Child of Eden is the spiritual successor to Res but has really gotten the main gaming attention thanks to Ubisoft using it as the opening to their E3 2010 conference and demonstrating it’s Kinect integration.
So is Child of Eden a Kinect masterpiece or yet another sad cash in on the hype?
The story behind Child of Eden is based around a young lady, who is actually an artificial intelligence being trapped inside a universe, which is actually a computer program and who is being attacked (or you are being attacked) by viruses, which could or could not be real viruses…
Needless to say the story behind Child of Eden isn’t that well fleshed out or important enough to really pay that much attention to, what is important and what you realise very quickly is that the universe and time that this game exists in is exceptionally beautiful in it’s own way and incredibly emotive.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi has created a wonderous world that while doesn’t make the most amount of sense to me is still a great place to exist in, when playing you feel that desire to save Lumi and at the same time feel you are completely outnumbered even if you are obviously far more powerful than the rest of the creatures that exist in the archives.
The gameplay is far simpler than you would ever imagine it would be from watching any video’s, simply there are three different gameplay options.
Your right hand controls the special blue lasers, you wave your hand around locking onto as many targets as you can and then quickly flick your hand to unleash a horde of homing missiles.
Your left hand controls the purple laser which is a quick firing gun that does less damage but is incredibly powerful against incoming missiles and bosses.
The last weapon at your disposal is Euphoria which is a mass bomb that detonates then you throw both your hands in the air.
The targeting mechanism is very very good and it genuinely feels better playing Child of Eden with the Kinect rather than with a controller, granted it is far more difficult that way but it is far more entertaining.
You traverse through levels pretty much on rails taking out waves of enemies until finally reaching the boss of the level who you normally have to take out in stages.
And that’s it, the game is that simple. Granted it’s beefed up a bit with some videos, artwork, some garden or something and achievements but at it’s core it’s an on rails shooter.
That’s not to say that’s a bad thing, I genuinely had a lot of fun with Child of Eden until I finished the third stage and it wouldn’t let me go to the fourth stage without gaining more stars from one of the first 3 worlds.
This sort of padding annoys me and is the consequence of people complaining that a game is to short. I feel a game should be the length required to tell the story and complete it without grinding. An on rails shooter shouldn’t last 15-20 hours and if you find you’re sending your players back to redo stages to increase the timeline then you are doing something wrong.
But that really is the only disappointment I have had with Child of Eden and my time reviewing it has been a pleasure, which is something I can say is not always the case.
It’s really difficult to score a game as simplistic as this but the gameplay is exactly what it should be.
Design and Presentation: 9/10
Child of Eden is a design masterpiece, something entirely fresh and original for this generation and while I don’t want all my games to look like this i thoroughly enjoyed it.
There isn’t much gameplay time in this title but it’s also a very cheap title and if you have a Kinect then you are going to want to give this a go. Their motion tracking implementation is one of the best around.
It’s weird, psychedelic and all together kooky but at the same time I really enjoyed all my time with it and that to me is what really counts in the end. Well worth the money and time invested in it.
Played on Xbox 360
Child of Eden was reviewed by Gavin Mannion