Why Child of Light is One of the Most Important Games of 2014

In a world where grit, darkness, and violence reign, Child of Light is a beacon in the night.

There are a hundred different ways to kill things in video games these days. And thanks to better technology, the rampant death is more visceral and more realistic with every passing year.

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This is why Ubisoft’s Child of Light is so critical.

Amid the coarseness, the violence, the questionable content, and the unmitigated, over-the-top brutality, we occasionally get titles that remind us of a different sort of fantasy. These are games that titillate the imagination rather than the senses. They absorb in a way that goes well beyond simple immersion; they tap into different parts of our minds and soul.

To balance out the nastiness that exists in gaming today, I would recommend trying Child of Light when it launches later this month.

Those with artistic sensibilities, pay attention

Last year, we got games like Journey and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, games that presented us with fantastical environments that enraptured us in very different ways. It wasn’t really about powering up; it was about taking the virtual trek. In the case of Journey, it was an exploration of humanity, if you really think about it. As for great artistic accomplishment, you needn’t look any further than Ni no Kuni. Another example of that greatness can be found in Child of Light.

For instance, check out artist Yoshitaka Amano’s wondrous contribution to the project:

This doesn’t involve decapitation or a bullet flying in slo-mo through a body. There are no blades hacking at limbs and no half-naked people. It’s just a fantasy world with an intriguing setting and unique characters. I’m not saying the story will be particularly impressive (this is a relatively low-budget project, after all, and the game is meant to be more charming than deep and ponderous). I am saying that it represents quite the jarring departure when compared to most games of today.

Let’s hope the industry never abandons such games

Hey, I like my blockbusters, too. I love the Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted franchises, for example. There are times and places for all forms of legitimate entertainment, I think. I just don’t want to be part of an industry where it’s all very much the same, where every developer’s goal is to shock rather than intrigue. There are times when I just sit there, looking at the screen, saying “Well, that was completely unnecessary.”

Let’s not forget the innocence this industry once had. I’m not bemoaning the advancements and progression. Still, I’d rather not ditch the charm and innocence of yesteryear because really, it offered so much more than mere stimulation.


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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.