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Calabiyau: When Anime Style Meets Hardcore Third-Person Shooter Games

By Cecil Gao
Jan. 18, 2023 updated 01:20

After nearly three years of development, Calabiyau, an anime-style third-person Shooter game developed by Tencent, has finally opened its beta test.

Although the game just started its test, Calabiyau incorporates the advantages of several famous shooter game series with its unique “paper girls” mechanism and adorable anime style, becoming the best anime shooter game in the field.

When your 3D waifus become 2D

Calabiyau's most unique and interesting mechanic is to turn 3D characters into 2D.

As in the background story, the characters player's control are not fighting with their real flesh but some kind of non-conscious body that can be mass-produced with the full function of a human. This body can be transformed from three-dimensional to paper-thin, almost two-dimensional and can attach to buildings for vertical movement and even fly short distances.

A character attached to a wall in 2D form waiting to ambush unaware foes.A character attached to a wall in 2D form waiting to ambush unaware foes.

Characters can also walk and reload weapons in 2D form, which will lower the chances of getting shot.Characters can also walk and reload weapons in 2D form, which will lower the chances of getting shot.

The inspiration for this mechanic is hilarious. In gaming communities, people often call the characters that weebs love "paper girls" to ironically express the harsh truth that their 2D waifus are not real.

Over time, paper girls became quite a famous meme and was eventually turned into a whole new game mechanic by Tencent.

The application of the 2D transform in Calabiyau is extensive and surprising. At this age, when shooter game designs have become very mature, people are used to games with the three main pillars being abilities, items and firearms, and 2D transformation breaks that completely.

Players can use the 2D transformation to hide and sneak around to increase their tactical advantage or use it to mitigate the damage they take in a fierce gunfight. With the game's wind grenades, players can also send characters in their 2D form to hard-to-reach heights and sniper-friendly locations inaccessible in their 3D forms.

Flying while 2DFlying while 2D

Even without the 2D transformation, the rest of Calabiyau's design is stellar. The game has very cute anime-style characters and a great variety of gun skins already available during the beta. As a game where the art style is an important selling point, Calabiyau requires a third-person perspective to show some of the models, but the switch from third to first-person aiming is also very smooth.

However, the game could do a better job of matchmaking balance, and there are often wildly uneven teams, and due to long match lengths, this can be very painful for some players. The game also has some glitches that need to be improved in the sound system and guidance but considering this is the game’s first test, Calabiyau is still hotly anticipated.