Child of Light Review
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Child of Light Box Art
System: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3*, PC, Wii U
Dev: Ubisoft Montreal
Pub: Ubisoft
Release: April 30, 2014
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Fantasy Violence

All of Aurora's party members have a skill tree with three possible branches, but Child of Light is too compact an experience to truly take advantage of this deep kind of character customization. Characters level up every two to three fights, filling in the skill tree at a breakneck pace, and it's not difficult to fully complete the tree by simply exploring and doing side-quests while playing the game. The tree provides interesting strategic choices in theory, but in practice the choices only matter early in the game.

Child of Light Screenshot

The equipment crafting system fares better, allowing the player to craft magical gems that provide characters with specific bonuses. Most important among these are the gems that add elemental damage to a character's weapon and can be swapped out to give a distinct combat advantage in different areas. It's not long before the party will encounter fights with mixed elemental strengths and weaknesses, challenging the player to swap characters or swap in the party's one elemental spellcaster. It's a simple but nice system that works much better than the skill trees in a short RPG such as this.

I've mentioned game length a number of times because the only big problem with Child of Light is that it's over just a bit too soon. Gameplay can be extended via thorough exploration and the occasional side quest, but just a few more hours of content would have been nice. This is particularly because it feels like the RPG systems underpinning the gameplay could have used a bit more room to breathe. They wouldn't fit in a 40-hour epic, but 15 hours might have been nice.

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Perhaps I'm just greedy, though. Playing Child of Light is such a delightful and immersive experience that it's sad to see it end. Minor quibbles aside, this is one of those titles that anybody who loves games for their artistry won't want to pass up. Yes, the gameplay is a nice mix of accessibility and depth (RPG veterans will want to play on hard mode), but more importantly, Child of Light touches that part of the human experience that echoes through time in our greatest legends and stories. You'll want to grow, fight and soar through the air with Aurora. You'll want to explore and see what enchanted wonder or horror lies around the next corner. And at the end, you'll feel both satisfied and a little bit sad that you have to leave Lemuria.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: April 28, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
5.0
Graphics
Absolutely, lushly gorgeous from tip to toe.
4.5
Control
Flying is excellently controlled and fun, combat is easy to pick up but has hidden depths.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack is the best, but the game could have used voice acting to help establish better-flowing verse.
3.5
Play Value
Child of Light is a lovely dream that is over just a bit too soon.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Child of Light is a playable poem complemented with a story carefully crafted in verse and rhyme. Step into a living painting, the breathtaking scenery of Lemuria is an invitation to explore a long lost world.
  • Created by Ubisoft Montréal using the UbiArt Framework, Child of Light is an RPG inspired by fairy tales.
  • Across your journey through Lemuria you will encounter many eccentric creatures, from spirits of the forest to talking mice to wicked witches and evil sea serpents. Discover a vast land with iconic locations and exciting dungeons that will evolve as Aurora regains the stolen lights.
  • Dive into a new Adventure-RPG world. Fight enemies using an Active-Time Battle System alongside the firefly Igniculus and other members of Aurora’s party. Control Aurora and Igniculus on their quest to recover the sun, the moon and the stars using asynchronous abilities. Defeat the dark creatures of Lemuria and face off against the Queen of the Night.
  • Beat your enemies using a deep party system and the varied skill trees of your party.
  • Play with a friend using the seamless drop-in drop-out cooperative multiplayer.

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