Ubisoft is a publisher most notable for its now long-established series Assassins Creed, and isn’t usually the first company I’d jump to for something innovative. And yet, Ubisoft is set to release Child of Light on the 30th April: a hybrid JRPG (Japanese Role-playing game) platformer, with a female protagonist and a story told completely in iambic pentameter.
Considering the current state of the video-game industry, Child of Light really is a phenomenon. With companies like Square Enix admitting that their past few games have been too watered down, and publishers all squabbling over the largest piece of the audience pie, games like Child of Light appear few and far between on consoles.
The concept of the game is instantly unique; the story follows a girl called Aurora, who is born in 19th century Austria and contracts a rare disease that causes her to fall asleep, and when she wakes she finds herself in the mythical land of Lemuria. Aurora’s quest is to return Lemuria’s stolen sun, moon and stars from the wicked Black Queen in order to return to her father. Yet Aurora’s character appears to offer more than simply a heroine thrown into a tricky situation: but a girl who must overcome a series of foes and fears to develop as both a woman and a person (something very reminiscent of Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed Spirited Away).
But the comparison to Spirited Away doesn’t end with the story. Perhaps Child of Light’s most appealing aspect is its stunning art style. Based upon 18th century mythical art, every one of Child of Light’s screens are lovingly painted by hand and recreated almost identically into the game.
As seen in the newly released trailer below, according to the game’s devs; the glorious water-colour effects were created to enhance the feeling of being in a water-like dream world, and the running colours imitate the flowing movement of the game’s combat. IGN’s very own Marty Sliva commented on how quick and natural the game’s turn based combat felt in his recent preview, and praised its intelligent implementation of co-operative play.
With all this exciting coverage, Ubisoft’s Child of Light looks to be a stand-out title of this year. From reviving traditional SNES-era JPRG combat, to combining that with Rayman: Legends-esque platform whimsy, add a highly unusual story and an entirely unique art-style, and it’s easy to get excited for Child of Light.
Child of Light was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and will be published for download by Ubisoft on the 30th April 2014 for Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.