An enjoyable little gem that uniquely blends music with on-rails shooting.

User Rating: 8 | Child of Eden X360

Child of Eden

The Good

  • Enjoyable soundtrack
  • Brilliantly combines rhythm and shooting
  • Beautiful level design

The Bad

  • Kinect shortcomings

A young girl with a gentle breeze blowing in her hair looks at planet Earth with immense love and compassion. She ponders about what life would be like on the world below. However, before she has time to react the crystal clear picture is muddled, distorted, and quickly fades to black trapping this lovely young lady in complete darkness.

Child of Eden is about a deceased young female named Lumi. She was born on the International Space Station and always thought about traveling to Earth but unfortunately this never came to pass. As the human race plunged into the 21st century and beyond, space exploration became humanity's primary focus. The internet turned into an archive of human history and took on a new name, Eden. When scientist of Eden stumble upon the tragic story of Lumi they decided recreate her essence inside of Eden called Project Lumi. However, a nasty computer virus has its grip on Project Lumi and is almost complete with eradicating her forever.

Child of Eden is an on-rails shooter with an unique rhythm element added into the formula. With just a reticle in front of you the five distinct worlds of Matrix, Evolution, Beauty, Passion, and Journey (plus one bonus level) open up right before your very eyes with majesty and wonder. The level design is absolutely amazing in this game. The uniquely themed environments are filled with a rich color pallet and gorgeous textures. Superbly complimenting the visuals is an up-beat soundtrack with plenty of new age electronica melodies that will surely keep you tapping your foot the entire time.

As you whimsically traverse each uniquely themed environment you'll be inundated with all sorts of virus-like enemies and gigantic bosses to destroy. There are two primary weapons at your disposable: the tracer and lock-on laser. The tracer is a rapid fire device used for destroying enemy projectiles and anything colored in purple. Everything else is fair game for the lock-on laser. Using the lock-on laser, you are able to "lock on" up to eight targets (called an Octa-Lock) before destroying them all at once. The rhythm aspect comes into play when you precisely time an Octa-Lock trigger in time with the beat of the music. Chaining these Octa-Locks in succession will yield some extravagant score multipliers. In addition, if the screen gets too clustered with baddies you can always use your screen clearing nuke called Euphoria. Just keep in mind that you have a limited supply.

"Chaining these Octa-Locks in succession will yield some extravagant score multipliers."

The gameplay supports both controller and Kinect control schemes. Interacting, via the Kinect motion controls, is accomplished by guiding the reticle with either your right hand (lock-on laser) or left hand (tracer). While raising both arms straight up in the air will trigger the Euphoria attack. The flow of the action makes playing with the Kinect a more immersive experience but unfortunately comes with a few setbacks. Controlling the reticle with whichever hand you are using also determines where the camera looks. Switching hands typically results in the camera getting juggled around, which gets disorienting fast. Also, precise movements can be a bit tricky with the finicky Kinect hardware. Although these annoyances are present the game is still playable with the Kinect. However, you'll probably be switching to the controller, which isn't as captivating but the increase in accuracy is too difficult to pass up.

As you play through each of the five levels, in the story mode, you'll quickly realize that this game is quite short, spanning only a couple hours. However, to hide this fact, Child of Eden makes the difficulty quite challenging. First time adventurers will find that the normal setting is actually quite difficult than what their use to with other games. Plus, for those veterans, there is a Hard mode and bonus level to really test your skills. Furthermore, you can brag about your gaming prowess by unlocking extras and topping the leaderboards.

There is something about Child of Eden that draws you in and entices further playthroughs. Its easy to fall in love with this adventure and the noble quest to rescue the fair Lumi from her doomed cyber fate makes you feel like a hero. Flying through this eerie, yet aw-inspiring game defeating computer viruses in time with a cheery and up beat soundtrack is an adrenaline rush. Child of Eden is an enjoyable experience and overlooking this title would be a shame.