previews\ Feb 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Child of Eden


When Ubisoft announced Child of Eden at last year's E3, expectations were through the roof for what developer Q Entertainment is calling the spiritual successor to Rez. A synesthetic shooter, Child of Eden was one of the first titles announced to support traditional controllers, the Move controller, and Kinect. When players got hands-on with the game at TGS, complaints were leveraged against the Kinect version for not being very accurate.

It’s do-over time, and last night Q Entertainment, Ubisoft and Microsoft all wanted to indicate that, yes, Child of Eden can work with the Kinect. With a revamped control scheme, not only is Child of Eden a visually beautiful game, it is now compatible with the Kinect. While you won't be performing interpretive dances to take out shimmery butterfly aliens, there is a certain amount of enjoyment to had for playing this game with Microsoft's new innovation.

Like Rez, Child of Eden is a musical and colorful shooter that allows for an experience of the senses. With Kinect, players use their right hand to guide the cursor over shootable enemies and projectiles that float about. There are two shooting modes: a rapid-fire mode for quickly taking out projectiles and boss appendages and a Rez-like mode where enemies are targeted then, by pushing your hand forward, hit with a projectile. By clapping your hands together, players can switch between the two modes. Additionally, lifting both hands in the air will start “Euphoria,” which is basically a smart bomb wiping the screen clean of enemies. It takes all of two minutes to get the hang of it, but I wish there would be options for using your left hand to shoot. The game could benefit from a little more immersion.

It’s a little difficult to gauge just how the Kinect mode plays compared to traditional controllers in only ten minutes of playtime. However, I did enjoy the experience, as the game doesn’t seem to be any worse than the typical Kinect title. Visually, Child of Eden looks as good as any other Q Entertainment game, with bright beautiful colors and gorgeous music from Genki Rockets. Lumi, the artificial star of the group, is also the star of the game, with players working to rescue her from the, erm, squid monster plants. She provides some of the ambient vocals, and while the song "Heavenly Star" won't be heard in the actual game, Genki Rockets will have many more tunes prepared for Child of Eden.

For a title that still has plenty of time before its release, Child of Eden holds a lot of promise. There's a good chance the title will be moderately well received, but I'm still skeptical that Child of Eden for Kinect will be the best version of the game. It is nice to see the game play and look well, though. When Ubisoft launches it later this year, fans of Q Entertainment will definitely have a quality game to look forward to.

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