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Child of Eden Review

Susan Arendt | 30 Jun 2011 13:00
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Child of Eden can be played with either the regular Xbox 360 controller, or with Kinect. Without question, the game is much easier with the controller, as switching between weapons is as simple as switching from hitting the A button to hitting the X button. It's a little trickier with Kinect, where your right hand controls the lock-on laser, and your left hand works the tracer. (To set off Euphoria, you raise both hands above your head in the universal sign for "Woo-hoo!", which is exactly as fun as it sounds.)

How well the motion controls work depends largely on your personal Kinect set up. When I played in a room with a lot of windows, the game frequently couldn't distinguish that I had switched hands, but once I switched to a darker room, everything worked beautifully. If you can achieve the proper calibration, playing with Kinect is definitely the best way to experience Child of Eden. You really feel as though you're inside the archives, flying and diving through the information and images. Flinging bullets and lasers from your hands makes you feel like some kind digitized god. The game is still plenty of fun with a regular controller, but if you have the option, use Kinect. Or do both - the game keeps separate stats for both control methods, to keep everything fair and square.

Child of Eden isn't terribly long, but achieving 100% purification and five stars is something that will require a fair amount of dedication and practice. Each level is so enjoyable that you won't mind retreading old ground one bit, and while the unlockable items for Lumi's garden don't really add anything other than critters to the level select screen, they're still fun to collect.

Bottom Line: With a regular controller, Child of Eden is a finely-tuned, lovely shooter. With Kinect, it transforms from being something you play to something you become. It's impossible to see someone playing Child of Eden with Kinect and not want to try it yourself. And once you start, you'll keep coming back for more.

Recommendation: Child of Eden's trippy aesthetic certainly isn't for everyone, but shooter fans who want a different kind of challenge should grab it immediately. If you're concerned that you might not be up to the task, the game's damageless Feel Eden mode lets everyone enjoy the experience, no matter their skill level. If you've been looking for a reason to get a Kinect - or to use the one you have - this is it.

This review was based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Game: Child of Eden
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Q? Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon.co.uk Play.com

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