GAME NAME: Child of Light
DEVELOPER(S): Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Massive, Ubisoft Romania
PLATFORM(S): Xbox One(Reviewed), PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, PC
GENRE(S): Platforming, role-playing
RELEASE DATE(S): April 30, 2014
When it comes to video games, I rarely use the words elegance and art. When it comes to Child of Light though, Ubisoft achieved this balance quite nicely. Child of Light has a nice hand painted illustrative quality to it that reminds me of a charming classic illustrative tale you’d find in an old book. Besides its beauty, it plays very nicely in the RPG sense, it gives nods to platforming with a plethora of exploring, puzzle solving and a combat system that’s clever, unique and downright fun.
Child of Light fully commits to its artistic style, it all feels very hand crafted. Every level that you walk through feels like it could be a piece of art by itself, which is something to be said about a game. There is a good amount of level variety as well as enemy variety, so exploring is a very fun experience. The story itself is excellent and definitely has a classic RPG feeling.
You are Aurora, a young princess with a pure heart whose soul is brought to the kingdom of Lemuria. You’ll head on a quest to recapture the three sources of light and defeat the Black Queen and restore the kingdom of Lemuria to its formal and happy glory. The game has a fairy tale vibe that just pulls you in. You start off your quest with being introduced to your firefly friend, his name is Igniculus and he will play a critical role as he gives you clues and assists in battles. Along the way you’ll encounter some friends you can pick up and have quest with you like a traveling Jester that just can’t seem to rhyme and a mouse archer who is lovesick. The great part of all these characters is that they are very memorable and have a lot of personality. The tone and conversation of the characters and the story itself is set with a Shakespearean rhythmic tone so its not just people speaking naturally its very poetic in nature making it easy to follow and simplistic yet very appealing and unique.
The music and sound in the game is great as well. Tones set are great for enemy encounters and the fighting encounters are audibly memorable. Outside of the beautiful graphics and art, Child of Light functions as an extremely fun and balanced platforming RPG. There are plenty of nooks and crannies and hidden treasure to find within Lemuria, which is highly appealing. What’s also great is the leveling system. For defeating enemies and leveling up you can add points to specific spots in your skill tree, whether its strength, magic, defense, you have a lot of variety to choose from and strategy to deploy based on your play style. You can also equip crystals to your items to further boost your stats for yourself and also your companions.
When it comes to controls and you aren’t fighting you just have basic run and jump and later on can unlock the ability to fly. Child of Light handles fighting by running into enemies like a classic RPG, from there you’ll be able to choose to defend, by blocking the ability for enemies to knock you down and interrupt you, or attack, heal, revive or use magic. One very cool system in use here is the Active Time Battle Systems. This is a timer on the bottom of the screen with a cast bar on the right and all the enemy photos on it, and they all run to the end, once a photo hits the cast section actions or fighting begins. You can use your firefly friend Igniculus to glow and slow your enemies down on the Active Time Battle system bar enabling you to attack more but you do run out of firefly power so you have to be strategic. Most enemies come from the dark so the light you possess affects them a lot in a positive way for you.
If you are a fan of classic RPGs and love platforming games I highly recommend Child of Light. Not only are the graphics and sound beautiful it has a great story and awesome Active Time Battle System. There is a lot of depth, exploring and replay value to this title; this is a game definitely worth checking out.