Previews// Child of Eden

Posted 19 Apr 2011 17:00 by
Child of Eden is without a doubt the best Kinect game I have ever played. And I expected nothing less from Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the legendary creator of music experiences such as Space Channel 5, Rez and Lumines.

This realisation has come from playing two ten-minute stages of the euphoric shooter - but before you even get to set foot in front of Microsoft?s motion-sensing peripheral you?ll be entranced by the sheer artistic production of the menus, the fusion of colour and the soft melody of girl band Genki Rockets.

Simply watching someone play Child of Eden is reminiscent of seeing those 1990s VHS trance videos that your cool raver cousin used to bring over - looping lava-lamp style CG graphics played against mind-warping music. Like Rez before it, this game is about immersing yourself in the music whilst playing, and totally zoning out whilst watching.

There are in fact, so many similarities between Child of Eden and Rez that this could be considered a sequel of sorts. Instead of a sentient AI being, this time around you?re helping a real human girl named Lumi, whose world has been eradicated by nasty viruses. Using you fabulous shooting skills, you get to rebuild the planet she lives on and rescue her from the darkness.

Kinect play involves using your arms to aim and shoot at trippy-looking enemies. Your right arm does most of the work, sweeping across the screen to automatically lock on to multiple enemies. To shoot, all you need to do is push your right hand forward, as if you were shooting a tiny fireball from your palm.

Like Rez, you can only lock on to a certain number of viruses, but you get the added bonus of a ?Perfect? score. This happens when you have maximum enemies locked on and you shoot in their general direction in rhythm with the music.

Your left arm gets some action too - at certain points in the level you?ll come across purple viruses that can?t be attacked with your regular shots. That?s where your gatling gun comes into play, offering an automatic rapid fire to dispense of the luminous buggers. As enemies are destroyed, you can collect health and ammo for your ultimate attack, Euphoria - performed by throwing both hands in the air, like you just don?t care.

Now, you can control the game with an Xbox 360 controller as well if that?s what you prefer, but I honestly didn?t find it as engaging as playing it with my arms. That may sound like a strange thing to suggest, given that many Kinect games in the past have been erratic, detection-less pieces of crap. But Child of Eden is the first where I?ve actually felt in total control of the peripheral.
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