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Child Of Eden Review

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Prepare for a blown mind

★★★★

While curmudgeons in the Tate Modern Members' Room will argue that video games can’t be considered art as they’re designed for commercial success, rather than as a personal quest for truth, the idea that certain games – which are driven by the unique vision of a single designer – are as important as any gallery exhibit is beginning to win favour in the art world. And if the time ever comes when new games receive the same kudos that’s heaped on finalists in the Turner Prize, Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Child Of Eden will doubtless be considered a modern masterpiece.

Much like the visionary designer’s cult classic, Rez – which appeared on the PS2 and Dreamcast in 2001 – Mizuguchi’s latest mind-fuck is a hypnotic blend of shooting and rhythm action, and the closest you’ll ever get to an acid trip without popping a dodgy pill.

Set in a possible future where mankind has left Earth and all human knowledge is stored on the internet, now renamed Eden, the game is an on-rails shooter where you battle to purge the digital world of viruses, with bonus points awarded if you blast swarms of nasties in rhythm with the bangin’ techno soundtrack. And as the game takes you through a mind-bending variety of worlds that mix the mechanical with the natural – and see you battling enormous bosses which include a giant whale that transforms into a phoenix – Child Of Eden is unlike anything else on the shelves, and is an experience you’ll never forget.

But for a truly mind-blowing trip, ditch your traditional controller and hook up an Xbox 360 Kinect or PlayStation Move, and use expressive gestures such as a flick of your wrist or waving your arms above your head to keep the digital nasties at bay, and allow yourself to be charmed and completely consumed by Mizuguchi’s surreal flights of fancy.

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