PlayStation VR

Apr 03

Apr 03

The First 2 Hours of Child of Light on PS4

Ryan Clements's Avatar Posted by Senior Specialist, SIEA Social Media

Child of Light

Before a crumbling statue in a dark wood, Aurora faces her first enemy in Child of Light. As it screeches in the little girls’ direction, she hefts her oversized sword into the air with supreme confidence. She’s unfazed by its arachnid frame and menacing gait. This encounter depicts Child of Light in its purest form: unflinching, beautiful, and defiant of expectations. It’s a PS3 and PS4 RPG that celebrates the RPG tradition while striking out on a new path, wholly its own.

When I first wrote about Child of Light last year, Aurora had already embarked on her adventure through the enchanting world of Lemuria. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to play the opening two hours, uninterrupted. The result: an unassailable emotional connection to Aurora and her quest. The team at Ubisoft Montreal has crafted a heart-rending story, steeped in detail and welcoming to young gamers as well as old.

Aurora’s arrival in Lemuria is immediately tragic. Daughter to an Austrian duke, the young girl falls ill and wakes in an unfamiliar wood. Bereft of her father and overwhelmed with emotion, Aurora is soon united with a charming little flame, Igniculus, whom Aurora addresses as “Sir Firefly.” He guides her to a seer and mystic who could reveal her pathway home.

Child of LightChild of Light

But adventures are rarely so easy, and Aurora is tasked with finding the Sun, Moon, and Stars, which have been stolen from the sky by the Black Queen. Returning the light to the land may enable Aurora to go home and be with her family again, so she is forced to play the role of hero.

Unlike many JRPG leads, Aurora embraces her newfound quest with startling haste. She charges forward with no trace of childlike fear or hesitance — a refreshing change from the norm. And while Child of Light features turn-based battles and questing companions, it more often than not darts away from RPG stereotypes, or finds clever ways to invigorate them.

If the above art hasn’t conveyed the point, Child of Light boasts a rare sort of beauty, equal parts ethereal and familiar. The UbiArt Framework makes each scene and each character look marvelous, from lamenting specters to gilded walls. The layered backgrounds give each environment immense depth, with birds taking flight and the silhouette of a giant lumbering past in the distance.

Child of Light

Every word in Child of Light, from the narration to the dialogue (even the quest objectives), is written in varying forms of rhyme. This bestows Child of Light with a storybook quality — though it maintains an abundance of wit. Aurora and Igniculus, for example, recruit a jester into their party that simply can’t seem to rhyme, and the pair must cooperatively correct her mistakes.

These clever plays with words are not all comical. When passing a cemetery, Igniculus remarks: “Don’t they know? Rocks planted in the ground will not grow.” A heart-breaking vignette of the firefly’s innocence and naivety, laid atop an unsettling background.

With no spoken dialogue outside of the unseen narrator, Child of Light’s aural spell is cast with exquisite music. The audio team employs long, running piano melodies rife with heart. They stir up in rhythm with Aurora’s journey, haunting the player with sparse chords or building tension with tumbling solos. It invokes Yann Tiersen’s immaculate work with the Amelie soundtrack in 2001 (Child of Light Creative Director Patrick Plourde mentioned the film to me when we first met, so it’s been on the mind…).

The more time players spend with Child of Light’s battle system, the more intricacies are revealed. Though the system itself is a straightforward, turn-based platform, the finesse involved with timing goes far deeper. There’s an art in waiting for the right moment to strike, interrupting an enemy attack and keeping Aurora safe. Igniculus can shine in the faces of enemies and delay their turn, allowing for further control of the flow of battle. Another player, be it a child, sibling, or partner, can control Igniculus on a second DualShock and take a simpler (but no less strategic) role.

Earning levels grants skill points to Aurora and her companions, which can be spent to unlock additional abilities in a branching skill system. Earning new skills makes the next in the branch available, giving players some flexibility in how they develop each hero.

Child of Light

And through it all, the player builds a connection with Aurora, who’s just about the most charming RPG hero in recent memory. This emotional resonance, coupled with the rich writing, promise to bring players back time and time again for repeat play sessions for years to come.

Add Your Own

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JimmyHACK said:

April 3rd, 9:07 am

I know it is Cross-Buy, but does it support Cross-Save?

I know several people with plans on getting this (and Watch Dogs) then getting a PS4 come Mid-Summer that have been asking me this cross-save question for both games.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:29 am

    Hi! Great question, I’m checking with Ubisoft now. Will let you know what I hear back.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 4:02 pm

    Hi everyone! Just to confirm: cross buy and cross save are not supported for Child of Light in North America, according to Ubisoft.

    Thank you for your questions and interest!

Angelshadow_7 said:

April 3rd, 9:08 am

The art on this game looks awesome! Jaw dropping, please post a video! Date? Price? Cross buy?

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:32 am

    Ask, and you shall receive!

    Release Date: April 30th (so soon!)
    Price: currently $14.99, subject to change
    Video: http://youtu.be/f6cB5FRCjfY
    Cross Buy: Unsure, I’ve asked Ubisoft!

    ^_^

KirAMinh said:

April 3rd, 9:10 am

Cant wait! But this will have a Platinum, rite?

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:33 am

    I’m not sure, I’ll ask to ask! Thanks for the note.

JimmyHACK said:

April 3rd, 9:11 am

April 29th, Cross-buy, $14.99

JimmyHACK said:

April 3rd, 9:12 am

* Correction, it will not be cross-buy for NA :(

tylerh1701 said:

April 3rd, 9:16 am

Is it true that the US version is not cross-buy but the EU version is? Please tell me that’s not true, that is beyond ridiculous considering it’s the exact same game at basically the exact same price. Why on Earth would one region get the cross-buy benefit but the other doesn’t?

I really hope it isn’t true…

SigEp_Raiders said:

April 3rd, 9:17 am

Any chance of getting this on PS Vita?

Gorvi said:

April 3rd, 9:22 am

What SigEp said.

jamonxin said:

April 3rd, 9:37 am

how will work the co-op mode… pleaseee nice co-op couch!

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:34 am

    One player can control the little firefly flame, Igniculus, and assist the first player in battle and exploration. Great system.

Hefestus91 said:

April 3rd, 9:37 am

I will be buying this so badly if only it had Vita version.

charleschannels said:

April 3rd, 9:52 am

Cannot wait!

thunderbear said:

April 3rd, 9:55 am

This is my most anticipated game in line after Second Son came out. Second Son was/is awesome and I hope this game will be too. It’s been a very dry winter/spring for next-gen games and while this is not a “true” next game it sure does look lots smoother and with crisper textures on the more capable hardware.

Looks gorgeous, I hope the fighting system is great as well as the story.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:35 am

    The fighting system is fantastic. Simple, but rich.

shadysaiyanz said:

April 3rd, 10:00 am

Beautiful game! Ryan is there any way you could let the Ubi guys know that lots of people, like myself are interested in a cool little physical collectors edition version like in EU?

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:36 am

    I will let them know when I speak to them next!

iREVOLTER said:

April 3rd, 10:01 am

Hi Ryan. Could you please ask Ubisoft, why the hell European guys are getting this Cross-Buy for PS3/PS4 but US release is separate ? Please and thank you.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:36 am

    I’m looking into your question, thanks for the note!

GordTremeshko said:

April 3rd, 10:07 am

I want this game. Badly.

Matrix_Lion said:

April 3rd, 10:16 am

Beautiful looking game.

Souledge94 said:

April 3rd, 10:33 am

Game looks pretty…..and thats all I can say besides that from all the vids iv seen it looks insanely boring.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 10:36 am

    It’s definitely not boring. Lots to explore and the battle system is great.

PrairieMcChicken said:

April 3rd, 10:41 am

Are the quests voice acted? Reason I ask is my kids like to watch me play games like this but prefer if I don’t have to read them the quest text out load myself.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 4:00 pm

    The only voice acting is from the narrator. Everything else is written.

    Cheers.

exit_button said:

April 3rd, 10:43 am

Would you compare the battle system to southpark without the mario rpg elements? Simple but fun? Or..?

Brooklyn008 said:

April 3rd, 10:47 am

Glad you guys liked it!

CrusaderForever said:

April 3rd, 10:54 am

What a beautiful game! I am keeping my eye’s shut about everything else. Going to thoroughly enjoy this one on D1!

Lefoul-123 said:

April 3rd, 10:58 am

We want flash sales!!

PydePiper33 said:

April 3rd, 11:24 am

Thanks, Clements. Love seeing stuff on here. Miss seeing stuff from you on IGN.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 3:59 pm

    Thank you so much for the kind words!

pointandvoid said:

April 3rd, 11:31 am

Any chance we’ll see this as a boxed retail release like the Deluxe Edition that Europe is getting? I’d love to have this on my shelf. Can’t wait to play it!

Tuppery_Numnak said:

April 3rd, 11:43 am

Wish we were getting the Deluxe Edition so bad. Even a retail release. This is going to be incredible.

BIGWORLD41 said:

April 3rd, 11:50 am

BEYOND! This game looks like it is really something. I am glad to see some more artistic games coming out. Keep up the great posts Ryan!

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 4:00 pm

    Thank you! Appreciate you coming to comment.

christkrusher said:

April 3rd, 12:21 pm

Dang, I was hoping there would be a Vita version. This looks perfect for Vita. Games looks amazing though and I’m going to platinum both PS3 and PS4 versions.

exjraordinary said:

April 3rd, 12:45 pm

Any chance of getting a PS VITA port. I would love to play this on my VITA, but usually have no time to play my PS4. Also, I believe this is running on the Rayman Origins engine which powers that and Legends. I would assume it would be an easy port if thats the case. And the VITA stats will get sales look at last weeks Final Fantasy X port for PS3 and VITA. 98,798 VITA and 331,803 PS3 almost a third was on VITA even though there is about 10 times PS3’s out there a good ratio of us VITA players buy way more games than your normal PS3, PS4 player. And about a 1/3 extra sales is nothing to throw out.

Ryumoau said:

April 3rd, 12:59 pm

This game looks beautiful and i’m excited to finally have an rpg to play on ps4. Any chance that this could either by cross buy or have a discounted bundle for ps3/ps4 versions together? Also, any idea when this will be released? hopefully soon. :)

Ryumoau said:

April 3rd, 1:02 pm

whoops…just read the other comments that had the release date for this and a price. But is it really true that North America doesn’t get this game as cross buy, but Europe does? That would be insane and would almost make me not want to buy it out of principle against their blatant favoritism.

etscott said:

April 3rd, 1:09 pm

I’m so so pleased to see this priced at 15 bucks. Great value even without cross buy.

Ryan, great job managing the community, good to hear from you so much.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 4:07 pm

    Many thanks, appreciate you stopping by!

TwinDad said:

April 3rd, 1:19 pm

Something new to play for the PS4. And it’s reasonably priced. Woot.

Virtute1979 said:

April 3rd, 2:02 pm

I’ve been looking forward to this game for so long, but I have so much to play on my PS4, I think I may have to get it on the Wii U, just to give it some love.

Amnalehu said:

April 3rd, 2:07 pm

This looks stunning! I can’t wait to play this with my daughter.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 3rd, 4:06 pm

    Sounds like the perfect way to play — with family!

President_Baltar said:

April 3rd, 2:29 pm

Can’t wait for this game.

Hoping Ubisoft will release news on if the collectors will be NA. I need to know if importing it is my only option.

yowzagabowza said:

April 3rd, 4:07 pm

You had me until you said turn based combat. I hate that. Oh well.

tusunami said:

April 3rd, 4:28 pm

Now this will be one to lookout for these indie games really are great. And at these prices you can play superb games on a budget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rsoto1125 said:

April 3rd, 5:05 pm

Not to seem entitled, but seriously? No Cross-buy for North America?
This on top of the Deluxe Edition being available pretty much everywhere but NA, which I would have bought on day one.

Nice move Ubisoft. I’ll now be buying my copy when its on sale for no more than $5.

Husteen said:

April 3rd, 5:39 pm

very nice. i’ve been waiting to hear more about child of light. game looks neat, release date is soon (day after my birthday), and good price.

PS4thewin!

PrimeroIncognito said:

April 3rd, 6:22 pm

Aww… I thought this was a platformer. Turn-based battles aren’t my thing. Oh well.

The game looks beautiful though. Amazing artistry on display here. Hope it does well for Ubisoft.

J-SwaggxQTR6 said:

April 3rd, 7:03 pm

Hey Ryan C, As we all can remember Star War battlefront 2 for the PS2 i was really wanting it for the Ps3 or a revamped version on PS4? I Was really anticipated to get this nostalgic game today on the Ps store for the PS3 but was only available on PSP.

toothdecaykills said:

April 3rd, 8:49 pm

Wow. Very compelling preview. I really like the way you write, Ryan. Please do more of these in depth previews if at all possible. I don’t usually find written previews to be that descriptive. You managed to do something really special here.

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    Ryan Clements said:

    April 4th, 10:28 am

    Thank you very much. I love writing and love sharing my passion for games with the gaming community! You can definitely find more of my work on the PlayStation.Blog now, and in the future. ^_^

Strangeheaven said:

April 4th, 5:59 am

@6 & 14

This could be two reasons.

1. Europe is Playstation Territory

2. We also pay more money for games, especially in the UK.

That’s my guess anyhow. I’m certain NA will get this also on release.

LokeSTL said:

April 4th, 7:11 am

Been following this game for a while. Can’t wait till the release! Will there be a digital pre-order for this so I can fork up the dough early?

QuiqzStinson said:

April 4th, 8:32 am

will be playing this on ps4 and sometimes on vita with remote play…
amazing job guys. Cant wait

Elvick_ said:

April 4th, 9:30 am

Wish we were getting the Limited Edition like Europe.

Also wish it were on PS Vita.

Mando44646 said:

April 4th, 11:01 am

This game would be PERFECT on Vita! Why isnt that happening? :(

FearMonkey said:

April 4th, 12:36 pm

Is the tone and aesthetic similar to Folklore? Feels that way to me based on what I’ve seen.

Beyond!

Folkeye said:

April 4th, 2:00 pm

Will see how this one plays out. I miss a nice turn-based game. Don’t always need button pushing and action for fun.

delSol97 said:

April 4th, 4:12 pm

Cross buy for PS3/4? What’s the point? It makes a bit of sense when it’s for Vita (you know, portable and not portable). Why not just throw in an Xbox version as well?

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