This month, we were treated to Child of Light, and Infamous: Second Son. Both are interesting, gorgeous games which really do capture the imagination. Let’s start with the smaller game of the two, Child of Light.

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This was crafted, and I really do mean crafted, by Ubisoft in 2014. It takes place in the fictional world of Lemuria, and stars a young girl named Aurora.This month, we were treated to Child of Light, and Infamous: Second Son. Both are interesting, gorgeous games which really do capture the imagination. Let’s start with the smaller game of the two, Child of Light. This was crafted, and I really do mean crafted, by Ubisoft in 2014. It takes place in the fictional world of Lemuria, and stars a young girl named Aurora. I have to start off with the simple fact that this world is, put simply, stunning. It’s gorgeous, spooky aesthetic absolutely hits the spot, and makes for an eye popping experience. The different stages consistently feel mystical and fresh, meaning that there is never a dull moment in this game. Everything feels hand drawn, which adds a sense of craftmanship that makes you appreciate the game just that little bit more, which it truly deserves. I don’t think I have ever played a more beautiful game, which is high praise indeed!

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The story revolves around a young girl named Aurora, who wakes up in Lemuria after freezing to death. She must go on a quest in order to bring back the Sun, Moon and Stars, which are being held captive by the Queen of the Night. The story is about 11 hours long, and is pretty exquisite. It has a fairytale-esque vibe, but reverses the characters, making the young girl the hero of the story, rather than a knight in shining armour. This is pretty refreshing, and adds a nice twist to the oh so familiar childhood tales that this game reminds me of. The combat is yet another area that this game excels at. It’s neither turn based or realtime, but instead combines the two in an interesting take on a ‘normal’ RPG. It reminds me of the old Othello slogan, ‘a minute to learn and a lifetime to master’, which really is true here. The combat system is intuitive from the get go, but to get really good at it you really need to learn to think ahead, and actually plan your attacks. The weapons you get to fight with are also very well designed. Every weapon has its purpose, and if yours just isn’t cutting it against a certain boss, chances are you need to switch it up a bit. No one weapon is particularly overpowered throughout the game, which is another way that it manages to stay fresh and exciting the whole way through. I hadn’t heard of this game before this month, and wasn’t expecting much. That may be one of the reasons this game shocked me so much. Every part of the game is pulled off to perfection, which is incredibly difficult to do. I honestly don’t have a negative thing to say about it. The world is beautiful, the combat is well thought out, and never gets old, and the whole game just feels exactly how it was intended to feel; Organic. A true little gem, and definitely worth picking up if you haven’t already. Game Score: 9/10

The larger game this month was Infamous: Second Son. Also released in 2014, it has been a staple of many game collections ever since. The third instalment in the series developed by Sucker Punch Games, it brings back fond memories of the older titles, while still managing to feel new and exciting.  For a three year old game, Second Son looks damn good. The lighting is on point, and the explosions, of which there are plenty, are pretty damn awesome. The expansive city of Seattle is a suitably attractive backdrop for this open world, superpower game, both before and after I blew everything the fuck up. The city is interesting and diverse, meaning there was always something new to look at. Despite the pretty awesome world design, the game was definitely at its aesthetical best when there was fire shooting out of my hands at anything that dared to move, which is really what this game is all about.

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What surprised me more than the good-looking graphics was the strong character development. Contrary to its predecessors, Second Son introduces some really interesting characters, making the story all the more engaging. One downside to this is that quite often, potentially interesting character relationships are side-lined for the main plot to continue. Considering the relative repetitiveness of the side missions and quests, this seems like a wasted opportunity. I would have loved to see some characters develop further, a lack of which left the overall story feeling too short and linear, in my opinion. The power system is a large part of the game, and it is done exceptionally well. The four different skill trees offer a huge range of different styles of play, and the ability to switch between them during battle really does make me, as a player, feel immensely powerful.

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The difference between Good and Evil powers also provides a strong incentive to play through the game again, which is presumably the desired effect. Slowly getting more powerful as you progress through the story is really cool, and taking over the districts is not only fun, but also well rewarded with better powers. The mobility of Delsin also increases with your power, ending with you able to travel at an astonishing speed, zipping up skyscrapers and gracefully floating over Seattle to your next destination. Overall, this game has a feel-good factor that is very hard to beat. There is no getting around the fact that being a superhero is really fucking fun, and the game truly makes the most of this. The story is a bit short, and the Good/Evil system is a tad underwhelming, but the world design and awesome powers make this game a must have for any action fan. Game Score: 7.5/10

-iMonkey

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