Child of Eden Hands-On Preview -- Beauty is in the Hands of the PlayerBy Miguel Concepcion - Posted Mar 08, 2011
What We Already Know:
Unveiled with grandiose fanfare at last year’s E3 (to kickoff Ubisoft’s press conference), Child of Eden is the brainchild of famed music-centric game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi and his Q? Entertainment studio. It builds upon Mizuguchi-san’s experience from Rez when he was working at Sega, playing similarly as a shooter with musical consequences. As a game on the Kinect, we got to experience Child of Eden’s simple controls where locking on to enemies is as simple as waving one’s hand and firing missiles is as simple as throwing that same hand toward the screen.
What We’re Seeing Now:
One of the known levels we didn't have a chance to play before was Beauty. This level lives up to its name early on, with techno butterflies that aren’t as friendly as they look, gorgeous liquid surfaces, and visuals that actually make the washed-out look appealing to the eyes. As we travelled through Beauty, we were eventually taken to less vibrant environments, specifically green-tinged areas that seem inspired by swamps. The level culminated in a “boss fight” where we had to free a cocooned woman by peeling the petals off a flower that housed her. This too made for another connection with Rez as that decade-old title also involved freeing a digital female.
Like the levels previously reported on, don’t be surprised to feel like a music conductor as you aim with one arm, whether it is to assault foes with the rapid fire or paint targets with the missile lock-on. It was also interesting to discover that you can kick a leg forward as an alternative to the hand-throwing move in order to launch missiles.
We also learned that some enemies are much weaker against a particular firing mode, adding a challenging trial-and-error element to the gameplay. And while you are flowing through a path on rails, you’ll still need to be mindful of enemies coming from all 360 degrees. What we noticed is that the game will not automatically pan the camera to all incoming foes, so it works to your benefit to look to the sides by waving the reticule to the edge of the screen.
Like Rez before it, Child of Eden is doing a great job of portraying itself as more than just a glorified playable screensaver. The positive strain on one's arm as well as the amount of targets in a given time will surely keep any player busy, perhaps too busy as the biggest challenge for many will be all the eye candy Child of Eden bombards you with.