Ryan Smythe ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This newest Child of Light trailer played out without a word, instead choosing to show off more of the game’s gorgeous art style.
Utilizing the UbiArt Framework engine, previously used on Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends, Child of Light very well may be the single most beautiful game to come out all year. Characters move in the same graceful, slightly bouncy way as the two Rayman games, but the art style feels more like a crossover between Alice in Wonderland and Dark Souls, possibly with a little bit of The Witcher thrown in on the side.
The opening scene with the single red tree leaves the background shrouded in mist, hinting that this will be the transition stage into the dream world of Lemuria. One piece of evidence supporting that is the main character Aurora’s childlike appearance. The game’s plot is based around her being stolen away as a child, and throughout the rest of the trailer she appears to age gradually.
The second scene will most likely be the opening village of the game. Whether or not it will act like a hub world or more like a tutorial stage is not clear, but with only two visible buildings and a windmill in the background, it looks to not be a very big area. (Think along the lines of Riverwood from Skyrim, only smaller.)
Transitioning to the next scene, it looks like Aurora has entered the misty area from the opening shot. She is still in her childlike state, making it seem like this will be one of the first enemy-filled areas. The enemies don’t appear to be very tough though, as the only other animated character in the scene hides underneath some sort of rock immediately. A massive castle in the background is the first to draw the Dark Souls comparison, as it seems to be something that will later be accessed by players and yet is shown off very early in the game.
The next area takes a more sinister turn with a merchant or noble’s carriage passing through a graveyard. The way the camera pans up through the trees hints that this will be a vertical area with insectoid, arachnid, and ghostly enemies. We get our first look at a treasure chest that has a lever in front of it. The lever’s function is unclear, though it could serve to drop a drawbridge for the carriage below. What it’s doing in front of the chest is interesting, if not a little bit confusing.
The next scene from the trailer supports the vertical theory, as the platform design is very similar to the previous area, with the exception being that it is suspended by balloons. The chest shown off in this area does not have a lever in front of it, adding to the idea that the lever and chest are not connected. Possibly the most interesting thing shown off in this section is the fact that Aurora can fly. She had previously been shown to have a very good jump arc, but this time there is no arc. Instead, her hair sparkles, indicating that this may be one of the earlier magical abilities gained in the game. Whether or not it has uses in battle are not clear, but it could very well function along the same lines as psynergy from the Golden Sun series, tapping into mana or PP to use.
As she emerges from the mouth of a stone giant in the next scene, the first very noticeable change is that Aurora is no longer a child. The floating platforms in the background could either be where she came from or is going, but something clearly happens inside the giant. The most likely scenarios are either a time-lapse in game, or a magical spell/curse to age her like in Ocarina of Time.
The next scene also introduces a change, where instead of coming from the left side of the screen Aurora comes in from the right before stopping at a fountain. The scene shifts before too much is shown, but this fountain may either act as a marker with magical properties or will serve to heal her and her companions.
After this scene, we get a very brief glimpse at what looks to be another town made up of ships suspended over water. There are several more buildings in the background, all of which are presumably accessible. The camera then pans down into the water, where stunning crystal formations cover the ground and merfolk enemies wait to engage the player in battle. Aurora doesn’t make an appearance, so she may need a special item to breathe before entering this stage.
Aurora glides through the next area, with the most interesting thing being the flaming hound in the background. An unopened chest appears in the background near that enemy, hinting that this level will go deep into the cavern.
In the final scene of the trailer, Aurora goes through another change, sporting a silver crown and gown instead of her previous gold. Emerging into the sunlight, she stops short before a massive gray cloud, which could either be the entrance to a new part of the game or, more likely, a major boss fight.
This newest trailer showed off more of the game’s world than we had seen before, and yet it simply brought up more questions. Who is walking with Aurora at the beginning? What is in the castle from the third scene? How does she grow up? Why does she change her color scheme?
The wait is almost over. April 30 can’t come soon enough.