Ubisoft Montreal – Ubiart – Multiformat
Child of Light is a breathtakingly beautiful platform style RPG, with some of the most awe inspiring visuals ever seen. The whole game looks hand painted and looks incredible. From the detailed greenery of the woodlands, the bustling market towns to rolling emerald sea, it’s an absolute feast for the eyes. Accompanying the stunning aesthetic is the wonderful music, which has a serenely melancholic tone.
Although it’s beauty is something to behold, the story makes it a bitter sweet experience. Princess Aurora is only young, but she suffers from an illness and passes away in her sleep. As she dies, she also awakes in the mysterious Kingdom of Lumeria. From here she sets off on a quest to get back to her father. On her way she encounters many characters and winds up on a crusade to restore light to this strange kingdom which has been engulfed in darkness by an evil queen. Some of the people she encounters decide to join Aurora in her journey to restore light to the Lumeria and get back to her father.
The gameplay is a cross between side scrolling platformer and turn based JRPG style combat, which does get a bit tedious at times, as there are a few sections where there’s a lot to discover but there’s also a lot of enemies to fight as well. Although the fights are easily avoidable, with this essentially being an RPG, there’s gonna be a lot of levelling up required so you need the exp, so it’s best to stand your ground rather than flee. The difficulty is fairly easy. In the entire game, which I clocked at around 10-11 hours, I only died once. Not including the main part of the storyline at the very beginning of course as that’s the whole premise of this grim delight.
The writing in this fairytale is wonderful. Although at times quite twee, it’s poetic wordplay makes a refreshing change to the majority of by the numbers quests seen in RPG’s these days, and surprisingly for a Ubisoft game, you actually feel something for the characters. Each fighting their own individual battles as well as the collective one, it’s always a charm to see the conversations between the main characters. There are sections in which Aurora can look in on her father, and a times can be heart breaking, adding even more of an emotional punch to the story. The music plays as much a part in the game as the visuals and story, keeping a serene, at times melancholy tone throughout the adventure.
Child of Light is a wonderful game, which toes the line of style over substance but just about gets away with it. If it was any longer it may run the risk of becoming too repetitive, but fortunately there’s enough to the game to keep you invested. There are times where it feels a bit bleak, but it’s counteracted with the beautiful, creating a wonderfully arty experience.