Graphics:
9.3
Gameplay:
9.2
Sound:
9.0
Control:
8.9
Replay Value:
8.5
Overall Rating:
9.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Ubisoft
Developer:
Ubisoft Montreal
Number Of Players:
1-2
Genre:
RPG
Release Date:
April 30, 2014


I often agonize over the first sentence in a review. I’ve been sitting here for a good fifteen minutes, experimenting with openers and thus far, none of them have sounded exactly right. I considered, “ Child of Light is a breath of fresh air,” but I ditched it because it sounded too generic. Everyone ’s saying that. I tried, “ Child of Light epitomizes charm and innocence, traits long since lost to the annals of gaming history.” But it’s overly dramatic and not 100% true, either.

So, I apologize for the lack of a great opening line. Maybe by the end, I’ll come up with something good…

I was always anticipating a very special and unique graphical presentation. Knowing that the small Ubisoft Montreal team was utilizing the impressive UbiArt Framework, and having seen plenty of media leading up to the game’s release, I expected a subtle yet poignant beauty. In this prediction, I was accurate. The muted color palette doesn’t disappoint; rather, it instills the adventure with a sense of wonder and tenderness. If one was to tell the story of a little girl trapped in an otherworldly fantasy, who encounters colorful characters and bizarre yet intriguing creatures, this is precisely the presentation they’d desire. In short, it holds a singular mystique.

The audio follows the visual’s lead, as it too is subtle yet significantly sentimental. The haunting soundtrack is gorgeous and fills the world with a resplendent, echoing allure. The effects, ranging from the sharp slash of Aurora’s sword to the ambient sounds that make the world of Lemuria come to life, are always on point. While I often wanted a more urgent, insistent score to accompany the more dangerous encounters, the audio permeates to the very core and keeps one rooted in that remarkable fantasy. It also contributes to the general laid-back atmosphere, in which you never feel rushed; only enchanted.

At first, I admit I was only interested in Child of Light because it was supposed to have a true turn-based combat system. I’d heard other games claim to have a turn-based mechanic but usually, those claims didn’t ring true, as there’d be some unwelcome real-time element. For instance, you’d move your characters in real-time even if the actions were turn-based, or there’d be some form of real-time combo maneuver you had to execute in the midst of the otherwise turn-based encounter. But after seeing gameplay of Ubisoft’s latest, I knew it’d be true turn-based. So yeah, being an old-school PS1 JRPG fan, I was excited.