Child of Eden

7.0 Overall Score

Written by on July 25, 2011 in

Child of Eden is a game that doesn’t need a complex story, detailed character, or high definition graphics to overwhelm your senses. Child of Eden pulls you in with its entrancing techno music and visual effects that leave you wondering if you are on an acid trip. Similar to Ubisoft and Q Entertainment’s last game together, Rez, Child of Eden is another musically aesthetic game that leaves you in a state of synesthesia. Child of Eden is truly one of a kind and it redefines the motion control genre.

Child of Eden starts with the retelling of the birth of Lumi, the first human born in space. Lumi’s essence was saved onto Eden, a futuristic take on the internet, so that she could be brought back to life later on. The part you play in her story is purifying her memories, which are under attack from digital viruses. The levels, named Archives, are all on-rails and are built around Lumi’s memories with each level having a different portion of her personality. “Evolution” is a level where you travel in an underwater world, shooting jellyfish, sting rays, and aiding a whale in evolution. “Beauty” is a lush level where you purify plants and butterflies, making them blossom and transform the landscape of the level.

 

Child of Eden is playable both with a controller or with the Kinect, but for my review I stuck with playing on the Kinect. The Kinect allows for better accuracy and I felt like I was able to shoot targets faster than with the controller. The controller sticks works fine, but the target selection felt sluggish and it was confusing figuring out which buttons perform different actions, as opposed to the Kinect style of “right hand missiles, left hand lasers”. The game may have both control styles, but the game was created to be played on the motion-controlled hardware like the Kinect.

At your disposal are three different types of weapons. Your right hand controls a lock-on targeting system, Octa-lock, that fires at up to eight enemies at once. By sweeping your hand over enemies you lock-on to them and can then flick your wrist to launch your missiles. This was confusing for me at first because I wasn’t sure how to get the most missiles to launch at once, but by the third level I was a master at getting bonuses for skillfully purifying the maximum viruses at once. Your left hand controls the tracer which shoots rapid fire bullets to take down purple enemies and deflect enemy fire. This came in handy the most and was the easiest to use because you merely just point at the screen and infinite amount of bullets come out of your fingers. In each level you can collect health orbs and smart bombs to aid your purification. Health orbs instantly heal you and smart bombs act as a devastator weapon, destroying all enemies onscreen. What is really pleasing about these weapons is that each one has its own sound effect, with the tracer sounding like snare drums and the lock-on weapon sounding like an assortment of techno sounds. These sounds make each playthrough fun because you can mix your own beats as you shoot your foes!

What really makes Child of Eden stand out is the ability to hear color, see sound, and influence the musical rhythm of the game. I really enjoyed the finale of the Evolution level, where I was tasked to purify a phoenix. As I shot the phoenix, each bullet added a musical note to the background music, making it frantically beautiful. The way you interact with objects in the game is up to you, and each playthrough is different than the last both in the methods you use to cleanse the viruses, and the music that results from each shot fired.  The soundtrack in the game is comprised of popular songs from the Genki Rockets, a band that the game’s creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, is a member of. You really can’t truly enjoy this game without hearing it through surround sound and cranked way up.

Child of Eden is a very short game. With only 6 levels, you can blaze through the game in little over an hour. I myself got stuck on the third level and couldn’t beat it for a day, so my playthrough took longer. The difficulty of the game increases as you get farther in each level and the boss fights at the end of each stage can be particularly daunting if you go into it with little health. I also found that shooting everything and getting all the items within levels was beyond my abilities. The game tracks your percentage of each level purified on the stat page and after playing each level numerous times I still wasn’t coming close to perfecting a level. I also had trouble with the camera and often found myself facing the wrong way while all the action happened behind me. Although the game is on-rails, you still have control of the camera and often I would chase things behind me, not realizing the 5 bombs coming at me from the rear.

At its current price point, $49.99, Child of Eden isn’t a game that is worth the money. The amount of content and replayability in the game is low, and I wish they would have included more levels and more songs. Still though, Child of Eden is a beautiful game and the way it stimulates the sense through music and colors is phenomenally done. If you are looking for an artsy game, or if you have been looking for a new Kinect game to pass the time until this Fall, then I would highly recommend you play Child of Eden, out now on Xbox 360 and coming out September 20th to PS3.

A copy of Child of Eden was sent to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.

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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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