Ubisoft’s treatment of PC gamers has vacillated between utter garbage and lightly pine-scented garbage in the past few years, but it’s impossible to deny that the publisher’s put its considerable weight behind some interesting stuff in recent times. Its most recent two cannon-ball superman dives off the beaten path are Valiant Hearts and Child of Light, and I’ve written at length about both of them. Now, though, you can watch a quick overview of the CoL section I played in video form. Unfortunately, the game’s most important feature – a room full of so many murders of drunken crows that it probably counts as a massacre (or a really weird goth party) – is sadly absent. Priorities, Ubisoft. Priorities.
It’s a sadly brief glimpse, but it looks quite attractive, no? The full game’s a fusion of JRPG battle mechanics, sidescrolling exploration, and, er, epic poetry The Likes Of Which Have Never Been Seen (In The Same Thing Together). Once upon a time, in an idyllic age before console wars began to ravage our online kingdoms incessantly for the next couple weeks, I had these things to say about its combat:
“Not-so-random battles got me into the swing of things, but combat really shined during the demo’s lone boss battle. I went toe-to-tendril with a giant squid dragon monster, and two of its tentacles functioned as separate entities on the battlefield. The head? Slow but powerful, like that of an enraged giant or someone who’s spent too much time at black metal concerts. The tentacles, however, even managed to outspeed Aurora by the slightest of margins, and my poor healer was positively left in the dust. Juggling interrupts was absolutely crucial, and on a couple occasions I even found myself turtling – choosing the ‘defend’ option to avoid rain after rain of blows, praying for a strangle-free second to strike. When I finally leashed the kraken, it felt like quite an accomplishment.”
It’s a pretty cool system, I think, though I’ll be interested to see how much mileage Ubisoft can get out of it. Beyond that, the other big question marks surround the story – which Far Cry 3 writer Jeffrey Yohalem claims is highly “modern,” metaphorical take on a young girl growing up – and its ability to avoid cracking the ice while tip-toeing across extremely sensitive, personal subject matter. On one hand, our interview was reassuring, but on the other, Far Cry 3 was pretty much the opposite in that respect. We’ll see.
Child of Light will be out next year. I keep trying to convince crows to drink with me in anticipation, but it’s not going very well. Only, like, three of them have even expressed appreciation for the tiny beer cozies I went through so much trouble to knit for them. The rest just belch loudly, crush cans on their foreheads, and fly away. It’s like they don’t even care about videogames!