• Art and video games sometimes go hand in hand; Child of Light is one such instance. At quick glance this seems like an indie title however look a little deeper and you will find an engaging game that has been hand crafted with love, care and a massive attention to detail. This simply is a masterstroke of gaming goodness that all gamers should play. The symbiosis between idea and implementation is perfect, I can truly think this game looks and plays exactly like the designers wanted it to. There is a slight issue with the forced rhythm pacing but that’s negligible. Let’s dive a bit deeper and explore why this is such a clever title.

    The story is one that defies convention and right away we are put in a position that does not often happen in gaming. We play the role of a young girl called Aurora who gets an illness which causes her to fall asleep and when she wakes up all has changed. The land of Lemuria has had the sun, moon and stars stolen by Umbra (the dark queen). It’s the task of an unlikely hero to recover these worldly elements and find her father the Duke. This swaps around the social class by having a young girl save her father and not vice versa. To me this represents evolution in gaming terms and lets us know that it is possible to change what we always thought was right. During the game we witness firsthand the transformation of a young, innocent child into the heroic feminine character who stops at nothing to find her father and the elements.

    To say the visuals in Child of Light are lovely is a disservice, the distinctive art style is sumptuous. Every single minute of every level is a work of art, the watercolor vistas are breathtaking. The environmental effects of light, dark and wind are done perfectly. Aurora’s hair flows in the direction we are moving in, as an example. Each character animation is smooth, the boss battles as well as the normal grunt battles are handled with joyous affection. Not to be outdone the musicality is a very strong, soothing melodic rain down.  Even though there is danger in every corner the music always set me at ease and really helped in the overall flow and immersion.

    A RPG is only as good as the combat mechanics and the narration. The combat here is turn based but there is real time elements mixed in as well as the normal movements. The bar at the bottom of the screen shows you what is going to happen and who will move in the next few turns. This instantly makes you plan your attacks wisely where you pretty much need to think two moves ahead. The meter is split between a “casting” and “waiting” bits, if you are clever enough to hit an enemy while they are casting then they can lose their turn and be interrupted. However for every force there is an equal and opposite force and hence the enemy can do the same to you.

    Companions are also aplenty here with one in particular taking a leading role in aiding Aurora. A small blue firefly named Igniculus (of all names). He has many roles as these include, stunning enemies, lighting the way in dark caves, healing and helping to solve puzzles. He is a massive help in all of the above aspects and really feels very intuitive to control him. During battles he can blind the enemy slowing them and letting your team get the upper hand. He is fed with little sprites and these run out, so you might have to make the choice of whether you will heal or blind enemies. The meter fills up slowly but during battles it’s tough to choose. There are also a few other companions which will help in your team, these can be obtained from normal story progression or by taking up some side quests. I loved getting lost on purpose and fulfilling side quests was a great joy. There is also a skill tree and tons of items to find during exploration. The skill tree is possibly the weakest aspect as it’s not really novel compared to the rest of the game. The crafting mechanic is also pretty basic, but maybe these two aspects are not that bad. However since the rest of the game is so well polished these aspects stick out.

    Child of Light is hauntingly beautiful with its artistic watercolor vistas, stunning character animations and all round package. The music is so right it’s hard to explain it unless you actually play. All I can say is that this is innovative, original and a game that should be in everyone’s library.  The price is just silly and the 10-12 hour campaign gives you plenty to wrap your hands around. Only the average skill tree and crafting let this down and stop it from being a perfect game. Truly just buy this and enjoy the ride, this will forever haunt you if you don’t.

    This review was conducted on code provided by the folks over at Xbox.

    Child of Light - Review
    A game that shows how art can be playable. The masterful brush strokes are visible in each level and each interaction,
    OUR SCORE9
    Positives
    • Stunning art direction, truly novel
    • A wonderful combat system that constantly keeps battles fresh and always wanting to engage instead of running away.
    • A story which challenges social conventions.
    Negatives
    • Average skill tree and crafting system.
    9Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
    8.6

    About The Author

    UK Editor

    A gamer that loves to play games and write about them. Just living the dream.