Since its unveiling, Child of Light caught my attention through its unique animation and charming character design. It sparked my imagination to something fresh, in particularly because it was nowhere near a first-person shooter. It might be a solely digital title for a reasonable price, but don’t let its presentation fool you; it packs a lengthy story with plenty of twists and engaging gameplay.
Set in 1895 you take the role of Aurora, daughter to the duke of Austria. Since losing her mother, Aurora and her father seem closer than ever, but when Aurora suddenly falls into a deep, dark sleep and vanishes into the unknown, all seems lost for the duke. In the meantime, Aurora awakens in the long-lost kingdom of Lemuria and realises that the fate of her family and everyone she loves is in her hands.
From the offset you’re introduced to Lemuria and its vibrant surroundings, aided along the way by a firefly named Igniculus. Burning bright and lighting the way, Igniculus plays a vital part in your journey, which aside from lighting your way, he also lends well into battle to help slow down your enemies. His movement of which is controlled with the right analogue stick. If you have company whilst playing and want to get them involved, then pick up a second controller and allow them to be the light on your path, it’ll certainly help having someone else keep your foes at bay.
Similar to many RPGs, turn-based combat rules the roost in Child of Light. Simply bump into an enemy to engage in combat or, if you’re feeling tactical, us Igniculus to blind them, approaching from behind for a surprise attack. In order to portray who’s turn is next a timeline is shown at the bottom of the screen. With each characters’ icon moving along the ‘wait’ line, as soon as you get to the ending red portion, that’s where you have the chance to cast your move. Bear in mind, however, that certain actions will take longer than others, meaning that if your move doesn’t get you to the end of the ‘cast’ section before your opponent, they’ll have the chance to attack, which may see you getting interrupted back to the start of the line.
Don’t feel too bummed out if you do happen to fall, as multiple characters will hope to join your quest along the way. Whether you use the magical powers of Finn the wizard or aim to support your team with defensive magic from Rubella, there’s always a mix of tactics you can use to overcome any fight. Keeping control of each fight is vital, especially when you consider different creatures will move at different speeds, particularly in groups. Face a set of three enemies, and if you’re not careful, you’ll meet the ground quicker than rain in a storm.
It’s not all about fighting though, as exploration is at the heart of anywhere you go. Once you gain wings and the ability to fly, the sky’s the limit, but the underground tunnels garner even sweeter secrets and items. Upgrading each of your character’s abilities are also a big part, and through each enemy you best, the XP you earn will help you quickly evolve each aspect of a member’s move-set. It didn’t take long until I found myself addicted to looting every chest in sight, alongside actively going into combat with most of the enemies I met, rising the ranks and recruiting along the way.
By the end of the story I had grown as a character and met many colourful people along the way. Its narrative is strong and the twists you encounter will probably surprise you, but the progression you make is the most rewarding part, especially once you overcome a fight that had you perplexed for five rounds, only to make you change your strategy on the sixth to win.
*PS4 vs Xbox One*
Having played both the PS4 and Xbox One versions, I’m happy to report that there’s no difference at all. Besides the fact that the Xbox version has more achievements when compared to trophies, the frame rate runs at 60fps and the resolution is still 1080p, which is nice to know when you consider the amount of games that tend to run better on Playstation 4. The only major question at hand is which controller you prefer most. I love the PS4 controller, but there’s something about the Xbox One’s triggers that feel just that bit better. Nevertheless, you’ll be getting the best out of Child of Light on either platform.
Child of Light PS4 was provided to Start Replay by Ubisoft UK and the Xbox One copy was provided by Microsoft.
- + Beautiful visuals and rewarding progression.
- + Great dialogue and story
- + Fun and strategic combat
- + Beefy campaign