Jeff Markiewicz On July 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Child of Eden In Game Screenshot - Xbox 360 KinectChild of Eden is a prequel to Rez and is from Q Entertainment and designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Rez was title released in 2001 that garnered high scores from reviewers and even higher praise from its fans but since it was so unique and different, it was quickly relegated to niche status. Fan of the title feared that they would never get another title but a glimmer of hope in 2007 gave them Rez HD, which was an updated version of their beloved game. Finally now almost a decade after the launch of its predecessor, Child of Eden has been released. Can this match the expectations of the Rez fan base while bringing in a new audience?

Child of Eden refers to the birth of a person within a construct known as Eden. Eden is similar our internet but it contains all of human knowledge and the latest project is to recreate the personality of Lumi, the first human born in space, within it. As fate would have it, as the project starts reaching its final stages, a virus invades the system and threatens everything. It’s up to you to head in and purify the invaders and protect Lumi. It’s quite a simple premise that lasts little more than a paragraph in the intro sequence of the game but gives you enough reason to make it through the title.

Child of Eden is an on-rails shooter with a slight influence from the music game genre. The path through each level is largely the same but you have the freedom to control the first-person camera and look anywhere except directly behind you. There are two weapon types, an automatic weapon and a lock-on and fire weapon. The differences are conveyed by pink and blue cursors respectively. The former weapon is easier to use and is constantly firing. The latter can lock onto several enemies at once and unleash the attack all at once. If you match the beat of the music when you fire, you can build your multiplier and hence score more points. At the end of each level, you’re rated up to five stars and they are used to unlock subsequent levels so it’s in your best interest to do well. Thankfully, the prerequisites to unlock new levels are not that severe and will at most require you to replay a level once or twice. On the flip side, there are only five levels with a bonus challenge level unlocking at the end. While the hardcore may not have an issue with this and will duke it out on the leader boards, for the casual gamers, the game will feel short. Each level may take up to approximately 15 minutes, so run the math.

The advertised way to play this game is with the Xbox 360 Kinect camera but this system has been marred in controversy as to if it’s a good control method. In Child of Eden, you use your left arm to fire the automatic weapon and use your right to lock-on and with a push gesture, unleashes the missiles. There is a single type of power-up in this title and that’s a bomb. Occasionally through the title, you’ll have a special target that if you hit, will add it to your inventory. With Kinect, raising both hands unleashes it and devastates anything on screen. This all sounds nice but the question remains, does it work well. Yes. It does. To an extent though. There is a learning curve that takes about a half hour to get it down solid and you still get occasional issues. Sometimes it has issues switching from hand to hand. Sometimes it doesn’t take the lock-on fire push gesture on first pass. But the reticule is lag-free and fairly precise. You’ll still have the occasional issue hitting a specific target but overall the Kinect control style works really well and is quite immersive.

Now, if you want a traditional experience, you can use the normal Xbox 360 controller. This experience is much more predictable. There are no mistakes other than what the user does. No moments of frustrations that may mare the Kinect experience. This way to play feels good. The automatic weapon requires you to pull the trigger and you still control a reticule. Using the lock-on weapon feels much better and more predictable here. You can build your multiplier much easier. Making the switch from one to the other will be jarring. Kinect provides the better immersion and overall experience but if you’re going to delve deeper and start competing on the leaderboards, it feels like the controller will be better. There are different leaderboards for each control method though so you will not be penalized by using one over the other.

Overall this title is different and fresh. This sort of gameplay is not very supported in today’s gaming industry. This is almost something I would expect from the independent crowd but Q Entertainment and Ubisoft made it a reality. The Kinect implementation, while not 100% perfect, does a great job at being a control scheme. There is support for a traditional controller for the purists. The game is definitely not for everyone but anyone interested who’s enjoyed Rez, faintly interested in the game, or just want a good game for Kinect, the gameplay alone gives you enough reason to go for this title.

The graphics lie within the realm of abstract. At the beginning of this generation there was a little known Xbox Live Arcade title called Geometry Wars and the same amazement I had then translates here. The same bright colors and abstract shapes don the levels you visit. The camera can be used to freely look around so you can admire everything. Certain enemies are color coded for certain weapons but unless you’ve been playing the game, you’d never know. They blend right into the art style. At times, video will be played in the levels which drifts between cheesy and cool but taken within the context of everything, is easy to accept. Overall the visual style is excellent, keeps you engaged, and something different from all the grays and browns that dominate the palettes of today’s games.

The music choices will feel a little familiar for those enjoy Lumines (another Q Entertainment title). They decided to focus on fictional girl behind Genki Rockets, Lumi. At times during levels, aspects of music videos, featuring this girl, will play. When you hit enemies, parts of the song will be enhanced, giving you the feeling that you’re remixing the song based upon your performance. In my opinion, the music is awesome and feels like an excellent choice but since it’s from one artist and lies within the realm of pop, it might not be for everyone. Music fusion between Genki Rockets and Child of Eden may make the selection for a music game feel limited but it feels quite the opposite. Your performance impacts how the songs will be played and remixed making you feel part of the experience, rather than just listening.

Child of Eden is something that’s a bit different from the status quo. These types of games do not come often. It’s quite similar to Rez with tweaks of its own, which will please the fans but since it’s so different, Child of Eden will most likely be relegated to niche title status. On the upside, it’s the best Kinect title yet. The abstract graphics are mesmerizing, and the music is awesome. But with only 5 levels plus a challenge mode, the longevity is not there. You’ll definitely want to replay some of the levels but only the truly hardcore will keep coming back for more and more. When the price drops down the argument will be a lot easier to make that this game should be gotten. It’s unique, different, and very entertaining, just a bit costly at launch.


The fusion between rails shooter and rhythm music game works well. It’s also accessible enough that if you’re horrible at music or horrible at shooting, you can get in and play but if you want to dig deep and race to the top of the leaderboard, there is a decent amount of depth and gameplay to get you there.


Abstract graphics inspire the same way that Geometry Wars did at the beginning of this generation. The game is simply beautiful as you traverse through different locales. The blending of video with the graphics can come off a little cheesy but when taken in context of the larger picture, it’s mesmerizing.


Music fusion between Genki Rockets and Child of Eden may make the selection for a music game feel limited but it feels quite the opposite. Your performance impacts how the songs will be played and remixed making you feel part of the experience, rather than just listening.


Fresh and different, Child of Eden offers something different from the status quo. It has great gameplay, mesmerizing graphics, and awesome music. It’s the best Kinect title yet. The biggest downfall is with its longevity. With only 5 relatively short levels, unless you want to fight for the top of the leaderboards, there isn’t much to bring you back.

Buy Child of Eden online from for the Xbox 360 (Kinect)

Click here to buy Child of Eden new or used for a great price for the Xbox 360 from


Comments are closed.