Child of Light is dramatic change of pace from the other games that Ubisoft is well known for. It combines layers of polish and thoughtful design with a classic 2D platforming RPG.
While some parts of the game let it down, overall it proves to be an enjoyable experience.
You play as Aurora, a young girl who awakens to find herself in a strange mystical world. Desperate to get back home she sets herself on a magical journey through the mythical world of Lemuria. Accompanying her on the journey is a firefly called Igniculus and a few other companions you encounter on the way. I really enjoyed all the characters and enemies you meet on your journey.
The game takes place on a 2D plane. The artistic style of the game made any moment seem like a gorgeously painted artwork. The visual style was complimented by music. Child of Light contains some of the most beautiful classical music I have heard a video game.
You control the movement of both Aurora and Igniculus the firefly at the same time which is made surprisingly easy due to the 2D nature of the game. The primary purpose of the firefly is to interact with environments, heal Aurora and blind enemies.
You unlock the ability to fly early on in the game. This opens up the world which suddenly shifts the focus of this game on exploration. You aren’t always told exactly how to get to places which leaves you with the task of finding your own path. I really enjoyed this exploration aspect of the game which often rewards you with potions and other useful items.
I never seem to enjoy hybrid turn based and real time battle system. Child of Light was one of the better ones that I have played, proving to be both simple and elegant. A bar on the bottom of the screen indicates progress until your next turn. The game pauses once one of your characters reach a certain point on the bar so you may select your move.
Once you select your move your character begins progression on the casting portion of the bar. If a character is hit while in this phase they basically miss a turn and are sent further back on the bar. How fast you move on the bar depends on the character and the move you selected. You can also slow enemy moves by using your firefly to temporarily blind them.
I generally found the combat a bit tedious and generally begrudgingly entered battles to Level up.
Enemies can be avoided as you travel through the world by temporarily blinding them with your firefly and running past them. You do however need to Level up for boss fights meaning you can’t make running away a habit.
The game uses an elemental system.
Enemies are of a certain element and have a weakness and resistance. You can equip elements to your weapons to try and gain an advantage over certain enemy types. A major problem with this system is changing the components which can be a bit tedious. You can’t see all the enemies you will be versing before a battle and you can’t change components in a battle.
Much effort has been put in the dialogue to make various lines rhyme. Unfortunately much of the rhymes seem forced and doesn’t give off the poetic vibe that they seem to be going for. I still did manage to enjoy it though and got a chuckle every now and again.
Child of Light makes you feel like you are playing a piece of art more than a game. The story, visual design and sound were very enjoyable.
The combat doesn’t live up to the high standards set by the rest of the game. The slow pacing may also turn some people away. Overall though, it is an excellent game that I would highly recommend.