2NB Review: Child of Light

Child of Light Cover

Beautiful games with an emotional story have always been appealing to me. Journey, Ori and the Blind Forest, Hollow Knight, INMOST, Little Nightmares...these are the games I enjoy. Games where I can immerse myself in these dream-like worlds and experience a life much different than my own. Ubisoft’s Child of Light, therefore, fits in perfectly. 

Child of Light is a touching, heartwarming, and heartbreaking story of a little girl trying to get back to her father. The tale introduces us to Aurora, a young daughter of an Austrian duke in the late 19th century. As the story goes, Aurora dies tragically and leaves her father to mourn her passing. Of course, in true fairy tale fashion, we learn that she is not dead but has instead been transported to the fantastical world of Lemuria. But this beautiful land is not without its evil, as the Dark Queen Umbra has plans to seize power and take Lemuria for herself. 

Aurora, lost, alone, and holding on to the hope of finding her father, meets a peculiar creature of light named Igniculus. Igniculus helps Aurora as she navigates through this strange world. Along the way, Aurora meets other unique characters like Finn, a powerful mage, Rubella, an acrobat with powerful healing abilities, and her brother, Tristis, who has powerful buff abilities. There’s also a rat archer, Robert, a stout warrior of the Kategida clan, Oengus, among others. All of them band together to help Aurora find her way back to her father.

And that is the central theme of this game: hope. Aurora finds herself in this dark world where evil thrives, and sorrow permeates every town she visits and every character she meets. These are just simple townsfolk going about their day even with this growing evil looming over their heads. Aurora becomes the embodiment of hope and a symbol of perseverance in the face of imminent doom. 

To complement the story is a beautifully crafted world. It adheres to a dark fantasy aesthetic that only adds to the overall melancholy of the game. The characters are hand-drawn, with spectacular water-colored backgrounds. The characters are charming in their creation, and you can’t help but connect with each of them. The dialogue, written in rhymes, can feel a little jarring at times, but it works, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And the music, perfectly composed by singer-songwriter Cœur de pirate, takes every emotion and transforms it into beautifully haunting melodies. It’s the perfect soundtrack. 

While the story and art are the center points of Child of Light, the combat system is something I have never seen in any other RPG that I’ve played. It is a mix of turn-based and active combat, which is uniquely fun and challenging because you need a solid strategy to win each battle. It could have easily been turn-based, but this creative approach to combat is what separates Child of Light from other RPGs. In addition, the skill trees are simplistic and offer increases to a limited amount of abilities. While this may feel too easy, or not detailed enough, Child of Light benefits from this approach. This is not a game that requires abundant skill trees or tons of weapon and armor options.

Overall

Child of Light is a beautiful game with memorable characters, incredible aesthetics, and a soundtrack that conveys unwavering love, unbearable loss, and ultimate triumph. It is a rare gem of a game that will leave a lasting impression.

Wren says: RECOMMENDED

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