Review: Child of Eden (PS3)

Review: Child of Eden (PS3)

Just over two months ago, Child of Eden was released for the Xbox 360 and Kinect. Tetsuya Miziguchi’s follow-up to his visually stunning Rez was an absolute improvement, bringing gamers a truly beautiful visual and aural experience. Now, that same experience has made its debut on the Playstation 3 console, with Move support. How does it compare?

Favorably, to be succinct.

A lot of it is identical to the Xbox 360/Kinect version, which is to be expected. It’s the same game, just on a different platform.

From our Kinect review:

Like I previously said, CoE is pure eye candy. It really is stunning and if the goal of the dev team was to make one of the most beautiful games for this generation of consoles, they succeeded ten-fold. It is difficult to describe what went through my mind as I played the game, since I think it is something that has to be seen first-hand, but it was very overwhelming. Watching the walls pulse to the music, the subtle changes in hue, the electric neon that subtly flashes, and the unique character design really a sight to behold. If one game could define Mizuguchi’s career, Child of Eden is it. That’s not to say that it’s all downhill from here from him, but merely how CoE is a prime example of his genius that we’ve only seen glimpses of over the years.

The sound is really where the game shines, as if it was even remotely possible to out-do the visual but Q Entertainment pulled it off in spades. The artful blend of techno, trance, and space sound effects really help encapsulate the gamer in a sphere of aural pleasure. Because of how well done the audio is, it is easy to fully immerse yourself into Child of Eden without a second of hesitation. I really felt that the pattern of beats helped lend a feeling of progression as you floated through the level, since there is no map or any other indication as to how long each section will be.

Now, despite how in love I am with this game, there are some drawbacks. A major one for me is that there is no checkpoint system. Once you start a level you have to keep playing it until the very end, and if you die you have to restart the entire thing. Depending on the way that you play, each level can last anywhere between 12-20 minutes, but I know there are some people out there, like myself, who want the option to stop and pick up where the game was saved at.

Also, because of how tunneled the game is, if a person is sensitive to motion or is susceptible to Simulator Syndrome, you might want to rent Child of Eden before purchasing. Prior to playing CoE, only two other games have ever made me nauseated: the first Red Faction and one level in Vanquish. I was unaware that CoE would have the same side-effect and out of nowhere it hit me and I had to stop playing. Because of this, I have had to do the game in slow doses, and for other gamers who are like me, this is another example of how a checkpoint system would be an incredible asset.

As I said, this game is identical in all respects except for the control method. Sure, some people may say that the Playstation 3 experience is more beautiful, but I honestly didn’t notice any difference in the visual or aural quality. It’s a beautiful game, whatever system you prefer to play it on. The control method, then, remains the only variable. To be honest, there are times when I preferred the Kinect, and times when I preferred the Move. Targeting the blocks on an upcoming wall in order to destroy it was easier with Move than with Kinect, while targeting rapidly moving objects was easier with Kinect than with Move. Neither one, for me, stands out firmly above the other. The Move controls are well implemented, and help you handle the game very well.

Any way you slice it, Child of Eden is a thing of beauty, be it on the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. Choosing between the two should end up being simply a matter of console preference and control method preference. You won’t be missing out on anything by choosing one version over the other, which is the sign of a successful cross-platform release.

Review

ProsCons
Visually and aurally stunning
Great Move controls
No checkpoints
Potential Simulator Syndrome effects
Rating
95 out of 100
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