Child of Light Review
It’s hard to call Child of Light a Japanese RPG, when it was developed in Canada by Ubisoft Montreal, but that’s still probably the best way to describe it. Despite this minor identity crisis, Child of Light is every bit as good as any recent JRPG to hit the market.
The game sets out with a story about how a fire takes the life of a young girl named Aurora. Post-death she finds herself waking up in a strange new world and is just desperately trying to find her way home. The story is told between a combination of dialog and cut-scenes, but it works well for it. The only thing gets a bit old after a while, is the seemingly forced rhyming scheme the game tries to adopt.
Visually, the game looks absolutely stunning, like a piece of fine artwork in motion. And the setting really makes this art direction come alive. And while amount of video settings to toggle on the PC build is very limited, it could be attributed to this art style, so it’s one of the few times I’ll let it go. The game runs at an incredibly smooth 60 fps and looks great the whole time you play.
What I’m most impressed with, is the game’s combat system. The system takes a hybrid approach to combat, combining both turn-based and active time battle elements, though nothing seemed to be compromised in combining the two. Each character in battle, moves along a wait bar, which is the time between each move, and once the end of that bar is reached, you can attack, but each attack takes a certain amount of time to cast. By performing techniques with quicker cast times, you can perform your move first and interrupt the enemy from attacking, but they can also do the same to you. But since defending doesn’t have any cast time, it makes taking a defensive stance actually practical, which is incredibly rare to see in a RPG of this nature. What results, is one of the freshest combat systems I have come across in any RPG in recent memory. And while I may have made the system sound a bit more complex, it’s actually surprisingly simple to grasp, though the time it takes to master it, is what makes it feel truly rewarding.
While being being somewhat linear, Child of Light is simply a visceral experience, there are many different paths to take and places to explore, though it’s one of the very few instances where I really wouldn’t mind if I got “lost.” There is a good amount of collectables to keep the game going and pretty large overworld to explore. At the end of the day, the game will run you about 10 to 15 hours, but at a budget price of $15, it is worth every last penny and is one of the finest RPGs to come out this year.
9 out of 10