The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi's musical shooter Rez hypnotized players with
trance-inducing visuals and pulsating beats as they eradicated viruses
and firewalls within cyberspace to keep an AI called "Eden" from
shutting down. Roughly a decade later, a spiritual successor to the cult
hit emerges to deliver a similar multi-sensory experience via Kinect.
of Eden is an on-rails shooter that tasks players with rescuing the
endangered Lumi from viruses attacking Eden, a futuristic version of the
Internet. From the introductory Matrix archive to the grand finale in
Journey, players shoot a unique array of enemies while switching between
homing and rapid-fire shots or using a bomb that cleanses all viruses
in your path.
The game gives you the option to use either Kinect
or a standard controller. With Kinect, you use your right hand to guide a
blue reticle to lock onto enemies and then flick your hand to fire
homing missles. You can then seamlessly switch to your left hand to
guide a purple reticle for quick fire. This seems simple at first, but
when enemies begin to invade at full force, strategy comes into play
when determining which type of fire will quickly cleanse the various
types of viruses while keeping your health meter intact. I found Kinect
to be the superior of the two input methods; guiding the reticle with
hand gestures is incredibly accurate. If your arms need a break, the
controller option works well enough.
Players move through Eden's
beautiful environments at a slower, more deliberate pace to give
players a chance to absorb the game's gorgeous design, which at times
feels a little too slow. The game is at its best in the few high speed,
frantic shooting sequences sprinkled across the archives. It wasn't
until the second to last archive, Passion, that I had a true
appreciation of Mizuguchi's vision. This level showers you with
sensory overload, cleverly uses the simple shooting mechanics, and
boasts a visual style unlike anything I have ever seen. My excitement
grew as I zipped through the final archive that followed, but like Rez,
Child of Eden abruptly ends the immersive experience right when it hits
Each of Child of Eden's five archives takes a mere
10 to 25 minutes to complete, putting game length closer to those of
downloadable titles. A few unlockables give Child of Eden replay value,
including an additional challenge mode level, art and video galleries,
and decorations for Lumi's garden in the main menu screen. However the
most valuable prize is new visual effects. Selecting a different
cosmetic effect drastically changes the aesthetic of each archive,
giving the levels a whole new feel.
Though brief, Child of Eden
offers one of the most unique Kinect experiences to date. It's
unfortunate our time in Eden's gorgeous confines ends too soon.