A new title coming to Xbox One at the end of April, 2014, has sparked the imagination of gamers around the globe. Child of Light combines genres to give us a side-scrolling platform role-playing game with stunning artwork, impressive writing and a smart turn-based combat system. Fans of RPGs and platform games will be instantly taken with the magical kingdom of Lemuria, but even those unfamiliar to the genres will find something to enjoy here, even if it is just the beautiful visuals.
The protagonist of Child of Light, Aurora, is a girl from Austria in the year 1895. Upon falling asleep one day, she finds herself transported to the mythical world of Lemuria, where she must work to save the kingdom from the Dark Queen. It’s a charming coming of age story, where Aurora must take on the Dark Queen’s vassals to recover the sun, the moon and the stars; it’s the only way that she can return home.
If the plotline, along with the beautiful watercolor-style landscapes of the game, convince you that this is a title best suited to those who’d rather avoid any action in their gaming then you may have been lulled into a false sense of security. When Child of Light gets going its turn-based battle system is a challenge for even the most experienced RPGers. Not everyone is a fan of the turn-based fighting system that characterized franchises such as Final Fantasy, but Child of Light has worked wonders in balancing the turn-based action with a real-time mechanic, meaning you’ll always have something to do.
The timer within the turn-based system isn’t as simple as in some RPG titles, but instead offers a two stage process where you must first decide how you’re going to act, be that attacking, defending or using an item. The second stage details the specific action that you want to take, and said actions will take different times to complete. A melee attack, for example, can be executed quickly, whereas a more devastating elemental magic assault has a long casting time. It’s an intelligent system that keeps you constantly on your toes and thinking ahead.
Aurora isn’t the only playable character within Child of Light. There’s also her friend, a firefly named Igniculus. You can control Igniculus yourself as a single player, or alternatively if you’d prefer to team up with a friend this is a game that supports a local two player cooperative mode. Where Aurora can use her exploration skills, including the ability to fly with her fairy wings, to look around the world, Igniculus can reveal hidden areas and interact with objects. Where Aurora will use her combat skills to dispatch enemies, Igniculus has powerful healing powers and stun effects to help you manage the turn-based battles. A two player campaign in an RPG is unusual, and this is a nice feature of Child of Light, particularly as both characters can be used both inside and outside of combat.
Lemuria is a beautifully rich world, and as you make your way through the game you will encounter a wealth of different creatures, locations and landscapes. The 2D scrolling scenes are surprisingly sizeable, with plenty to explore and lots of problem solving opportunities along the way. You’ll also be able to level up your characters as you go in a typical RPG fashion, and a crafting system lets you combine the gems that you’ll pick up as you make your way through the game to improve your weapons and armor. You can even trade gems with friends, as gems common in your world could be rare in the world of your friend.
Child of Light comes with quite a pedigree, created by Ubisoft Montreal and using the UbiArt Framework used for the titles Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends. The game is from Patrick Plourde, who was the Creative Director for Far Cry 3, and Jeffrey Yohalem, the winner of the Writers Guild of America Award. Hand drawn landscapes rendered with watercolor team perfectly with the carefully crafted writing from Yohalem, leading this game to be dubbed a playable poem.
Whether you’re into platform or RPG games, Child of Light will captivate your attention with an interesting plot and incredible artwork. Available on PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, this is a title that many gamers look set to enjoy.
Will you be getting your hands on a copy of Child of Light? What do you think of the style of artwork that Ubisoft has incorporated? Have your say in the comments below.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 04/15/2014