Child of Eden Review (PS3)ESRB:
Category: Action Games, Rhythm
3.2MB Required Hard Disk Space
PlayStation Move Compatible
When Child of Eden for the Xbox 360 Kinect arrived at my home office in June, I wondered what the game was all about. I literally heard nothing about the game before its release. The conspiracy theorist in me believed the game could not possibly be a winner given the lack of hype. Yet much to my surprise, I was reasonably happy with the game. Yes the single player campaign was short and the absence of a multiplayer component hurt the game; however, Child of Eden did deliver a truly unique and enjoyable experience. So how does the PS3 version utilizing the PlayStation Moves motion controls play out? Well you will just have to continue reading.
Visually, Child of Eden is a decent looking game. Many will be marveled by all the colours, shapes and other on-screen visuals flashing about on the screen. Those fans of Geometry Wars or Rez will enjoy the games visuals. It is bright, colourful and very vibrant. The game effectively manages to transport you in a different world and much of that is due to the games unique visuals. The movie sequences, although they look like a bounty ad, are nicely rendered. The games menus are simple and easy to navigate. The framerate in the game is solid and I noticed no major slow-downs as the game ran very smooth even during segments where there is a lot of chaos on the screen. Overall, I enjoyed the games visuals but nothing looked incredibly jaw dropping. Sure it is unique and vibrant but does it push the PS3’s hardware? I am not convinced it does.
My only other concern with the PS3 version of the game is the fact it only does 720p. I almost view this as unacceptable this far into the PS3’s lifecycle. Why the game is not available in 1080p is beyond me. Unfortunately I was unable to assess how good the game looks in 3D as I do not own a 3DTV. So gamers with 3D sets will just have to pick this one up to see the 3D in action which I would not be surprised at all if it looked fantastic.
Child of Eden scores decent marks in this area. Although the game does not feature any voice work or any musical scores from recognizable artists, Child of Eden is a great sounding game. It seems to evolve and grow on you the more you play the game. Every object you strike seems to project a different beat which contributes to the existing beats and the result is musical score that comes together like an orchestra. Child of Eden’s music immerses you in the game and the high tempo techno beats perfectly suit the game. You almost get the feeling you are caught in a mellow rave, if there is such a thing, when playing the game. In any event, I was impressed with the games sound and my only complaint would be the lack of voice work which is replaced by text.
Child of Eden was built for its body motion control capabilities and is advertised as a musical game. That said, Child of Eden has shooter, puzzle and musical elements all rolled into one, making it one of the most unique gaming experiences to date. Child of Eden is a difficult game to define as it does not fit into any one category and let’s face it Child of Eden isn’t exactly a sexy title either. What it is however is a game that is challenging, it will test your patience, surprisingly addictive and an experience all of its own. But it is not for everyone and frankly despite its many positive traits, this game may be collecting dust in my PS3 collection in no time. Before I go any further, let me give you a bit of background in terms of the games storyline.
Well there isn’t much of a storyline here but it has one nonetheless. Those of you that have played Rez, you will be familiar with the games basic premise. Your main task in the game is to save “Project Lumi” from a virus attack. “Project Lumi” is a future version of the internet and is near completion. But it is not just any internet. It is a super internet that contains all the memories and experiences of Earth. Project Lumi’s goal is also to protect a woman named “Lumi” including all of her memories and experiences while on Earth. Oh yes and the game takes place on Eden. Your job is to purify the virus attacks in order to save Lumi. Confused yet? Well I am making it sound much more complicated than it actually is. Frankly, the story inevitably takes a back seat to the real enjoyment of the game which is flinging your arms about and destroying or rather purifying all those pesky virus attacks.
Once you fire up the game, you are treated to a scene that looks more like a laundry detergent ad or some kind of ad for a perfume spray. It seems out of place but it is very abstract and leaves you asking questions just before you embark on your journey. An under-aged model is prominently featured in the game and she is playing the role of Lumi. She is seen walking through a forest like setting that is augmented with CGI. Her appearances are very abstract and will appeal to those artsy types.
Your first ten minutes with the game gives you the basic plotline (in written text) and here is where you become acquainted with the games basic controls. I would have preferred more of a story driven narrative with some kind of voice work. But alas you have to read a bunch of screens at the outside which tells you the games basic storyline. Although you can play with the game with the controller, the game should really be experienced with the Move. The controller simply feels out of place and left me questioning why it even needed to be included in the first place. The Move controls on the other hand are surprisingly very good. They are simple but very responsive.
With the PlayStation Move all you have to do is move your hand with the wand over the enemies (or viruses) and your reticle locks onto them. Once you have locked on to your target, you can flick your wrist and unleash explosions. At first I was exaggerating my movements but after awhile I figured out all I needed to do was to flick my wrist just a tad and the desired blast would follow. The trigger controls your tracer weapon which acts as a machine gun. The damage is small but necessary for certain enemies or as the game calls them viruses. The Move button activates euphoria. There is an alternate control scheme available in the menus but most will likely just stick to the default controls
Overall, the control scheme with the Move works wonderfully and is certainly on par with the Xbox 360 Kinect version of the game. The game moves on rail but maintains a certain pace that is challenging and exhausting at times. I did hit certain parts in the game where I was unsure what I should be doing. Whether it a machine gun attack, trigger euphoria, or simply blasting away there are certain points I would fail and be left a little puzzled why. The game also gets chaotic at times and I was surprised with the level of difficulty. Child of Eden is a challenging game as I even had difficulty getting past the games opening tutorial level.
On the downside, Child of Eden is a one player game. There are no multiplayer or co-op levels in the game. Not to mention the single player only consists of five levels making this PS3 game very short. I was somewhat taken back by the length especially when you consider the price of the game (over 40 bucks). Each level has its own visual theme and at times the game is highly enjoyable. Yet it is repetitive and well not an incredibly deep game either.
Child of Eden does feature some unlockable items that can be placed in Lumi’s Garden. You can also unlock screens, movie clips, and a music video. None of these unlockables interest me but will certainly appeal to some. There is no weapon upgrade system in the game either, so once you have gone through the game I see little in the way of replay value. That being said, there are varying difficulty levels and there is a couple of other tacked on timed modes.
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