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Child of Eden (PlayStation 3)

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

Child of Eden was made in 2011 by Q Entertainment for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It can be played via controller, Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move. In this video I review the PlayStation 3 version which I play with Move. This game is a rail shooter with stylized visuals and adaptive music and serves as a prequel to the famous game Rez which originally was released on the Sega Dreamcast and the PlayStation 2.

In the game's story scientists made an artificial intelligence based on data collected about a woman called Lumi. She was the first human to be born in outer space and was popular on earth as a musician. The artificial intelligence was supposed to live in the internet. Upon awaking the Lumi AI a virus infects the whole internet an attacks the AI. The player has to stop the infection in order to cure the Lumi AI.

The game just consists of five ordinary levels and an unlockable bonus level. The first level is quite blocky and many portions are tile based. The second level takes place under water. The third level has a flower theme. The next location starts looking like a factory but then becomes a town. The final level is in many ways a repetition of notable moments and bosses of the first four levels. The bonus level consists of eight stages which are ordered along a steep difficulty curve.

Levels are unlocked by collecting a sufficient amount of stars or meeting other requirements. Personally I did not like this forced on grinding and I think it is a cheap way to prolong this short game. The player has an unlimited supply of lock on shots and normal shots. Other than that screen clearing shots can be picked up throughout the game. Health is also replenished by pickups. Best scores are achieved by locking on to a total of eight targets and releasing the shots along the rhythm of the background music. If the player succeeds to do so in consecutive fashion a score multiplier builds up. Some violet objects and enemies aren't vulnerable to the lock on shot and must be defeated using the normal shots or the screen clearing weapon.

After completion of a level the player may choose an enemy or object, which then can be selected to float around in a menu screen. Multiple versions of this enemies or objects can be obtained. In an artwork gallery pictures can be unlocked by passing challenges. Amongst the other unlockables are music videos and screen filters which change how the game looks like. The game can be played in stereoscopic 3D if a compatible TV is used. Personally I enjoyed that mode a lot and I was pleasantly surprised. The cut scenes and music videos however aren't 3D, which makes this mode look like a late afterthought.

There are no continues and the player is put back to the menu after failing. Apart from inside the bonus level no points or other progression is rewarded for trials, which in my opinion doesn't fit the otherwise grindy nature of the game. The Move calibration screen is non intuitive and inefficient. The game does a poor job keeping the controller's zero position, which makes aiming more difficult. Much like in Rambo The Video Game which I showed in episode 124 the on screen reticle can be hidden. This indicates to me that the developers overestimated the accuracy capabilities of the Move controller. In that light I can understand why the difficulty of the game wasn't adjusted for control with the Move.

I like the simple, neon looking visuals of the game. The electronic background music is nice but not very pushing and sometimes almost ambient. Reading contemporary reviews and ratings I am very disappointed by the low extent the music actually adapts to the game play. This game is hyped as a brilliant master piece, which I cannot confirm. I can see how enthusiasts of the rail shooter genre would find this game appealing when playing with a controller, but I wouldn't recommend the game to players that don't fit this niche especially not to those looking for good Move shooters.

To me the cover which is showing a man shooting energy from his hands fits the game badly and makes me think whether the game was planned to be a Kinect exclusive at some stage. Furthermore it amuses me how the PEGI rating system thought this game was violent.