Ubisoft, the creators of violent worlds that contain the likes of Far Cry, Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell, find themselves on a new playing field with Child Of Light. Told like a fairy tale, with the dialogue written and rhyming like a bedtime story, we control Aurora, the daughter of the king who one night goes to bed and never wakes up. While her father grieves, she finds herself in another realm, teeming with giants and elves and all sorts of make-believe creatures.
Designed as 2-D platformer, you soon have the help of a firefly who can illuminate some of the darker passage ways and distract some of your enemies, otherwise you'll be drawn into turn-based combat with them. Here is where you must use the RPG type levelling up system to build up your power, skills and defence in order to defeat the evil creatures and continue to look for a way home.
The beautiful animation and gorgeous piano-based score will evoke some childhood memories, with Child Of Light playing out like a long-lost Hans Christian Anderson tale. The style of play, as well as the story itself, will bring to mind recent classics like Limbo and Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons, but the fighting element within Child Of Light, as well as the eventual ability to take flight within the levels, will soon replace any feelings of déjà vu.
Ultimately though, this is a gorgeous game to experience, but not entirely fun to play. The somber, constantly downbeat tone will most likely bum most players out, and the difficulty level is perhaps a tad too high for the kids, while the fairy-tale telling may eventually grate on some of the adult players.
While unlikely to receive the universal love that Limbo and co have received, any fans of JRPGs, as well as the animation design of Studio Ghibli, will find a lot to love here. Everyone else may find Child Of Light too niche to properly enjoy.
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U
Genre: Platform, RPG
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal
Rating: 3.5 out of 5