Game Reviews Playstation Child of Eden (PS3)
Child of Eden (PS3)

Child of Eden (PS3) Hot

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Accessibility At A Glance Child of Eden (PS3)


Precision > No You will need precision to play
One-Handed > Maybe Take a look at the detailed review before you buy
Deaf Gamers > Yes You should have no issues with this game
Subtitles > Yes This Game is Perfect in this department
Colorblind > No Not so sure this is the game for you

About the Game

Q Entertainment
Release Date
September 27, 2011
Licence Category


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, the archive is invaded by an unknown virus. The player's mission is to save Eden from the virus, restoring hope and peace.

This game is a collaboration between publisher Ubisoft and acclaimed videogame creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi -- the mastermind behind the acclaimed game Rez. The player becomes truly immersed in the game, with no physical barriers between him and the game world.

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Child of Eden (PS3)
Child of Eden (PS3)
Child of Eden (PS3)

Editor review

Child of Eden (PS3) 2012-11-01 21:00:56 Elizabeth Martin
Overall rating 
Elizabeth Martin Reviewed by Elizabeth Martin    November 01, 2012
Last updated: November 01, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews


Anyone who has played Tetsuya Mizuguchi's previous title Rez will know exactly what to expect from Child of Eden. Rez was (and still is) an exceptional title; its game play was extraordinary and brimming with fresh ideas, feeling like a peep into what the future of gaming might hold. Child of Eden is a worthy spiritual successor to the 2002 PS2 title, introducing some new ideas whilst keeping the same level of synaesthetic immersion that made the original so special.

The basic game play remains; the game being a rails shooter where you lock on to up to eight enemies at once before unleashing your weapon. Everything in the game happens in time to the pulsing electronic soundtrack, and higher scores are awarded for unleashing your attack on all eight enemies precisely in time to the music. Where it differs from Rez is that this time you have an extra weapon to choose from. This is a cannon weapon, which is less powerful than your main lock-on weapon, but it introduces some variety and strategy to the game play; some enemies will need softening up with cannon fire to remove their armour before they will open up to a killer blow.

The game is made up of five different “archives” which have their own distinct style and personality. Each sees you purifying areas from a viral attack to save Eden (the name for the internet in this version of the future) and the artificial intelligence it is trying to create. The new AI is named Lumi and takes the form of a bright-eyed young starlet who cannot seem to decide if she is in a 90s pop video or a shampoo advert. Her presence, however, is always welcome as it means you are reaching the end of the archive, and that success is tantalisingly close.

Each of the worlds explored in these archives is stunningly beautiful and the variety on offer is impressive. Some continue with the futuristic theme from Rez, involving computer mainframes and industrial machinery, but others have a deep sense of nature. The “evolution” archive is particularly beautiful and takes you from a group of cells, slowly dividing in the sea, all the way into outer space, where a jewel-encrusted whale transforms into a spectacular phoenix. Levels are littered with impressive set pieces such as this and each has an equally impressive, multi-stage boss waiting for you at the end.

Since the game is on rails, the levels have a finite length, and that length is, unfortunately, extremely short. To make up for this, the game increases its lifespan by forcing repetition in a variety of ways. The most obvious way is that the levels do not contain any checkpoints, which means that death forces a re-start from scratch. Some parts require some experimentation to figure out how to defeat certain enemies, so it is expected that you will have to start again. The game also forces repetition by requiring the player to earn a number of stars before the next level is unlocked. This means you must repeat levels that you have already completed in order to move on to the next one, which can be frustrating if you have put a lot of effort into completing a level and are not rewarded with any degree of progression at the end.

All of this means that there is very little real game for your money here; even the fifth archive is mostly a summary of the previous four levels. It would be easy to feel short changed, and it is arguable whether it was worthy of a full retail release since many PSN titles offer more content. On the other hand, the experience it contains is intensely concentrated and the enforced repetition makes sure that the player fully understands the mechanics behind the game rather than allowing them to simply coast through to the end.

Most importantly of all, however, the game is a truly wonderful place to spend time and it is likely that you would wish to repeat levels to reach a higher score, even if you were not forced to do so. From start to finish the game is a constant delight, where the audio and visual effects combine together to create a richly rewarding and deeply emotional experience that is bursting full of life, energy and joy.

Accessibility Issues

1. Visibility

The game is presented in bright, contrasting colours and there is an option to alter the brightness, but there can be a huge amount happening on screen at once. In particular, it is very important to spot when bullets are being fired at you so that you can shoot them before they reach you. Any sort of visual impairment will make this more difficult.

I think colour blind people would also struggle with the game as it uses colour to give you all sorts of vital information. Purple and red are used to mark objects that the player needs to shoot and which weapon they need to use. Sometimes these turn green once shot, so you need to be able to tell which ones are green, and which are red. Bullets are also often fired at you, which will damage you if they reach you, and these are coloured purple so may be difficult for colour-blind people to spot in a screen cluttered with different colours.

The menus are presented in white text on a dark background but in a rather small, unclear font. On-screen information is given in the same font but is not necessary and can be turned off.

2. Hearing

There are a few audio cues that are useful, but there are plenty of visual cues, even ones to tell you when a bullet is off screen. Extra points are awarded for activating your attack in time to the music, but there is a visual cue to show you the best moment to make your attack so it is still possible with no sound.

I believe the game is perfectly playable for deaf people and they will be able to reach the end with no trouble, but they will have a slight disadvantage when score-attacking simply because of the reduced amount of information they receive from the game.

3. Subtitles

There is no dialogue, and what little story there is, is presented in text.

4. Precision

Precision is extremely important in this game. You are constantly required to paint your reticule over enemies, often meaning that you need to draw precise circles with the analogue stick over the screen. This often needs to be done under pressure to destroy incoming bullets before they reach you.

Timing is also important when activating your attack, as higher points are awarded for doing so at a precise moment.

There are no sensitivity options.

5. Controls

The controls are very simple. The left analogue stick is used to move your reticule and, since it is an on-rails shooter, movement is controlled by the game. Buttons to use and fire are controlled by x, square and circle and you have the option to transfer control of one of these to R2. You also have the option of inverting the y-axis. Otherwise, the keys cannot be customised and it would not be possible to play one-handed with a standard controller.

The targets for your lock-on are painted whilst holding down x, and releasing x triggers your weapon. This means that the x button must be held down for short periods of time if you wish to achieve high scores.

The game is compatible with both Move and Kinect for the Xbox360, which would remove some of these issues, but I have not tested either option.

6. Difficulty

There are two difficulty settings at the start of the game, Normal and "Feel Eden". Normal difficulty presents quite a challenge, especially since there are no checkpoints whatsoever. This means that death results in the player starting the level from scratch, even if they have reached the boss at the end. There is a high degree of repetition in the game and you are expected to repeat levels several times before managing to reach the end.

"Feel Eden" difficulty, on the other hand, removes all challenge completely. In this mode it is impossible to be harmed, but otherwise the game plays exactly the same. This is very useful for people to get a feel for the game and enjoy it, even if they would struggle to complete it otherwise.


Child of Eden will be completely inaccessible to a few groups of people. The visually impaired and the colour blind, in particular, will really struggle along with people who have difficulty using analogue sticks with precision. Deaf people, on the other hand, will have no trouble despite its heavy use of music and the game does have the option of playing through without the fear of being harmed, allowing people to enjoy the beauty of it, even if they struggle with playing it for any reason.

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About the Author
Elizabeth Martin
When I'm not busy at work (helping scientists do whatever it is they do), or at college studying sign language, I'm at home playing video games, reading about video games or writing about video games.

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