Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
Child Of Light

GAME DETAILS
Released
29 April 2014
Format
PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4
Developer
Ubisoft Montreal

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
4 Star Empire Rating
Sims 4, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Destiny
4 Star Empire Rating
Tales Of Xillia 2
3 Star Empire Rating
Metro Redux
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Last Of Us Remastered, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mario Kart 8
5 Star Empire Rating
Titanfall
5 Star Empire Rating
Dark Souls II
5 Star Empire Rating
Forza Motorsport 5
5 Star Empire Rating

Child Of Light


submit to reddit

Child Of Light  (2014)
Review
The land of Lemuria has fallen into darkness, and only the lost child Aurora can restore the light. Charged with recovering the sun, the moon, and the stars, and gifted with the ability of flight, this reluctant princess must defeat the Queen of Night. But is Aurora really in Lemuria, or is she a sick child in the real world, hallucinating on her death bed as she longs to see her doting father one more time? With its uncertain, dream-like narrative, Child of Light channels darker fables, such as Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, and similarly blurs the line between reality and delusion as Aurora pursues her quest.

Aurora’s journey sees her joined by other adventurers along the way, most of whom charmingly avoid fairy tale and RPG clichés. For instance, Finn, a dwarf-like creature, is the party’s elemental mage, rather than the more typical axe-wielding warrior gamers are trained to expect. Most important though is Igniculus, a small firefly players control independent of Aurora, able to reach blocked areas or collect healing items from afar. A second player can also control Igniculus, adding a simple co-op factor.

Gameplay is a blend of platforming and role-playing elements, with a crafting system thrown in for good measure. The strange locations of Lemuria are explored on a 2D plane, yet still feel sprawling and vast, with concealed areas tucked away in shadow. Movement is a joy, particularly once Aurora earns her wings, and sweeping around the sky feels brilliantly liberating.

The battle system is a robust utilisation of turn-based mechanics. Although it's unusual to see this in games produced outside of Japan, Ubisoft Montreal has done a prime job of making it simple but engaging. Any two party members fight at once, and can be swapped in and out mid-battle to make use of individual talents and skills. More interesting though is the way time factors strategically into combat, with player characters and enemies able to time attacks to disrupt opponents’ moves and push their turn further back. Shining Igniculus’ light on monsters slows them further, allowing you some control over the flow of each encounter.

Ubisoft developed the engine used here to allow for diverse artistic styles. Having previously been used on Rayman titles, Child of Light is the first chance to show off the system’s versatility - and it's an incredibly impressive showcase. Aurora’s world is breathtakingly, delicately beautiful, full of charming designs and pastel-shaded wonder. Yet as with the fairy tales the game is so evocative of, there is also a darker edge, such as foreboding forests where disturbing enemy creatures lurk. Despite being 2D, richly detailed layers add depth and character to the mesmerising locations. Appropriately enough, the use of light throughout is similarly enchanting. Igniculus’ gentle glow illuminates nearby surroundings, and the ability to intensify his brightness at will factors into many of the puzzles and hidden paths you will encounter. The musical score complements the visuals perfectly, offering a soundtrack that is cheerfully airy and powerfully haunting in equal measure.

For some, the whole experience may be too twee, and the choice to deliver every line of dialogue and narration in rhyme can grate on even those enjoying the game after a while, particularly when the cadence and delivery of the rhymes becomes stretched or forced. However, overlook this and Child of Light delivers an amazing experience with fresh takes on familiar archetypes, and looks extraordinary while doing so.


Reviewed by Matt Kamen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)