For my brother’s birthday, I got him a copy of Child of Eden. He’s a big fan of the music and rhythm game genre, and he did enjoy Rez. I on the other hand, fell out of the music game genre pretty hard with the crash of the plastic instrument scene, and couldn’t tell you anything about Rez other than the fact that you could get a vibrator with it.
Going into Child of Eden, I had no idea what to expect. Having just finished two out of the five levels in the game, I not even sure what it was I just played.
There’s a story that drives Child of Eden forward, as crazy as it might be. According to the game’s intro, your job is to save a girl by the name of Lumi, who is in trouble somewhere inside the internet. During the two levels I played, the story didn’t really factor into the gameplay save for brief moments where images of the girl you’re trying to save appears on screen. Whatever the story is, it does take itself very seriously when it does talk about it.
As for the game itself, I’ve been told that it’s almost identical to Rez. As someone who has never played Rez before, the comparison means nothing to me. If you’re ignorant to Rez, the most apt description of Child of Eden as a game is that it plays like an on-rails shooter. You control a cursor, and either shoot enemies with your rapid fire laser, or lock-on and release missiles to the rhythm of the music.
While the gameplay is fairly straightforward, the presentation wrapped around Child of Eden is the game’s biggest strength. The visual representation of what the internet looks like is a crazy mash-up of lights, geometric shapes, and other weird objects floating in space. At one point in level two, you’re shooting at a moving manta ray thing. If there was ever a game that was going for an avant-garde look, this is it. The electronic music that goes with the visuals is also really cool. Together, they form this very trippy audio/visual experience that is almost hypnotic.
At this point in time, I don’t know if I’m going to invest any more time into Child of Eden. It’s a neat game, but I’m in no rush to finish it. Child of Eden is available now on XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 if you’re interested.