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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Child of Light - PC Review 9/10

There have been few games that really just stood out to me more than this one. In a generation where games keep trying to be as gritty as possible, its refreshing to see a game actually take a different approach to telling a story with not only its visuals but art style, story as well as the atmosphere. Is it any good? Well... I DID give it an almost perfect score so... ya... it is. But, on to the semantics and more finer details.

The Good: This game looks really nice. I say nice from he stand point of art direction rather than simply graphics because graphics don't really give an atmosphere or general feel to the game. Whereas this is more of a storybook visual which makes it very visually pleasing. There are a few areas in the game and I've been to a few as most of my reviews are based on the first few hours of a game, which I personally feel is the way to go about things.
The combat system is actually very competent. I say competent rather than good or excellent because competent is really a sensible thing to say. You'll have (as far as I've seen) three enemies to battle at a time. There are a few moves you can use that will allow you to hit all enemies but those are in further levels of each character. I'll talk about the skill tree later. There's a little bar that details when your wait time is and when you can take action. If you're smart and cunning, you can also attack enemies once they get into their acting portion to interrupt their attack and make it so they are unable to act for that certain period of time. However, enemies can also do this to any of your party members, so you have to be careful when to block and take less damage, or attack hoping that you don't get attacked first. You can also slow down enemies a bit during either their act or wait time but you can only do it to one enemy at a time and not for forever so there's a general learning curve that's easy but not child's game easy.
I do love the story. Its very unique taking not only a story book cliche approach and flipping it on its head, but how well its presented in visuals and dialogue. The cutscenes are voiced like if you were being read it as a child before bed time with a simple A B C B rhyming scheme through most of it with a few alterations. I was surprised how well this worked out in the long run. Apart from that, the writing is very good. Each rhyming is well written as well as comical at times. Each character is written well and realistically without pandering to certain stereotypes that girls are weak and their speech should be weak. The little girl protagonist is outspoken and sometimes bratty, but you can't but help feel with her plight and you don't find her dialogue irritating, rather as someone in a foreign situation.

The Meh:
I suppose the thing I would have liked put in is an attack out of combat. It could have done well for minor puzzles but the thing I wanted it for was combat. You can kind of stun enemies before entering into combat to get the jump on them which allows you to have a little less wait time. The problem is, I have no idea how to really do it. You can stun then and then just stand right on them till they get unstunned. It would have made combat a little less of a chore to do. I was skipping a few enemies just do I could continue a few times.
I've never been a big fan of Ubisoft's Uplay system for PC. For consoles, it works fine. But on PC, you'll be transferred to Ubisoft's Uplay system before the game starts and then the game starts. While I like having little extras with them playing through the game and being able to unlock a little extra content, it never feels natural to go from one program to open the game to yet another program to open up the game.

Child of Light is a very good game. Competent, pretty and well written. I don't know if I would recommend this for children, but it does seem to be generally age friendly and broad. I'm over 20 an I never felt the game was too kiddy or even too adult, at least at this stage. Suffice it to say, I don't regret buying this game.

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