Child of Light — Review

A Storybook brought to Life

Child of Light is a beautiful children’s story book brought to life with an exquisite hand-painted world. You play as a child princess, exploring and fight your way to the truth in a dream which turns proves to be more than a figment of imagination.

You move around in the game by literally flying across the world from very early in the game. There is not much of gameplay outside combat other than avoiding traps and trying to hit the enemies from behind to trigger a ‘sneak attack’. Most of the enemies are optional but you’d want to fight them as frequently as possible to gain valuable experience which will come in real handy during the game’s much tougher boss fights.

The combat is Turned-interruption-based. There is a timeline bar on the bottom of the screen and every action takes a fixed amount of time to perform. The bar is towards the right is split into ‘casting region’, which is the envelopes the time it takes for player as well as the enemies to perform their move. The idea here is to hit your enemies while they are casting so you ‘interrupted’ them. Meaning they not only be able to perform their action, but they are also sent back a few notches behind the timeline, opening the window of opportunity for you to attack.

I was not very familiar with this type of combat mechanics as a result I died quite a few times during boss fights. I asked around and to many people they found the game very easy on the ‘advanced or normal’ difficulty I played on. I had to grind to level up in order to defeat the final boss, so again I suggest to engage in all encounters. There is no drawback to losing to an encounter, you simply start with a full health and mana at the beginning of the section or whenever there was a checkpoint. So the difficulty really depends on how familiar you are with this type of game.

There are certain things I didn’t like about the game though. I feel the combat system doesn’t relay a lot of the vital information to the player. For example, you do not know the health of the enemies nor do you know which type of elemental stuff you have your team equipped. This means you are forced to memorize how you distributed your equipment and cannot make a well-timed final blows with no stats to look after. This especially hurts in the boss fights where the margin of error is very thin. Also the crafting is also not very well explained. You basically equip elemental attacks and defenses by equipping specific colored gems. You can also combine gems to create a different colored one. The game does not really explain which colors are possible to craft. So it is possible for a lot of players to go through half the game without knowing a certain gem color exists. I suggest you look into a guide just to make sure you get caught up with all the colors so you can equip your team with more organized attacks and defenses.

I am not a fan of Ubisoft as a whole, but this is a side of Ubisoft I really admire. In the end I feel the game could have been a more rounded experience if they had more time and budget. A lot of effort had gone into making this game visually spectacular, unfortunately it meant the core mechanics of the game suffered and stretched a bit too thin for my taste. In the end these drawbacks can be frustrating, but does not detract much from the beautiful experience this game delivers.

7/10 — Good!