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Child of Eden Review

Child of Eden Review

Games that attempt to break into the scene as artistic are often faced with a twofold problem. First, the game has to be striking enough on a visual and audio level to actually catch attention beyond that of a single audience. Secondly, it must be mechanically sound enough to actually be fun to play. Sadly there are a lot of games that fall hard on one point or the other, failing to make the point they so desperately trying to get across. So enter Child of Eden, a game that not only exists to make both points but is trying to do so on a medium relatively untested: specifically the Kinect, which up until this point has featured a lot of extremely general family titles. Being honest, the result is absolutely amazing.

Child of Eden tells the story of Lumi, an artificial intelligence which exists in the realm of Eden or, simply put, the internet. Players must fight off various viruses that threaten Lumi across five levels, each of which has a particular theme to it. The entire game serves as a successor to Rez, which had a very similar theme of entering Eden in order to fight back viruses, and those familiar with the title back in the day will know that while the storyline is fairly shallow, this is a series more defined by the gameplay.

The first level of the game serves as a quick tutorial before eventually drawing players into the larger scope of things, which while being a pretty standard practice actually serves to showcase quite a few elements of the game. Players navigate through Child of Eden typical to any other rail shooter, except aiming and firing is done depending on the hand players are holding up. Raising a right hand will bring up a targeting reticule that when positioned on an enemy will lock onto the target until you push forward, which then sends up to eight bullets flying towards their targets.

Likewise raising the left hand will send out a stream of bullets which are used to weaken enemies otherwise immune to attacks locked-on by the right hand. Raising both hands (which we'll call 'raising the roof') will kill just about everything on the screen, and do large amounts of damage to bosses, but just like most rail shooters (and sweet parties) there is a limited number of times players can use such an ability. Additionally, killing enemies will occasionally drop items like health, or additional charges for players to raise the roof.

What players will also find out during the course of the short tutorial is that attacks don't simply have an effect on the enemies, but on the environment themselves. Killing a virus will cause a musical note to play just the same as firing bullets or hitting other objects in the background, mixing with the game's constantly evolving soundtrack to shape the players experience. It may be hard to explain or understand at first, but the longer the level goes on the more the experience that Child of Eden is trying to bring forth becomes very clear.

The literal or theological interpretation of each level in Child of Eden is best left for the individual player to decide, but ultimately, it's a game that, when started, sucks the player in without warning. Yes, there are points assigned to every kill and the better you do the more multipliers it's possible to rack up, but those are concerns that are brought up once a level has been completed the first few times. Otherwise, reward in this game is brought forth on multiple fronts.

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