Child of Eden Preview
Overshadowed by the launch of the PS2, Rez for the Dreamcast became one of the most unique and beloved games of the brief DC generation. It also came to the PS2 but even so, any fan will tell you that the United Games Artists title didn’t receive anywhere near enough attention, despite all its acclaim. Ever since, those same fans have been pining for a sequel and although it’s not called “Rez 2,” Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s latest project, Child of Eden, is the spiritual successor. Although one would technically classify Rez as an on-rails shooter, the game was about a lot more; it was about the overall experience and unparalleled atmosphere. Essentially, you could call it an experiment in synaesthesia, and it’s clear that Child of Eden is utilizing similar appealing aspects in its presentation. If you’re looking for an entirely different video game with potentially memorable gameplay, you’ll have to keep an eye on this one.
Really, the game features many of the same features we found in Rez; we’ve got the on-screen aiming reticule, the imaginative creatures as targets, the abstract background and the excellent music aspect. And believe it or not, this trippy adventure even boasts a storyline: a diva called Lumi is trapped inside a machine of some kind; this machine holds important memories that are under fire from numerous viruses. Now, the player will dive into each archive of memories and attempt to “cleanse” the area, all the while enjoying the unique look and rhythm of that particular archive. The idea is that each new set of memories will have its own style in terms of both visual and audio elements, so although the gameplay remains the same, it’ll always feel relatively fresh. During the E3 live demo, we saw Mizuguchi executing control via motion sensing with various movements of his hands (he was using Kinect) and we have to say, it looks mighty impressive. Here's the debut trailer:
The good news is that Child of Eden will support all types of control, including the PlayStation Move and Kinect, as well as traditional game pads. Of course, the game really is designed for actual physical movement but we imagine the game should be wildly entertaining, even with a regular controller. As for differences between Rez and this successor, the latter features a softer, less hard-hitting soundtrack that is more about gentle immersion rather than heart-pounding beats. And believe it or not, Mizuguchi has his own band – the Genki Rockets – and they’re overseeing what eventually goes into the experience. Of course, the title will also feature HD and 5.1 surround sound, so although it isn’t the same thing as God of War III or Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, this is one game that will demand the full capability of your entertainment center. Really, if you haven’t upgraded to HD yet and you’re a next-gen gamer, you’re behind.
Although the presentation at E3 involved Kinect, and you can see that one hand controls both the movement and firing, you can expect similar movements to be mapped to the PlayStation Move. The only difference is that we’ll of course be holding something in our hand; we’re just wondering exactly how it will work, and if we’ll need both the wand and Navigation controller. It all depends on how they set it up but as is, Child of Eden has the potential to be a singularly awesome game and one that feels nothing like anything else on the market. We should probably add that it’ll come with a definite seizure warning; most games have that warning these days but if you’re actually susceptible, this one could definitely hurt ya. That being said, we just love the look of this one, and we can’t wait to “feel” it.
6/24/2010 Ben Dutka