Child of Eden thrusts the player into the center of a battle to save Project Lumi, a mission to reproduce a human personality inside Eden, the archive of all human memories. As the project nears completion, an unknown virus invades the archive. The player’s mission is to save Eden from the virus, restoring hope and peace.
While Child of Eden‘s story is at times vague and left to personal interpretation, the action is not. You fly through the Archives, on a set course, blasting away at the virus that swarms around you and attacks back.
The motion controls are interesting, but not nearly as effortless as I would have hoped. I felt I was struggling to target the virus-infected components of the Archives more than was necessary. The immersion provided by the Xbox’s Kinect version of the game is absent from the PS3′s Move-enabled version as you only use one controller to perform all the functions of the game, as opposed to both with the Kinect version. After sweeping your reticle past the targets to lock on, you flick the controller forward to fire a your weapons and purify the infected components of Lumi’s memories.
When things get hectic and overwhelming, you have a limited supply of Euphoria, a screen-clearing bomb that wipes out almost everything in your field of view. And yes, things will definitely get hectic and overwhelming at times as you strive to clear a path through the Archives.
Child of Eden‘s music and visuals combine to present you with some incredible synesthaesia opportunities. When the game and your playstyle are in sync, the experience is an amazing melding of sights, sound and action. The music keys itself into the action on screen, reacting to your gameplay and how well you are doing in your mission to save Lumi, the titular Child of Eden. The PS3 version offers support for stereoscopic 3D, which further enhances the trance-inducing visuals and helps to bring the game more immersion.
Unfortunately, the game is very short, and requires that you replay certain sections over and over to gain the needed points to access higher-level Archives. This can reduce the gameplay value, in my opinion. If I’m going to replay sections, I’d like it to be because I want to replay those areas or because I’m hunting for secret items. Not because I am required to re-visit them in order to progress. The PS Move controls are also problematic, feeling sluggish in their responsiveness, and I eventually found that I was happier (and performed much better) by using a standard Six-Axis controller.
The short length of the game is disappointing, and my arms get tired from waving erratically and flicking the controller at the screen (I’m amazed I havent’ broken my TV yet). Even so, I find myself picking it up again and again, because Child of Eden offers an experience unlike anything I’ve had in this generation of consoles.