Let There Be: Child Of Light Is Looking Delightful

By Nathan Grayson on November 13th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Other games, pay attention: this is how you princess.

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!

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19 Comments »

  1. ViktorBerg says:

    Looks interesting. The artstyle definitely reminds me of a children’s book, well, except for the horrible caves, spiders and dragons.

    Not sure why they wanted to shoehorn in the level up system, but hey, maybe it will work out…

  2. golem09 says:

    I’m a big fan of these JRPG style turn based combat system. And this one (ATB + vulnerable cast time) looks like a very interesting idea. Impresses me more than the artstyle (and the mediocre music, that sound like something I would compose).
    Too bad turn based combat system have pretty much been abandoned , even by the japanese. Those few game that do use them don’t even try anything new like this. Only recent exception I know of is Resonance of Fate, which had the best combat system ever.

  3. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    Looks neat! Do you control the little light bulb creature with one of the sticks or is he an independent AI?

  4. MichaelPalin says:

    Hmm, where have I seen those hair effects before… Ups!, TressFX. It’s obvious this game won’t work without a +300€ graphic card.

  5. Jenks says:

    Is this going to be a discount game, in the $20 range?

  6. guygodbois00 says:

    if it turns out to be any good at all, it will be bought and played by myself and my niece. Can’t wait.

  7. Ultra Superior says:

    I think the writer is trying too hard to pander to the crows

  8. cyrenic says:

    The exploration parts remind me a lot of Aquaria (probably because of the freedom of vertical movement). Looking really good.

  9. Keyrock says:

    Unbelievably gorgeous art style, metroidvania exploration, and Grandia combat system? It’s like someone reached into my head and started developing a game just for me. It’s a good thing this isn’t a Kickstarter because I’d go broke throwing my money at them.

    Also, while whoever at Ubisoft is in my head and deciding to make games tailored specifically to me, y’all can go ahead and make that open-world, exploration and puzzle focused Tomb Raider knockoff without any combat I’ve been dreaming about.

  10. Aganov says:

    The music resembles “Raingods Dancing” by Fish
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmSEQiiVPds

    And I cannot see much poetry in this video. Isn’t it just TEXT without rhythm or rhyme?

    • Phasma Felis says:

      It certainly rhymes. The rhythm could be better; it depends a bit too much on multiple characters tossing lines back and forth in sync, which is hard to convey with text.

  11. The Random One says:

    Overall, the game is looking great. But since I need to be a negative nancy, I’ll complain about how cringe-worthy the poetry is and how Ubisoft is actually calling their ‘games that are not bloated messes’ division “ubi-art”.

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