successfully infiltrate the opposing castle and rescue your gluttonous princess.
The game's real heart is in its online multiplayer, although single-player components (essentially the multiplayer game with AI bots) are included for good measure. Multiple gameplay modes flesh out the experience, including team deathmatch and territory.
Fat Princess costs £11.99 ($14.99) and is available now from the Playstation Store.
Not content with being a really beautifully designed game, Fat Princess has a lot of humour to boot. Much of the game's comedy stems from a British heritage; it's almost a parody on medieval times. The narration of the single-player story mode is conducted via a "fairy-tale" type approach, with enough nonsense and over-the-top voice work that you'll want to play through the entire campaign. The game also adds a hint of melodrama to its gameplay proceedings; from the ostentatious gore to the outlandish vocal phrases. You will smile and you will laugh.
Don't let the isometric viewpoint and cartoon graphics deceive you - Fat Princess is a deep, deep game. In fact it's so deep that you'll rely on playing the single player first to understand exactly what is going on. There are so many classes and separate objectives in Fat Princess that it can become overwhelming as to exactly what you should tackle. Thankfully, spending time with the game is rewarded with a sense of understanding. If you're playing with those "in-the-know" you'll find Fat Princess to be a deeply rewarding experience. Unfortunately, some of Fat Princess' genius can get lost in translation, resulting in team mates running in circles like headless chickens.
Once you're in a good team, finding your role within it is so rewarding. Do you want to play as the hunter - a class dedicated to gathering resources - or the warrior - a class dedicated to attack? Should you storm the base, or harbour resources and build the catapult? Who should you send as first offensive? Fat Princess is such a deep game we could fill this entire review with intricate details about it. As such, we think discovering the strengths and weaknesses of each of Fat Princess' character types is part of the experience. It's up to you and your team how you tackle each round. The truest sense of sandbox gameplay.
We recommend everyone start out in the single player mode. Fat Princess is a deep game and you'll only go someway to ruining others experiences if you jump straight into the online. Unfortunately, you're forced to learn Fat Princess via trial and error. Explanation is given in the form of a vague textual manuscript and some on-screen hints. Otherwise it's a case of learning the HUD and learning the game. Which can be daunting given the amount there is to discover. But it's also kind of half the fun.
Despite connection and lag issues on launch (which we've overlooked for the purposes of this review, going by Titan Studio's promises that the issues will be resolved soon), we've also encountered frame-rate and freezing issues in both single-player and online. Given the super smooth look of the game it's surprising to see the game simply pause for a few seconds.
Given the isometric look of Fat Princess and the balance of the factions, we found combat to be rather unsatisfying in the game. You can lock on to an opponent with L1 and attack with the Square button. Factions can be levelled up making them more deadly, but combat still remains largely unrewarding. It feels like whenever you get close to an opponent you simply hold L1 and hit the Square button. There's no element of skill. It's hard to imagine a way Titan Studio's could have improved the combat, but that in itself is a double-edged sword because what is included is largely unsatisfying.
Given the nature of Fat Princess' balanced co-operative gameplay, a typical game of Capture The Princess can last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. A lot of work is put into each battle, with the process of levelling up factions, devising cunning capture strategies and simply mounting the decisive attack. As such, Fat Princess is a dream for those who really like to get invested in full-scale multiplayer battles, but it's less than stellar for pick up and play type gamers.
Fat Princess is cunningly original take on multiplayer gameplay complemented by clever mechanics and a glorious art style. If you take the time to learn the game and overlook its flaws, fun is almost guaranteed.