When Ubisoft announced this game, the art looked striking to me. I was even more excited that the game was an RPG. A girl crowned with red and a firefly guide, trekking through a land where light and dark did collide. The platforming elements were solid as well as the leveling system too. The story by nursery rhyme keeps players immersed through and through. With a price of only $15, don’t let it fall from your sight. Here’s a review of Ubsoft’s new game: Child of Light.
It’s 1895, and a young girl named Aurora has fallen under a spell that causes her to sleep. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a new world. This world is called Luminia, and it is ruled by the black queen. The land was once a place of happiness and light, but the black queen stole the sun, moon, and stars that gave this land its beauty. Aurora, armed with a sword and her firefly guide, must find these elements and bring light back to Luminia.
The platforming elements are reminiscent of a Castlevania game. Players can go to any place that is on their map. As players continue through the game, secret areas will be accessible and grant players more powerful tools to help them. As far as games go, that’s where the platforming stops. The rest of the game is undoubtedly RPG everywhere else. Fighting enemies in this game is an Active-Time battle. Characters can speed themselves up to attack more often, or slow others down to stop them from attacking as much. A unique thing about this fighting is the element of Ignculus, the firefly. In combat, he too can be used to slow down enemies, or pick up “wishes” on the battlefield. These wishes replenish energy for Igniculus and restore health to the characters. The battle system seems simple, but it takes a bit of time to really master what you can do in it. Even so, the game keeps things interesting with the subtle elements of battle. Between using Igniculus, elemental attacks, and timing, there is a lot of strategy in the game.
Alongside that, the level up system is different from other games. The characters have three lines of powers they can use, and players get to choose how the characters level up. It’s a throwback to older RPGs, and it is good to see revived in the gaming world. The game has a straight forward story and premise, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. The story always stays interesting. The characters the player meets have their own quirks and charm about them. The dialogue between them keeps the game dynamic as well. One series of dialogue is a fun interaction that can make players laugh; the next one after that makes players think of bigger issues of freedom and life. It’s a charm that is hard to master, but Child of Light hits the nail on the head.
The art style really sets Child of Light apart from other games out there. The style is similar to Rayman, brought by the UbiArt engine. Most of the game looks 2D, but the characters also feel really alive. In battle the characters have more depth as 3D models in the 2D world. The world itself looks beautiful, each area has a unique feel to it. The enemies you face as well look fantastic.
The music for this game is wonderful. The melodious piano and violin while adventuring gives way to faster orchestra in battle. Each area has their own adventuring soundtrack. The other worthy audio of note is the narrator. It may sound strange, but the narrator gives the game more emphasis on its unique storytelling as a children’s nursery rhyme. The voice sounds like a mother tucking a child into bed and softly telling them a bedtime story. It’s another layer of immersion that gives the game it’s character.
There is a multiplayer element to the game. One player can control Igniculus in battle. They can slow down enemeies, heal allies, and pick up health and mana on the battlefield. Out of battle, they can help with solving puzzles and lighting up darkened passages to show the way. It’s a bit shallow of a multiplayer, but there’s nothing wrong with it either.
The landscape is beautiful, the characters are memorable, and the game has a unique atmosphere that makes it one of a kind. Each element of the game is well made and is useful. There isn’t one element that feels wasteful or unimportant throughout all the game. In short: Child of Light is one of the strongest RPG games of the year so far.
The PlayStation 3 version of this game was used to review.
Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Massive, Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Ukraine, Ubisoft Bucharest
Release Date: April 30, 2014
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC Digital: Yes
Price: $14.99US, €14.99 EU Rating: ESRB: E 10+ PEGI: 7
Online Pass: No