VR is capable of miraculous things.
It can transport us across the world without ever requiring us to get out of our seats. It can educate us about microscopic worlds, or the vastness of outer space. It can terrify, and it can inspire. And now, VR is offering the world its greatest miracle to date: tattooed babies in fedoras beating the pacifiers out of each other.
This abomination looks like something you’d see if you dropped acid and then fell asleep watching Baby Einstein (which is not the worst way I can think to spend a Saturday afternoon). Bebylon: Battle Royal is an upcoming arena brawler from Kite and Lightning. The gameplay looks to borrow heavily from genre-classics such as the always amazing Power Stone and the surprisingly competitive Shrek Super Slam (seriously, people have tournaments to play a Shrek game. That knowledge is what gets me out of bed in the morning).
However, Bebylon replaces the super powered warriors and fantasy creatures of a more traditional arena fighting game with honest-to-goodness infants that look like they crawled straight off of an Ed Hardy T-Shirt.
It seems that players will select a diminutive destroyer and then engage in Thunder Dome style skirmishes. The losing baby will be flung from his or her battle-stroller and launched into the crowd of cheering, blood thirsty toddlers. There are a lot of sentences there that I honestly thought I would never write in my entire career. And it’s only Monday.
Bebylon is a surprising entry – to put it mildly – from a studio like Kite and Lightning. The company’s earlier work is a mix of either charmingly rendered immersive experiences – such as Neuro VR – or cleverly produced tie-ins for existing properties such as The Voice or Insurgent. Today’s announcement of a baby fighting game can therefore be considered less of a curveball and more of an out of control meteorite dipped in cocaine from such a traditionally straight laced VR organization.
A representative from the studio tackled the juxtaposition on a Bebylon Reddit post where the user comments could be summed up with one collective sentiment: why?
“The story to be revealed later! But also, immortal babies fighting each other makes us laugh,” The representative wrote. “…The world of Bebylon is going to be amazesauce. All of the art and gameplay is early days stuff that we’re sharing earlier than we normally ever d. We wanted to get the core of the idea down solid and so far people who play it come out of it laughing hysterically. Our biggest challenge is making a comedy game that’s fun to play over and over. But…we aren’t stopping there. There’s an entire world and story around the arenas.”
These snarky replies give further credence to my developing theory that the entire staff of Kite and Lightning has been exposed to red kryptonite (look it up casuals) and has therefore experiencing the subsequent change in personality until the offending stone can be placed behind a few solid inches of led.
In any case, Bebylon is coming and we as a society need to begin to prepare lest we be destroyed in its wake. It will ultimately be releasing on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PS VR and – according to the studio – currently has a release date of “when it’s done.”