Behold Child of Light, an upcoming JRPG from the creative minds behind Far Cry 3. It looks just lovely.
And… wait… did I just type "JRPG" and "Far Cry 3" in the same sentence? Yep, I did. This game is the work of Far Cry 3 creative director Patrick Plourde and lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem, who decided after finishing last year's excellent open-world shooter that it was time to do something different. Specifically, a coming-of-age fairy tale starring an Austrian Duke's young daughter, set in 1895. What?
Child of Light snuck into the limelight a little while back when Plourde revealed he was working on a 2D JRPG and let the name slip. Last week at Ubisoft's "Digital Day" expo, they gave the game a proper debut, letting press play through a couple levels while chatting with the guys who are making it.
The game -- which is coming next year to PS4, Xbox One, Wii U and PC -- is very much a turn-based JRPG. And no, there's not a red-clad pirate, drug sequence or exploding barrel in sight. It's a side-scrolling game, which makes for an interesting mix -- it's one part platforming and puzzle solving, and one part turn-based combat. Oh, and there's minimal voice acting, and all of the dialogue is written in rhyming stanzas. (Nice!) It'll be chunky, for a downloadable game -- Plourde said the story will clock in at 10-15 hours, with plenty of extras for new-game plus and other challenges.
There's a small team making Child of Light -- Yohalem put it at around 36. The other name I picked up to go with Plourde and Yohalem is their lead programmer, a woman named Brianna Code, which is about the best name for a programmer I've ever heard. Production has apparently been greatly aided by UbiArt Framework, an in-house art system (also used on the newer Rayman games and another lovely-looking new game called Valiant Hearts that I'll have more on here in a few minutes) that allows artists to toss concept art directly into the game. Child of Light looks as gorgeous in action as it does in this trailer.
I had a great chat with Yohalem and Plourde about the process of making the game, and will have more on that, as well as some impressions of my time playing it, on Kotaku soon. For now, enjoy some pretty pretty screenshots: