Child of Eden is an out worldly experience that will immerse you into the brilliant universe that makes up this action packed game. Battle through a series of complex environments, in hopes to revive what is known as Project Lumi. Your goal is to assist in the preservation of this project by relinquishing an unknown virus, which has sought out to seek and destroy. Think you're up to the challenge?
Child of Eden is quite a unique game. With stunning visuals and a soundtrack that is created by your movements; each time you play will likely produce a new experience. You will be amazed by this game as the story unfolds, revealing more of Project Lumi as you progress.
This is a multi-sensory game, meaning different motions produce varied results. The Kinect knows your every move! At first the goal is simple - trace your hand across the screen, ridding the level of the harmful virus as it appears. However, you have to adapt because the virus can change its form. In this non-stop experience, you'll have to be a quick learner, and have equally fast reactions in order to keep up. If you don't destroy all of an infection, it'll come after you!
This game is unlike any I have played before. It begins with live-action footage of a young girl. This is something not typical in most games. The opening video provides a back story to Eden, and the virus as it begins to takeover. From here, you move swiftly along the title screen by highlighting 'Play' with your hand. This game has the quickest response time of hand detection I have ever seen in a Kinect enabled game. Next you are presented with the main interface.
There are five orbs that circle around the girl seen in the opening video. It's a good thing the response time is fast, because it can be somewhat difficult to follow along as the orbs float around. There's an option within the menu to switch from Kinect gestures to the XBox controller. This is another unique feature in the game. Only one orb is available to play at first. The others require the player to complete the level, which provide stars based on your performance. In the bottom left corner of the screen, there's an option labeled, "Menu." Even though it appears you are in the menu, this option takes you to the settings of the game. At first, they are quite limited.
In the beginning, there are only two options, "Normal," and "Feel Eden." Normal is self-explanatory, but Feel Eden is a mode that allows you to play with no danger of damage. This is a great option for levels that seem impossible to get past. Using this feature will allow you to get through the entire level un-phased, but comes at a price. The player receives no credit if this mode is enabled. No credit means no stars. Thus, if you wish to progress, you'll have to find a way to beat the level on Normal difficulty. Nonetheless, playing in Feel Eden mode provides you with the basics of the level, and will give you the knowledge necessary to complete it. Another option, "Hard," will be added to the list once you've completed the game.
Here, you can see what your rank is among all others (via XBOX Live), on each level, difficulty, and method of play (Kinect or Controller). This, however, is the extent of its online capabilities.
As you complete a level, you'll be rewarded with not only with stars, but unlockable features as well. These features consists of upgraded versions of the levels in the game, Sixty unlockable images of art inspired by the game, movie gallery (Opening sequence, and three other animated videos),Visual Effects (None, Trip, and space for more), Sound Effects (Controller-based), and Credits. There is also an extra space within the Extras to unlock. Each time a level is completed, you are offered four choices of upgrades. Thus, there is plenty more to do even after you complete the game in Normal mode.
The options include: HUD, Controller, Vibration, Tutorial, Brightness, Sound, and Default. HUD allows you to adjust all of the normal aspects of the display (Reticle and Health). You have the choice to see only the reticle, or turn it all off. These settings would be a good way to make this game more challenging. Controller allows you to choose from four button layouts when you play in controller mode. Within these four options, I'm sure you'll find something that will be a good fit. Vibration allows you to turn the vibration on or off when you are using the controller. Tutorial provides a better insight to what is going on during the game, and how to use all of the items within the levels. Brightness is pretty self-explanatory. Sound allows you to adjust the audio levels of the Music, Sound Effects, and the Output Mode. With so many customization features, the Default option can come in handy. This will reset all of the settings to the basic setup.
This is the last item on the menu list. Separate from the options menu, this one is based solely on Kinect adjustments. These include: Reticle Speed, Gesture Type, Reticle Smoothing, and Kinect Guide. Reticle Speed has three choices: Slow, Normal, and Fast. Gesture Type provides two options. The first options are the basic gestures taught in the beginning of the game. The second allows for you to add a clap feature to switch weapons during the game, so the two don't conflict with one another. When you are first learning how to master the multi-gesture, it can be easy to throw the wrong move. However, if you stick with it long enough, there's no need to switch types. Like the Reticle Speed, Reticle Smoothing has similar options; Low, Medium, and High. The Kinect Guide takes you to the typical Kinect interface in case you need to log in as another player.
Enough with the menu and features - Lets move onto the actual game...
As you select the first orb, the adventure begins. There is a quick tutorial that explains the basics of the multi-gesture gameplay. Before you know it, you're thrown right into the action. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of it, but once I did it was like riding a bike. The music was crazy repetitive at first, but you'll come to discover that motions actually create the soundtrack alongside the visuals. You'll be making music in no time. The first level is introductory like most games, but becomes progressively harder. Don't be surprised when you'll have to replay some of the challenges. For a while I didn't think I was going to get past the forth level. If you find yourself at this point, take a break and try again. If you learn from your mistakes, beating the game will become natural. That being said, the storyline is rather short.
With only five levels to complete, a proficient player could beat this in one day, easily. Knowing this may detour you from wanting to invest in this game, but don't forget about all of the upgrades and unlockable features. The award-winning game maker, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, knew what he was doing with this game. Overall, Child of Eden is long enough to keep you interested, and with all of the extras, it'll keep you coming back for more. As mentioned earlier, some of the levels are easily completed, but others are not. If you feel the game was too easy, try playing the hard level of difficulty.
This game is truly something of beauty. To be honest, the still images do not give it justice. During gameplay, you'll be immersed into a 3D world - a world in which you have full control. If played on a large screen or projected display, I'm sure you could get totally lost in the Child of Eden for hours. Enjoy!