Child of Eden: First Impressions
A woman from space that who has been dead hundreds of years has been resurrected on the internet and you're the IT assigned to fight the viruses attacking her. Child of Eden is a mesmerizing musical game, with fluid animations, great game play, and lots of replay ability.
Playing the game with Kinect creates a memorable experience. The controls are still so new that when you play the games you still feel a bit in awe that you are controlling things the same way you've seen in science fiction movies. Even menu sections make me feel like I'm in some sort of Holodeck. With Child of Eden, it's an incredible feeling. When I play, I feel like some great wizard shooting things out of my hands or Neo from the Matrix controlling everything with a small gesture. Maybe I'm just really gullible, but it is awesome.
The game play is simple: both your hands are a type of gun. Your right hand is a sniper weapon that can lock and hit eight targets at a time before reloading. Your left hand is more like a machine gun; the second you raise your left hand it starts shooting bullets at targets nonstop. With this combination, you alternate depending on the targets. When you want to throw a bomb and clear the screen, you raise both your arms. In my mind, I envision this as the equivalent of saying "f*** this s***" and going postal on the entire screen. In the best of levels, I had the most fun when I was constantly switching from each hand, looking like an amateur orchestra conductor. A conductor with guns, in cyberspace, kicking ass.
Musical games don't have much of a story. They are like platform games—heavy on the game play, light on the story elements. Child of Eden is the same, but the small bits of the background story are fascinating. The story revolves around Lumi. She was a human born in space and always longed for Earth. She died not being able to visit, but her memories were kept in a computer. Centuries later, the internet was robust enough to handle Lumi's memories and she was created within cyberspace (or Eden, as they now called the internet). As she awakened in Eden, she was attacked by viruses, and you are the one assigned to save her.
The story is amusing, and one can certainly linger thinking about the overall picture. For example, if Lumi was born in space, why was it impossible for her to visit earth? Was she poor, stranded, suffering from a disease? What prompted scientists to preserve her memory in the first place? Was this common during her time? Why use hundreds of year old data to recreate a human in cyberspace? Wouldn't it be better to get a recent copy of memories of a person who is still alive? I'm sure the data capture would be more complete than the capturing methods of centuries ago. Why are viruses specifically attacking Lumi? Is there a person or group targeting her, or are viruses like wild animals on the net that are simply acting on instinct? If Lumi is killed by the viruses, why not just load another copy of Lumi? She's data after all, something that can be copied and pasted.
Besides the story, it is interesting that the player does not have a shape. What are you exactly? In the game all we see are are weapons firing, but I'm not quite sure what the shape of the player is, or where the bullets are coming from. Is the player a ship shooting everything in its path? A tug boat? A blob? Just what is the shape of the player going through this landscape? It's really weird to think that you don't have a shape. The player is undefined, and the only way we know that we exist is through actions. It's kind of like surfing the internet, isn't it? We don't have a shape in cyberspace, but we can click and drag and navigate. We are there, but only conceptually.
If you like musical-themed games and have Kinect, then Child of Eden is a must buy—at a lower price. The game only has five levels which take an average of an hour to beat, so the value for you will be defined if you liked the experience enough the first time, or if you get a lot of enjoyment replaying the levels to get a high score. I don't think it's worth the $50 asking price right now, but at $30 or $20 dollars, it would be perfect.