This entry’s probably not gonna be long, because I can’t explain this game. I just can’t.
I got Child of Eden from LoveFilm yesterday. Since it’s the spiritual successor to Rez, and Rez is one of my favourite games of all time, I was excited to play it… but I was quite tired. I did play a couple of stages, and even then I was blown away and basically left speechless. I decided that I’d leave it and come back to it the next day, because I thought I’d be able to give it more accurate critique.
And I couldn’t. 😛 I couldn’t find anything wrong with it then, and I can’t find anything wrong now, apart from its length, but that’s not a problem. Because it’s SUPPOSED to be one of those games you can just stick in every so often and play for a few hours. Kinda like Street Fighter. You can’t play this game for long stints.
I want to start with the graphics, but I’ll go with the gameplay first. 🙂 The gameplay is simple – move your reticle over targets while holding A, and then release to fire. Classic Rail Shooter 101. 😉 If you get into trouble, you can press B to use a Euphoria powerup, which is basically a bomb which clears the screen of any annoying bullets or enemies you can’t get in time. The gameplay is identical to Rez, apart from three things. The first is that YOU are the player – you’re not controlling an avatar. Secondly, health is now just a (pretty) meter in the bottom right (if you want to see it, that is – you can turn the entire HUD off if you want ;)). You don’t use Progress Nodes to level up your form, nor is your form basically your health – you just have a meter. Thirdly, you can now shoot rapid-fire lasers with either X or RT, which are the only things that can hit bullets or purple enemies. If they’d have added any more complexity, Child of Eden would have been too complex for what it’s supposed to be – a chillout game. Any less complexity, it would have probably become boring. So, there’s nothing wrong with the gameplay, it’s 100% pure Rail Shooter, with no added faggotry. 😀
Nowadays the market’s just saturated with games where you shoot, slash or blow enemies’ body parts off, and it’s just… the norm. It’s dull. What makes Child of Eden even more refreshing to play is that you’re not just going through Eden destroying things – you’re purifying them. You can just tell this game was designed to make you feel at peace. Not sure what it’s like with the Kinect, it could be crazy using that instead of a controller, but I actually want to find out. And I’m not a fan of the Kinect. 😀
Let’s get onto the graphics, shall we? Oh my God. I can put my hand on my heart and say that this is THE most beautiful game I’ve ever played. If you don’t believe me, you should look at some gameplay videos, or even some screenshots, but really, the only way to properly experience the indescribable beauty of this game is to play it. And it’s not just the graphics – the way the levels progress is equally beautiful. Take the second stage, Evolution – towards the end, you’re purifying manta rays and whales. When you’ve hit every part of the whale, it starts to fly into space, where you continue purifying it. When you’re done again, it gently scatters into a bunch of stars, which then move to form some sort of shape… a bird. Shapes start to appear near the stars, and after much intrigue, a magnificent phoenix appears from the stars, and starts slowly flying through space as you purify the different targets on its body. When the phoenix appeared, I automatically said “Oh, wow!” 😀 It’s just fantastic.
In addition, it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve seen a live actor in a game. UNLESS Lumi is NOT a live actor. In which case, HOLY SHIT, I’ve never, ever seen a 3D model that realistic. :O
The music is another big part of this game, and all their music is written by a band called the Genki Rockets. I’ve heard of them before, but never outside of any games made by Q Entertainment. I’ve just read about them on Wikipedia, and well… it’s a really strange band – only two people in the band are actually known, and the face of the band is just a fictional character. :S One of the known people actually WORKS for Q Entertainment, so that probably explains why I’ve only ever heard them in Lumines Live, Lumines II and E4 before. But anyway, the music is goddamn amazing. It syncs with the visuals perfectly. And you even have a say in how it sounds. If you press A, you get a clap sound. When you release a lock and fire at the enemies, you get a sound depending on how many enemies were locked. Letting an octa-lock go on the beat or at a musical climax sounds REALLY awesome, and the game even REWARDS you for doing that with extra points. Every sound is also delayed until the next 1/16th, so you can’t possibly mess up the sound of the music if you fail at keeping the rhythm. 😛
I’ll do the F.A.G.G.O.T later, but basically, even though you can’t play it for more than a few hours at a time (because it’s not designed to be), this game is the most beautiful, immersive, fantastic, best-sounding game released this year. The ONLY thing that can possibly stop me from saying “Child of Eden is the best game of 2011” is TES IV: Skyrim. And to be brutally honest, I really don’t believe that’s going to be very good. 😛
Although… that IS what I said before starting up Child of Eden… we’ll see. 😉