Child-of-Light-logo

Listen closely child, to this story of a land; a place called Lemuria, a landscape grand. Left forsaken to darkness by a queen of the night; left with but one beacon of hope – a princess of light. Twisted forests to caves, to the depths of the sea; the crown and her companions would fight so bravely. To recover her kingdom, her stars, moon and sun; but for now, listen child, as her story is just begun…

Within this vast world of gaming there are numerous qualities that stand out among others: graphical prowess, innovative gameplay mechanics, in depth multi-faceted storylines or even exquisite and hard to forget soundtracks. Sometimes games possess many of these qualities among so many others all in one pristine package and other times many fall just short in one or more areas. Ubisoft’s newest release Child of Light, may not be a trailblazer of these factors by most people’s standards; however, it shines brightly through those clouds of violence, gunfire, and blood and introduces players to a spectrum of elegance that is not often found.

In this fairy tale RPG, players find themselves in control of a young girl named Aurora who awakens in a land unlike anything shechild of light dialogue has ever seen. With bright red flowing hair held under a protective crown and a sword at her side, she sets off to discover this mysterious land of Lemuria and find a way back to her home, back to her ailing father. As she aids many passerby and villages, she receives more than just simple items and trinkets to help along her journey – she finds companions and friends whose worth becomes more than words can say. From a rhyme challenged Jester with a beautiful voice to a love-struck mouse archer always eager to impress, the cast leaves behind the generic party makeup that so often accompanies RPGs for an endearing cast of creatures whose intentions almost carry an air of innocence. With her friends, Aurora explores the lands ever searching for the light that was so cruelly taken away from the Lemurians and fights to gain back what was once taken.

One of the most noticeable aspects of this title lay in its enchanting art style. Beautiful hand drawn characters and landscapes almost replicate floating through a dream. Contorted trees and rocks shadow in the forefront and the endless backgrounds go on for what looks like miles giving a wondrous depth to the 2d sidescrolling fantasy.  Additionally, the story and dialogue is not told in a usual format, but rather in an almost shakespearean-esque round of poem and lyric from the narrator’s interludes to the characters banter back and forth. It is an unusual and surprising element at first; and while it may cause some to lose focus of the story trying to keep up with the rhyme, it also adds a variance of color to its own atmosphere. It just feels right.

child of light combatGame play wise, the player primarily controls Aurora either on foot or by the most welcomed method of flying around the overworld areas. In addition to Aurora, players also control a small firefly of light named Igniculus, who can alternatively be played by a second person. Igniculus has his own abilities both in and out of combat which consist of acquiring items and some chests that may be out of reach for Aurora or simply hazardous to navigate to as well as temporarily stun/blind enemies for safe passage. Once combat is initiated (either by a frontal or rear encounter) the screen and tempo changes to a new format. It is a mix of turn based and real time combat that truly is something simple and easy to grasp yet exceptionally fun to master at the same time. During battle, two party members may be on screen at the same time (along with Igniculus) and a small action bar appears at the bottom of the screen to show both party and enemy placement along the timeline. Each attack or defensive tactic has its own cast time within the action window and it goes the same for both friend and foe. Attacks and spells may also be interrupted by either side and alternatively may also revert the target further back on the time line, which in turn opens the door to the true strategy of it all. On top of planning attacks and counters and watching the enemy, Igniculus also plays a part via healing party members, slowing down enemy progress along the time line and even collecting small replenishments of hp, mp and his own light source.

In addition to exploration and combat there is also a trove of treasures, stat boosts and confessions to find scattered around the world map to achieve that 100% completion mark. Going even deeper, each character has their own unique three tiered skill tree so they may upgrade their active and passive abilities as the player chooses up to a three star basis determining power and effectiveness. A somewhat simple crafting system is also in place involving certain gems called Oculi. These oculi have varying degrees of strength and up to three can be attached to each character to boost elemental attack, elemental resistance, evasion, hp or mp depending on the slot they are assigned. In essence, these factors allow the player freedom to build the characters as they wish and utilize them to the best of their ability.child of light sea monster

Overall, Child of Light is a game that takes many familiar RPG elements and places them into an atmosphere that is somewhat unexpected yet exquisitely enchanting. The story may hold a simple premise, yet plays out much as it is first introduced: as a bedtime story told to a child awaiting their dreams. It is a work of art both in visual allure as well as written word, and should be taken in as such. Taking around 10 hours to complete the story (and perhaps additional to find and acquire everything missed once complete), it is well worth the price and can be played on PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox360, Xbox1 and in the near future the PS Vita as well.

So when the time comes, will you step into the world of Lemuria?

Will you listen to this story?

…I think you should.

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