Child of Light was somewhat of an enigma for me. I hadn’t really heard of the game until recently. It is a beautiful and elegant game. The hand-painted art style is unique and the character designs are simple and charming. It features a world that is enjoyable to explore and combat that is of the highest order. Child of Light is an intelligent little game that offers a greater experience than many of the “next-gen” titles I have played thus far.
Child of Light boasts stunning visuals, which were hand crafted by the guys and gals at Ubisoft Montreal. The watercolour background is exquisite and evokes a high level of quality. The environments feel rich and full of life. There’s so much depth to the game due to the silhouettes of the trees in the foreground. Each area is distinct and possesses a beauty that even the most artistic of people would find hard to comprehend.
Underneath the visual fidelity is a thought-provoking story that will touch even the hardest of men. We follow Aurora, an Austrian girl who has a condition that causes her to fall asleep. When she wakes up, she finds herself in the mythical land of Lemuria. The evil Black Queen has stolen the sun, moon and stars and Aurora is tasked with returning the aforementioned celestial bodies and reuniting with her father. Child of Light very much treads along the lines of Journey and Ni no Kuni in terms of narrative and tone. It’s a captivating experience seeing Aurora transform from a frightened child to a hero of her own story. It is weirdly relatable as we all deep down want to become heroes and be remembered. It’s also nice to see a non-sexualised female character being the protagonist of the story. The game lasted around 12 hours for me and it was worth every single second.
Child of Light is a delicately balanced game. Many RPGs in this day and age suffer from a lack of depth that is present in the game. The combat is arguably Child of Light’s greatest success. It mixes turn-based combat with real-time elements, and ultimately creates something refreshing. Hitting enemies that wind up big spells interrupts them, cancels their move, and gives you a significant advantage in the battle. Confrontations are tense affairs that require a great deal of thought and give you a sense of tactical genius. Boss battles are well made and are balanced around the combat and abilities on offer.
Another great aspect of the game is your helper Igniculus. You control him independently with the right stick and he can help slow down enemies and heal allies. Aurora can also fly, which opens up the exploration and helps with finding collectibles and solving puzzles in the environment.