JRPG fans grab your swords and best healer because we’re about to take some heavy damage. UbiSoft has been quietly plugging away at a game that has been described as “poetic”, “stunning” and potentially one of the best premier RPG’s of 2014. That game is so eloquently dubbed, Child of light.
Child of Light was first revealed at the 2013 Game Developer’s Conference in Europe by Ubisoft Montreal’s creative director, Patrick Plourde. He’s best known for his work on Far Cry 3 and other popular franchises such as Tom Clancy & Assassin’s Creed. I’m sure you’re already thinking that this sounds like an unlikely combo. Well, to be frank – it is. UbiSoft is most notorious for their action and first person shooters. But that’s just one of the idiosyncrasies that make Child of Light an RPG you can’t miss. Keep reading if you want to know more.
Well, every noteworthy game must have a remarkable story and Child of Light delivers. We follow a little girl with fuchsia hair called Aurora who’s the privileged daughter of a duke in Austria circa 1895. She falls ill, slips into a deep sleep then awakes to find herself in the world of Lumeria – a place that’s equal parts dazzling and ominous. In order for her to return home, she is tasked with recovering the sun, the moon and the stars from her antagonist, The Queen of Night. Unlike most fairy tales this story prides itself in being nontraditional by taking a more serious spin on what would often be a childhood fantasy. Jeffrey Yohalem, lead writer of Child of Light had a few choice words in a recent interview (that you can find on the UniBlog) with Gary Steinman that describes what makes this tale particularly unique:
“This game does not coddle you. It’s not a light, saccharine, cheesy game. It is very much trying to illustrate reality in both its horror and beauty.”
Refreshing, isn’t it? To make things more interesting they’ve written the game’s 200-page script entirely in rhyme!
Next on the list of winning attributes is gameplay. Plourde divulged that the game is similar to Limbo in terms of play and ethereal quality. It’s best described as a side-scrolling RPG that even contains the archetypal turn-based combat seen in RPG series Grandia (which is attributed as one of its influences). When asked about what kind of challenges Aurora would face, Senior Level Designer for Child of Light, Pascal Theriault illustrated that the traps take into account Aurora’s ability to fly and dash around the terrain.
“For example, the player will have to deal with narrowing walls, magic crystals that shoot lightning, or pits full of poison. Finally, we sometimes add strong water or air currents to the area, which ups the difficulty of the trap or the level .”
Resonating with classic RPG style, you can level up your characters skill-tree to increase stats and learn new abilities. Keep in mind that there are over 200 skills to unlock and you can craft your own items with over 600+ crafting combos available. It even offers multiplayer co-op so you can play alongside your friends!
Last but not least in line for best qualities is the art style. It stems from inspiration by artists John Bauer (a fairytale illustrator from Sweden), Hayao Miyazaki (known for his movies Spirited Away & Howl’s Moving Castle), and Yoshitaka Amano (illustrator of the Speed Racer anime and most notably his commissioned artwork for the Final Fantasy series). Take that inspiration and deliver it with breathtaking high-definition art by the UbiArt Framework and you get an awe-inspiring ambiance. If you thought that it couldn’t get any better, there’s even a deluxe edition of the game that includes a keychain, a 24 page art book, and a poster designed and signed by Yoshitaka Amano himself!
If you’re interested in where you can nab this little treasure Child of Light is available for pre-order now and will be available for digital download on April 30, 2014 across multiple platforms that include: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 & Xbox One. If you want to know more and see some sweet video footage of the game check out the Child of Light official website.