‘Experiential’. That’s not normally a word that would be used to open a product preview. Unless you’re reading Edge. But when talking about Ubisoft’s upcoming console title there really is no other word that describes exactly why gamers across the world need to play Child of Eden.
The game has got fine heritage. Development at Q Entertainment has been headed up by Tetsuya Mizuguchi. His discography includes hits such as Sega Rally, Space Channel 5 and, of course, Rez (see ‘A true classic’).
It may not carry the name Rez 2 on the box but that, effectively, is exactly what Child of Eden is. To use base gaming language, it’s an on-rails shooter where players must fight to save Eden – which in this instance is the archive of all human memories – from a virus. But describing it like that is akin to saying Bomberman is about controlled demolition.
In reality Child of Eden is all about the sensation of playing Child of Eden. If ever there was a title that demanded the curtains be drawn and the surround sound be ramped up (and the TV upgraded to a 58-inch HD model), it’s this.
Yes, you’re controlling a being flying through a virtual landscape shooting down bad guys. But that’s such a small part of the experience. The music, best described as light trance, and the visuals, which can only be described as hallucinatory, combine to create an experience for the mind that’s unlike anything else. To fail to understand this is to risk failing to grasp the game itself.
There aren’t hundreds of levels or upgradeable characters. You’ll be able to complete it in an evening.
All of which counts for nothing. Those who fall in love with Child of Eden will want to return to it for no other reason than wanting to relive one of the most unique experiences consoles have to offer.
A true classic
Rez was released on Dreamcast and PS2 back in 2001. A newer version with reworked HD and widescreen visuals was later released on Xbox Live Arcade in 2008. It can’t be considered either a commercial or critical smash, but has won itself a loyal following thanks to its unique game experience.
Child of Eden will be heavily marketed for use with Kinect and, when the PS3 version eventually arrives, Move. But it will also support traditional controllers. It will even mimic Rez’s infamous Trance Vibrator by allowing users to attach controllers to themselves, which will vibrate in time with the in-game music.
Print and online marketing
Ads will appear in mainstream magazines such as Shortlist, Wired, T3, Total Film and Time Out London. Digitally watermarked ads are also booked in Future publications which allow readers to access a game tutorial. Online ads will run throughout June on sites such as GameSpot, CVG and IGN.
The Child of Eden experience
This special event will run from June 1st to June 22nd in a store sublet especially for Child of Eden, giving gamers hands-on time with it. Child of Eden has appeared at events such as The Gadget Show Live. It will feature in a Kinect tour across 50 GAME and Gamestation stores across the UK.