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PAX East 2011: Child of Eden Preview

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Out of the games announced for Kinect, only one really stood out for me and that is Child of Eden. The next big game from Tetsuya Mizuguchi and Q Entertainment, Child of Eden seems to be the successor to Rez that all of us have been hoping for.

The game on the Kinect is fully motion controlled (but can be played with a controller) and is a rhythm/action/game that is a joy to behold. The color palette in the game is as rich and vibrant as anything I have seen, with creatures and backgrounds rendered in a fantastical and wonderful way.

click to view larger imageThe game itself is relatively simple. You are traveling on rails throughout the world and you control your targeted blasts with your right hand and auto fire with your left. As in Rez, you motion over the enemies and they get locked onto, and in Child of Eden you flick your hand fast to fire. It is a very cool system and adds a frantic feel as you motion and then swipe to fire. I found myself altering my motions as I went along to get the best responses.

The autofire is much easier, but doesn’t feel terribly rewarding as you simply move your hand around and enemies are blasted. I switched to this mode at times and it proved quite fun to literally switch hands to change firing modes.  It is a neat touch and something that I think can add a nice depth to the game. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any enemies that were specific to certain fire modes, but that could be something that happens as the game develops.

The audio (as best as I could tell in the crowded floor) is stellar as expected. Blasts cause different notes to overlay and firing on enemies in quick succession causes a cascading note effect. The graphics and music complement each other very well and really add to the feel of the game in a beautiful way.

click to view larger imageThe game itself isn’t difficult in the fact that despite not playing well, I didn’t lose or die, but there is a strong challenge in scoring well. You gain multipliers if you hit the max enemies on screen or clear all enemies with your shots. You also can try to kill all of the enemies as they pass to get the best score possible but that takes a lot of quick movement and reflexes.

Child of Eden is something that I could easily say will be an amazing experience on Kinect and while it is not a true “killer app,” it could be something that will bring the hardcore and casual together behind the Kinect experience. This is another stunning game from Tetsuya Mizuguchi and I can’t wait for the full release.

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About Michael Prince

Looking at all things Geek - news, rants and updates from the worlds of gaming, tech, blu-ray, novels, and music.