just_nonplussed's Child of Eden (PlayStation 3) review


Eden refuses to be a regular game. It makes you forget about yourself and your thoughts by merging your consciousness into living, breathing, organic landscapes. Through ecstatic, sensory overload you lose the mind that labels and tries to define things, and your playful, child-like consciousness comes through. 

I thought Eden would be a simple, beautiful rail shooter. When I got into it though, I truly felt what it was; it was everything. Eden dissolves genre. The cursor is just a means of connecting to the world. You're touching these graceful and magical creatures, purging them of disease. You're exploring living structures and systems; reducing them to their essential forms. You're pushing your energy through cords into buds to evolve them into flowers. You're creating life, making space bloom and throb. You're connecting, opening and changing things around you. It's not about killing things; it's about experiencing them. 

I played Eden using a Motion Controller, and while I think it's fine to play using a standard Dualshock, I prefer the light and detached feeling you get with the Move. It takes a while to get used to (Especially if you haven't used it before), but it soon feels natural to glide your hand over strange and cute butterfly creatures, or paint big blue manta rays, and then shake the controller to release colourful lasers that purify your targets. 

There aren't many stages, but each one is packed so full with things to see and touch that it's overwhelming. Each environment has a different vibe. One stage is really challenging and requires a lot of focus and accuracy. Other stages are just about relaxing, enjoying the ambiance, and exploring the strange and beautiful space creatures, and the music reflects the tone of each level perfectly. 

Ultimately, it's the sheer quality and variety of visual effects that make Eden stand out. There's just so much going on at any one time. Wire frame cubes throb and pulsate in unison, millions of tiny white stars sparkle like a shimmering blanket, fields of colourful angular shapes bloom on the surface of undulating water. It's probably the most beautiful looking game I've played. It really has to be seen and ultimately experienced; words are inadequate to describe. Eden is pretty, but it's pretty because you're a part of it. You evolve with it. 

Child of Eden is not about genre, or even self. It's about feeling that you're all part of one interactive process; creation, destruction and change. Actions and interactions merge, and it becomes more about going with the flow of the journey.

Feel, don't think. There's no border between us.


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