The Child Of Light-iverse Expands

I wish I'd been this cool as a child

Do you remember Child of Light [official site]? It was a painterly platformer/JRPG which Ubisoft billed as a playable poem. Well, it’s clearly done well enough that Ubisoft have a number of “very cool projects” in the works which will be set in the same universe.

Child of Light started life as part of Ubisoft’s effort to create small-scale projects within its triple-A walls, taking advantage of resources like the UbiArt Framework which was used in the most recent Rayman games.

I never got round to playing the final release, although I did attend a preview event and rather liked the combat. There was something immensely satisfying about entering battle as a tiny girl – a determined princess-style character – wielding a gigantic sword which I’d modded to electrocute everyone it slashed. The rest of the world was less engaging although incredibly pretty.

Marsh reviewed the full game for us and his summary suggests the full release was a similar experience.

“I want to enjoy it more: the hybridity of the game is daring and to be applauded. There’s obvious passion and idiosyncrasy here, which aren’t things you can always say about games spat from the cogs of AAA development. But delightful though it looks, and as winsome as its talking mice are, the combination of frictionless overworld and my frustration with its battle system left me feeling enervated.”

But the game has clearly impressed at Ubisoft. Patrick Plourde (who led the Child of Light project and whose current job is to identify promising concepts from Ubisoft employees and support them to release) tweeted:

What exactly those projects are is yet to be confirmed but I’m interested enough that I want to hear more.


  1. pepperfez says:

    Remember that charming, idiosyncratic little work you loved for its originality? Good news! Now it’s a fully-branded extended universe with unlimited monetizability. Games is a Art!

    • grimdanfango says:

      Yes, even when a big publisher surprises us all by actually allowing a little unrestrained creativity, ultimately they’ll never actually be satisfied having made a beautiful game simply for the joy of making it… even at their most progressive, they’re still only greenlighting such projects in the hope that one of them turns into the next big hit franchise.

      Just leave it be! Pour your money into another original idea instead!

      • Philomelle says:

        Yeah, how dare a creator excitedly mention that he gets to come back to a story that is glaringly unfinished, references multiple characters and events that are clearly meant to be important but don’t play the role in the actual game, and doesn’t even completely explore the one plot thread it does conclude. The nerve of that lout.

    • pasports31 says:

      I’m okay with this. How many games are there like this on the market? Considering we saw two Assassin Creed’s released this past year (with, if i remember correctly, another episodic one or something like that coming up), CoD and Battlefield released yearly, a GTA clone like Watch Dogs turn into what will inevitably be a new franchise, Far Cry 4 come out and be a clone of three, etc…I’m okay with a game like Child of Light getting the promise of more games.

      • pepperfez says:

        Yeah, I was being a little unfair. Sequels to a good game are a good thing! It’s the idea of a “Child of Light Universe” that triggers my gag reflex. That’s just too redolent of marketing-led branding schemes and ruthless hyper-explication (midichlorians, I’m looking at you).
        Of course, if the announcement weren’t linked to Ubi my mind might not have gone those places.

  2. Serenegoose says:

    They’ll need to restrict aurora’s ability to fly then, so she can climb up towers to unlock the map and stuff.

    • Blackcompany says:

      I lol’d.

      Then I thought, “Wait…this is…true.”

  3. TomxJ says:

    This makes me very, very happy. I played Child of Light and Valient Hearts over a couple of weeks when i was super ill last year.

    If they keep the artstyle and remain focused on adding little visual details (like the animation that plays when Auroa gets hit; her crown falls off and she runs to collect it) I’m on board.

    On a side note, I was expecting more Valient Hearts over Child of light in all honesty. Maybe different wars or time periods.

  4. SlimShanks says:

    I thought this looked super cool, but then I heard nothing but bad things about it. Is it worth putting up with the (supposedly) bad gameplay to oggle it’s art?

    • basilisk says:

      I’d say so. The combat system is actually pretty good (if you play on hard, that is; normal difficulty sort of plays itself); it’s the platforming which is quite uninteresting. And the story is mostly pretty weak. But the art is really lovely and the game knows not to overstay its welcome, so I’d tentatively recommend it.

      • Oscaruzzo says:

        I’d say the exact opposite: platforming and exploration is quite nice, interesting, and even somewhat relaxing. The combat system is pretty awful and very frustrating, even with the lowest difficulty level. The game feels like a “fable” where you go around, chat with people (in rhymes), see beautiful lands and then you suddenly are force to fight with monsters and die. Then you fight again and you die. And then you fight again and you die again.

    • TomxJ says:

      In all honesty if you just want to oogle the art and don’t mind the ‘fairytale story’ narative, the combat is mostly avoidable. Just set it to the casual difficulty setting so you don’t get stomped by the bosses. I actually enjoyed the combat, but i did have a fever when playing it.

      To sum up – you can do a lot worse, and it is a very pretty game.

  5. Jenks says:

    I played it for a few hours with my wife and we sort of lost interest and haven’t come back to it. I loved the art but the storybook style dialogue was in no way interesting.