Catherine Woolley


One Hundred and Fifty One: The Child of Eden Experience

I was lucky enough to have the chance to attend the opening night of the Child of Eden Experience and although I only knew a few faces I had a whale of a time. Not as many people wanted to play the game than I would have guessed which amazed me, so I jumped straight onto the version running with the largest screen and loudest speakers possible.

It was absolutely amazing, I played through Matrix, Evolution and Beauty. The first three archives of the game and it was just breath-taking, the clash of obvious nods to Rez, integration between the music and the player. As well as the odd droppings of Lumi and Genki Rockets every now and again to inform the player of their progression really makes Child of Eden an amazing experience.

I was lucky to have previously seen the game running at the Child of Eden BAFTA event back in April but sadly it wasn't playable then. However getting to see Mizuguchi play it sold the game to me once again, but playing it for myself was a different experience.

Of course some may look at it and not really understand, or feel confused to why a game like it has been released. Some may look at a game like Child of Eden and not think it's suited for a current generation console and that it should have been released back on the PS2. However that's why we had Rez back then, which of course has been re-mastered for the current generation of consoles since the original DC release. All I can say is that to make a visually beautiful game, doesn't mean it has to be realistic or follow certain conventions that the average gamer may be used to.

Child of Eden now has the upper hand, as while being an abstract game it can also appeal to the motion controller market, giving it the ability to sell to a Kinect user without them previously knowing of Mizuguchi, some may love it, some may hate it; but at least it has the chance to broaden the sales of the game. I only hope there are more Kinect games in the future to add to my collection that are as emotionally engaging as Child of Eden is.

Child of Eden is as amazing as I hoped it could be, and my time at the Child of Eden Experience was a true experience as I got to try out the game I ultimately bought Kinect for. While also rounding off the night by chatting to friends about games for an hour or two. Ubisoft did a great job setting up the building to feel like a part of the Eden universe. The only bad thing about it, is that it'll have to shut eventually after the launch of the game.

If you want to check out some pictures of the building you can see some photos on the Child of Eden Facebook page. With Capcom creating their gathering halls for Monster Hunter in the past, Microsoft promoting Kinect in Covent Garden and Ubisoft creating this play space for Child of Eden I only hope more games have similar marketing to promote them before release.