Community Review: Child Of Eden

Probably best to inform you all that things are about to get gushy. It's a well known fact that certain video games have the power to 'inspire' me to write reviews that read like terrible, pretentious teenage poetry. I've got the feeling that the awesome Child of Eden will be one of those games...

So yes, Child of Eden is like the patter of light summer rain beating against the window of my eternally suffering soul. The fluttering wings of a solitary butterfly, flapping keen against the ripplings of my beating heart.

Still.

It's like the smell of summer dew as the sun rises strong over a buttermilk moon. It is the alpha and the ZOMGega. The muse to my flailing arms, an ode my em-broadened limbs.

Child of Eden - will you be my girlfriend?

[Snaps out of it]

So, yes, I'm currently a little bit enamoured with Child of Eden, and I think that mostly has to do with the fact that it's a game solely concerned with how it works as an immediate experience. It's a game that constantly hammers feedback directly into your retinas and lugholes, to the extent that you always feel involved in this strange and constantly shifting universe. Child of Eden is tactile like that - which is probably the main reason why it feels so involving and fun.

Child of Eden is a game that feels like it embraces the possibilities of sound as design. It's probably not a flexible as I think it is - but the smoke and mirrors is such that it feels flexible, it feels as though I'm involved, and that is enough. It's short, and perhaps under delivers in terms of its feature set, but as a gamer who feels completely exhausted with the constant deluge of me-too shooters, Child of Eden feels like a game I needed in my life - a game I needed to play. In a sense it's replenished my faith in the ability of gaming to provide fresh experiences.

See - I told you about the bad teenage poetry.

Anyway, this is a Community Review, and I'm keen to hear what you guys thought of the game.

Let me know in the comments below.


Comments

    I don't have Kinect, and I don't particularly want it at this stage. There's no killer app yet, and it's expensive for a toy that won't work properly in the limited space I have available.

      Dance Central is the killer app. Even if Kinect was nothing more than a Dance Central peripheral, that'd be reason enough for it to exist.

        I agree 100%. As far as I'm concerned Kinect is an accessory to Dance Central.

        I reckon CoE is better with a controller anyway. It may not be so Tron-trippy, but you can make better progress.

        Of course, I may just be totally unco, hence my crapnousity when playing with Kinect...

      Wait for the wide angle clip-on that will make it work in your room.

    So I spent the better parrot Sunday playing. I "finished" it as such, but then I finished it atleast 3 times over and each time I did the world it felt like a different play-through.
    I played the whole thing on controller (only my housemate has Kinect and I played around a bit on that)
    Using Kinect definitely made it feel like a different game.
    The visuals and music assault my senses thoroughly and even playing on controller I felt immersed in the world.
    It could have been longer, but then I'm bound to play over and over unlocking things and beating the lowly scores I was getting.

      Also I hate iPhones how does part become parrot?

    I was just about to order it on Shopto.net for $50ish delivered. I'll be interested to hear other peoples feedback. It doesn't sound like a full priced retail game to me but for $50 I reckon I'll be in.

    One of my friends tweeted this:
    Child of eden transformed me from a guy in a hoody to a Techno Space Wizard. I shot a crystal whale into a phoenix mad of BIRDS. #notonacid

    With that I was immediately interested. Alas, I don't have a Kinect or the 7km² radius needed to use one and I hear it's the best way to play it.

      Actually because it's only looking at your arms you don't need a Grand Hall to play in. It's only when it's doing full body scanning that you really need all that room.

    I played this for hours and hours over the weekend with a ridiculous grin plastered on my face and a feeling of euphoria that I haven't felt since the last time I was indulging in illegal activity.

    I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you're one of those people who judges games based on how long they take to 'beat' rather than how much fun they are to play, it's probably not for you. I'd feel sorry for you but I have to go play Child of Eden again instead.

    OMG I'm with you Mark, it's actually freaking amazing and keeps getting more amazing. I played on a nice big screen with the sound cranked to piss-your-neighbours-off levels using Kinect and it blew my mind. For awhile now I've been convincing myself that a game that only uses Kinect can never be great, I was always big on the augmenting possibilities but I'll eat my hat now because I just want to get back in front of my TV and throw missiles and shoot lasers from my hands. And you can really own using Kinect too, you can make these really quick and smooth sweeps of the screen which I found made it easier than using the controller once I got into it. In fact I beat the game on hard without getting hit more than twice using Kinect so it really works and as you say it feels fresh, new and exciting. If you're a Kinect hater you really need to try this game out, it may just change your tune.

    "It is the alpha and the ZOMGega.“

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Pretentious teenage poetry is awesome!

    Ahem.

    I'm really interested in this, partly because KotakAU has been swooning about it for a few months but also because the videos I've checked out and the interview with Mizuguchi looked fascinating.

    Might pick it up after exams.

    I actually just ordered it this morning... I was a huge fan of Rez and Child of Eden looks to fill that particular void in my life.

    I played it at Suapnova this weekend and loved it. Went in the GAME stall to buy it and they didn't bring any copies with them. Derp

      and GAME wonder why they are going broke.

        And according to the EB Games at Bondi Junction who had ONE copy delivered - that wasn't even on the shelf on Saturday morning - the EB stock order was less than 1000 for the whole country. Sigh.

        GAME are going broke? I only deal with EB and GAME online and not in-store, but GAME always has better prices than EB. I'm surprised they'd be going broke.

        Also I just ordered this game from them last night. Should be here >Thursday. All these reviews are making me feel like a kid the night before Christmas.

    I think I wanna call this a semi-killer app because this is one of the best games to play with kinect! Almost everything about this game scream's awesome. The reason i say semi- killer app is because the length of the game and not much to unlock. Yes you can beat it in an hour or so witch make it not worth the $50 price tag. If you can look past that minor gripe, then by all mean buy it, or wait till it comes down in price because this is still worth adding to your game library. It's right up there with dance central and kinect sports.

    I trust everyone's judgement but even after watching a few youtube gameplay vids I still don't think I "get" this game - do you have to play it to really get the experience?

      It's really a matter if you can overlook lack of quantity for quality, if you can lose yourself in the immersion, and if you're willing to invest in the game rather than just have the game feed you stimuli (which it still does to an extreme). Also, some people don't like the feeling of synesthesia, feeling that it invades a part of the mind or it's a type of brainwashing, which is a valid point, mostly because it is. But if none of these points seriously turns you off of the game, yes, it's simply something that must be experienced to be understood.

    I didn't play it for long... but I enjoyed what I did play.

    Although...

    Having to replay a whole level if you die is a little bit shite.
    The 'corridor' view is easy to fall out of with the kinect.
    Sometimes it couldn't differentiate my right and left arms.

    Recently, I have found myself returning to old favorite gaming titles more and more often while trying to wade through the latest shades-of-brown down-the-barrel shooter, mostly to remind myself that gaming once elicited reactions other than "pull trigger, shoot enemy." Particular favorites are Silent Hill 1-3, Fatal Frame 1-3, and Amnesia: the Dark Descent/Amnesia: Justine. You may have noticed that these particular games only elicit emotions in the range from look-around-corners paranoia to pants-shitting terror. Which is why it is refreshing to be able to add Child of Eden, a game that draws out what can only be described as quiet contentment, to the list.

    It is easy to forget that gaming can be a true art form, capable of drawing out emotions at a level that surpasses any other type of media. There is something so immersive to the point of being hypnotic of being equal parts participant, observer, and creator of your own experience. As lights flash and cymbals clash in accordance with your every movement, you can almost feel the worries and problems of the world slip off your shoulders, and the resulting feeling of peace is like none other.

    I've heard people complain that there is only a thin plot to this game, and on paper, I would agree. Saving an AI in the far future from corruption with a lock-on laser on the super-internet sounds like a terrible sequel to Tron that you just know someone in Hollywood is working on. But Child of Eden is drenched in so much symbolism, its motifs so open to interpretation, that it can provide anyone with a beautiful, heart wrenching experience that is unique to him/her, but only as long as one is willing to be open to it.

    The biggest flaw with the game is its length. It truly is too short. The ending of the main single player story leaves you wishing and yearning for more, a sharp contrast to the feeling of tranquility experienced throughout.

    Maybe it's because I was brought up with games before the current trends of nonstop violence, before the closest thing to synesthesia was the relation between a gunshot and a blood mist hanging in the air, before emotional investment in a game was sitting at a computer for days on an MMO, but this is truly a game that I would call nothing if not essential.

    This weekend.

    Me, 120" projector screen, Kinect, Child of Eden, PX5 surround sound headphones.

    Definitely an "experience" in the truest sense. The only negative I can level at the game is it's rather short but the fact there is a hard difficulty (which lives up to its name), various audio/video filters and a series of unlockables means you will keep going back and get a slightly different experience each time.

    On the controller it's ok, very much a spritual successor to Rez. Using Kinect it is refined, lag-free, accurate and one of the best implementations yet. There is literally a moment where you forget the UI and just go with it.

    I toally forgot this was coming out. Huge fan of Rez so this is a must-have for me. Off to find it on the cheap somewhere!

    To those who are complaining about the large area required to play kinetic games:

    http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/40458/nyko-zoom-kinect-accessory-xbox-360

    note that its not actually out yet but it gives us hope :P

    is there going to be a XBL playable demo at some point? it's a pretty different game to be randomly risking $60+ on....

    I have been looking forward to this one for ages!

    Glad to hear you guys think it plays well. I was worried about Kinect being a part of it, but it sounds like its actualy implemented well.

    On Saturday when I walked into Game and saw it sitting on the shelf all pretty, giving me the look that I knew meant "take me home big boy".
    But, I had no spare cash and have to wait 'til friday :(

    Okay, I tried it for two days with the kinect, then went back to the controller.
    I was a HUGE Rez fan, and I absolutely love this game, but only with the controller.
    I think with the MOVE it might be awesome, but trying to play this on the Kinect, just made me feel that it shows everything that is wrong with the kinect. Inaccurate movement and no fire buttons, the gestures just don't work well enough and become annoying.

    I agree though that the Kinect is worth it just for dance central, but I had way more fun with Child Of Eden (The other COD) using the controller.

      I got my copy of this game today (along with a mount to put the kinect on top of the tv) and I've had absolutely no trouble with the controls. It registers the change of hands surprisingly fluidly, my gestures always do as they're meant too and the reticule/hand tracking is as close to 1:1 as I've seen.
      Have you calibrated your kinect sensor recently?

    I played it the first night it was released and havent had a single urge to play it since.

    And the other problem with Child of Eden. . .
    The game needs to be played in the dark, but Kinect wont see me in the dark.

      Actually, it will - the Kinect uses infra-red to do most of the work. It can't do stuff like face recognition but it should be able to track your hands in low light.

      Surely the need to play the game in the dark is just a preference thing, though. You can't fault the game for (maybe) not working perfectly in a dark room when it was likely designed with people playing in a well lit area in mind. (you can tell by the way the intro shows that little kinect message about clearing space and turning on a light).

    I just got my copy of this game about 5 hours ago now and I've played through the first 3 stages so far but had to stop for RL.
    I played in a very well lit area on a 32" LCD tv with turtle beach X41 headphones at full volume.
    Firstly: I've had no problems what-so-ever with the tracking of movement playing this game with connect. I felt the control was slow and clunky in comparison. Each movement of my arm was almost perfect 1:1 and the flicking of the right hand gesture always fired perfectly without any glitching. I should mention that I also got my kinect mount for the tv today, so I also repositioned and re-calibrated/tuned my kinect sensor before I began playing.
    Secondly: The game itself is amazing. In most current games you are rewarded for achieving your goals (shooting a dude in the face with a gun) with in game items/money/experience/rating points etc. In CoE you're immediately rewarded with a sensory assault of beauty and sound. I swear I was almost weeping by the end of the first stage.

    If you're having trouble with the kinect for this game I suggest re-calibrating and turning on some lights and trying again.
    10/10. Best game I've played in a long, long time.

      Bah, ** kinect, controller

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