Ubisoft has created some memorable experiences for me these past few years. From the thrill of Far Cry 3 and Zombi U, to the zaniness of Rayman Legends and Far Cry Blood Dragon. Even Just Dance plays an integral role in my fitness lately. When I first heard that Ubisoft was developing an RPG that is inspired by Japanese RPGs, I knew that I couldn’t ignore it. While initial screenshots depicted a game that resembled the Metroidvania style gameplay of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with a hint of Odin Sphere, the final product on the other hand is much more.
Child of Light’s story is presented in a very fairy tale-like manner. After a brief opening, players control a young girl named Aurora, who is trapped in the world of Lemuria and must fight to get back home. The first few minutes of the game a reminiscent of games like Limbo, complete with some box puzzles. This changes when you encounter your first monster. Combat is turn based using meters to determine who can act first. After the meter reaches a certain point, you may select an action and will have to wait for the action to be cast. Stronger attacks require more action time and can be interrupted by enemy attacks, requiring players to carefully plan each action. Fortunately, enemies also have to play by these rules and can be interrupted as well. Think of the meters as something similar to Grandia II or the concept of staggering foes in Final Fantasy XIII.
Aurora and her allies do not acquire new weapons, instead they equip various gemstones known as Oculi. Oculi function similar to the various gems present in the Diablo series and can be fused together to create new gems or create better versions of existing ones. Equipping a Ruby on a weapon will give it a fire elemental, while placing the same gem on your body will increase fire resistance. Additionally, these gems can be gifted to other players who have a U-play account.
Visually, Child of Light is quite beautiful. The engine used for this game, is the same one used to design Rayman Legends, which works quite well for this fairy tale RPG. There are many details throughout the world that you will not find in many RPGs including strange creatures that seem to hide when you approach them and impressive transparency effects. Fairly early in the game, Aurora gains the ability to fly, which makes exploration much more enjoyable without removing any of the challenge. The music is very well done, especially the battle music which is particularly catchy. There is little voice acting in this game, but none of your characters are silent and converse through little cut-scenes throughout the game.
Child of Light is a game worth getting. $15 may seem like a lot for a downloadable title, but players should be able to get over a dozen hours out of this game just to complete the story. My only regret with this game is playing it on normal mode, which according to Ubisoft should actually be labeled as Casual mode. If you’d like a challenge, play on hard mode. While Child of Light may not need a sequel, I would like to see Ubisoft take more risks like this one and create games similar to it. The game is available on most platforms including the Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and PC. If you enjoy RPGs, be sure to check this game out, there don’t seem to be many new RPGs on consoles in the near future.
Child of Light is rated Optimal.