Child of Light (Xbox 360) Review
Child of Light, the new title from Ubisoft, is a delightfully gorgeous pseudo-indie fairytale role playing game. Not something you'd expect from the team that brought you Far Cry 3.
The story is mixture of Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland but with a Studio Ghibli-esque take. You play as Aurora, a girl from 1895 Austria who succumbs to an ailment causing her to fall asleep. While those around her mourn, Aurora seemingly wakes up in the mythical world of Lemuria, a world which has had its sun, moon and stars stolen by the Black Queen.
Aurora is tasked with recovering the stolen celestial bodies, ultimately reuniting with her father. As with any RPG, Aurora is joined on this journey by a playable companion and several unlikely allies she meets on the way.
Made using the UbiArt Framework engine, previously used on Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends, Child of Light is full of amazingly beautiful hand-drawn 2D landscapes which make it feel like an interactive story book.
In regards to gameplay, Child of Light, feels like a mixture of equal parts 2D platformer, puzzler and JPRG. I found the combat system quite easy to get a hang of, but it also made mastering it quite satisfying as well. Landing a hit on an enemy can interrupt their move, so this means careful planning on when and which type of attack to use.
Your companion, Firefly, can also be of help in battle. You or a 2nd player can control him to heal allies, grab power ups or even slow down the refresh time of an enemy. As I mentioned, this game is part puzzler and you can use you Firefly to solve environmental puzzles outside of combat, such as lighting up dark areas and helping to gather hard to reach items.
After each successful battle, characters gain experience points which go towards levelling up a character. Once you reach a new level you can spend points in your characters skill trees, tailoring the character and experience to what you think is best.
Early into the game Aurora is given the power of flight. This helps with exploring various areas of the game, but is also amazingly beautiful to behold.
Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of the music in the game. It suited the theme of the story quite well - a depressing fairy tale - but I just didn’t feel excitement or reason to rise up because of it.
Child of Light is an amazingly beautiful game with throwbacks to JRPG’s and platform gaming of the past. It’s a treat to see something like this from one of the larger game studios. If this is an example of what's to come in the future of gaming, let me sign up for more now.
Child of Light is available now on PS3, PS4, XBox 360, Xbox One, PC and Wii U.