Child of Eden is the latest game from Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who you may know from his some of his previous titles Rez & Lumines. As of right now this game is only available on XBOX 360, but is supposed to be coming to the PS3 in the future. The game is playable with or without KINECT, but you can really tell it was meant for motion controls. Will this game make you want to buy a KINECT, or will it make those who already have a KINECT, dust it off and use it once again. Continue after the break to see my thoughts on Child of Eden.
Child of Eden plays a lot like Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s previous title, Rez. This game is supposed to integrate sound, touch and vision all into one experience. If you have never played Rez before, I would recommend downloading the trial for it on XBLA marketplace now for free. Once the download has finished, play the game demo, and then imagine controlling the shooting with your hands, this is how Child of Eden plays. The graphics look much better, but the core gameplay is the same. Just like Rez, there are not many levels in Child of Eden, there are only a total of 5 levels to play in the game, and at a MSRP of $49.99, this may be hard for some to look past.
When I first unwrapped the game, and put it into my Xbox 360, I was very excited to try out the KINECT controls, but I was worried I would just be flaing about my living room. As the first level progressed, it taught me the very simple controls; use my right hand to move the cursor over the enemies, and then pull my right arm back, and push it forward to shoot. Slightly after those instructions, I also learned that my left had worked like a machine gun of sorts, just constantly shooting to wherever it was pointed on the screen. The last bit of controls involved me throwing my arms into the air like a referee would for a field goal, this caused a super power that killed all enemies on the screen. With these 3 simple motions, I was able to take on Child of Eden.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a total of 5 levels, and playing through a level will take about 20 minutes. While playing the game you have a lifebar, that can be refilled if you shoot the health power ups, but if that bar drops down to zero, you will have to start the level over again from the beginning. This adds to the length of the game, considering I died twice on the end boss of the second level, so the second level took me about an hour to complete. After beating a level you are scored on different criteria from throughout the level. This criteria includes items such as how many enemies you hit, how many enemies you missed, how many enemies hit you, and how many perfects you got. Yes, the game works on music, and if you can manage to shoot in beat, it helps you get perfects to grab an even higher score. Once the score is tallied up, you get to pick one item to unlock, and your score is uploaded to the leaderboards. There are actually two leaderboards for every level, a KINECT leaderboard, and a controller leaderboard. The game itself entices multiple playthroughs, just to see everything and unlock everything, this is not a one time playthrough, and sell back game. I also believe this is my new go to game to show off my KINECT to friends and relatives.
After playing the first few levels with my KINECT a few times, I decided to try a level with the controller. I found the game easier with a controller, but nowhere near as engaging. As I was playing with the KINECT, I felt like I was controlling everything going on, including the music, but when I used the controller I just felt like I was playing Rez. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, but the KINECT functionality of this game was just so amazing, that the controller just felt like a nuisance.
This is the first KINECT game that I actually want to go play. My other KINECT games sit there and I look at them thinking, “Nah, that will require me to stand up and be active.”, but even as I write this I want to go play some more child of eden. Would I recommend buying a KINECT just for this game? Probably not, unless you are a die hard fan of Rez, then I might say yes, otherwise I would continue to wait until KINECT has a price drop. Would I recommend this game to every KINECT owner out there? Once again, probably not, but if you are looking for something to do with your KINECT other then jump around, this is the best there is. The same hold true for the game, it is about 2.5 GB, and can be completed with one run through in about 2 hours, if only playing through one time. Though most people would play through this game many more times, I see the current price point a bit high. I picked it up on sale because I wanted to use my Kinect again, and I was not disappointed, though with the length of the game, and the price, I cannot give it 5 stars. If this was an XBLA release or a budget titles at $20, it would get 5 stars, no questions asked. Though I do agree with the box art for this game, it is “Better with KINECT Sensor.”
Enjoy the launch trailer below: