The short answer is: all three.
Warner Bros. brought a new build of Lollipop Chainsaw to the Game Developers Conference, which took place inside an arcade full of zombies. The level (level four, to be specific) began with a cutscene of Juliet Starling and her father riding a motorcycle. Juliet sat in the sidecar with her boyfriend’s… talking head. This awkward first meeting with the parents got stranger when Juliet’s dad questioned Nick about how he was going to help with the family business: killing zombies.
“Is he going to throw stars and chinchilla’s with his tongue?,” Juilet’s father asked. “Nick’s tongue is very limber,” Juliet replied and Nick humbly countered with: “Sir, she doesn’t know that.” Dialogue in the game was written by Hollywood screenwriter James Gunn who adapted Grasshopper Manufacture’s original script.
The plan (which was illustrated with childlike chalk art for a comedic effect) was to break into the 4G fun center, a building shaped like an 80’s arcade cabinet, and rescue Rosalind. Three zombies, playing zombie killing video games, were waiting for Juliet inside. Lollipop Chainsaw assigns B button for jump, A/Y for chainsaw attacks (one light, the other heavy), and X for kicks and other aerobatic tricks. Compared to fellow hack and slash hero Travis Touchdown, Juliet is more flexible. Instead of wrestling moves she drill kicks zombies and vaults off their heads, which repositions Juliet out of danger if she’s surrounded and in position to keep a combo going.
As you would expect, zombies have brain dead AI and stagger around most of the time and occasionally lunge at Juliet. I was surprised how much damage zombies can take. Even when Juliet swings her chainsaw it takes multiple swings to cut off a zombie’s arms or legs. That doesn’t kill them either. Armless zombies lurch on and legless zombies crawl towards Juliet. Zombies can take punishment, but there is a trick to defeating them faster. If you can make a zombie dizzy with a flurry of kicks and chainsaw slashes you can use a slow, but powerful slice. Even with this technique, most zombies take a few combos to defeat.
After slicing through three zombies, Juliet was digitized into Suda 51’s take on Pac-Man. This mini-game had Juliet run around a maze as a sphere-shaped yellow monster with dog ears and fez tried to gobble her up. I had to grab eight keys without alarming the giant yellow head. When I was spotted, the yellow sphere turned red and angrily chased Juliet.
Lollipop Chainsaw switched back into a zombie slasher after completing the level. Back in the arcade, there were more zombies to dice up and survivors to save. I raced up rafters to rescue a girl hanging onto a ledge for her life and a guy surrounded by zombies. I dispatched the zombies, but couldn’t get to the girl in time. (I guess I shouldn’t have horded all of those coins…) I managed to save the guy who rewarded Juliet with more coins. I spent these at a nearby shop to buy a new attack for Juliet and a couple of lollipops to restore health. Other items in the shop include “MP3s” (not actual MP3s, but songs for use in game) and concept art.
Completing this area brought me into another video game, one inspired by Elevator Action. Nick makes a joke saying that he wouldn’t mind doing some side-scrolling with Juliet. I went up an elevator and ran into a pixilated cowboy that fired bullets at Juliet. While it wasn’t obvious, the Elevator Action area has a foreground and background. Moving between these is the key to dodging bullets. I ran through this area opening doors to move forward and bouncing off zombie heads (a QTE mini-game).
Close to the end of the level, Juliet went into full cheerleading mode… after affixing Nick’s head to a headless body. As Juliet waved her pom-poms, Nick danced and I had to press a series of ten buttons to make him breakdance to open a door.
The final area I got to play was a massive zombie fight with a stripper pole in the middle. Players can latch on to it and spin around to hit multiple zombies. That kept zombies away, but the pole vanished after using it. I went resorted to my hit-to-make-dizzy strategy to take down the undead horde.