The Set Up
From the outside, The Child of Eden Experience appears to be nothing more than a modest and almost ordinary, albeit slightly out of place, pop up shop. However, once you step inside, that all changes. Ubisoft has done an incredible job in making the shop feel like an extension of the game, hiring London born artist Tom Blackford aka Ink Fetish to create the artwork painted on the walls throughout the store. Dark and atmospheric, euphoric and colourful, flashy yet understated, this is the perfect setting for Child of Eden.
The shop is made up of three game trial rooms, each with large TVs and a surround sound system, with custom artwork in each and what can only be described as multicoloured disco lights that all help set the tone for the game wonderfully. There is also an area downstairs for special game demonstrations and not to mention a chill out area where you can relax, listen to the games exceptional soundtrack, and watch/spy on people who are currently playing in the trial rooms via the cameras set up in each room that are hooked to screens in the chill out area.
Why does The Child of Eden Experience exist? Well "Child of Eden has to be played to be believed," as Ubisoft's brand manager Jan Sanghera recently told MCV. And he’s right. Like Rez before it, describing Child of Eden and the sensational act of playing it is nearly impossible to convey accurately with mere words or even with trailers. No amount of praise or criticism can truly do the game justice. The combination of the game's unique visual style, music, and level of interaction using Kinect is unlike anything you would have played before, even Rez.
The controls are simple enough; you use your left hand to aim and shoot your rapid fire attack (shooting is constant/automatic) and you use your right hand to lock on to up to eight targets and then push your arm or flick your wrist to fire your lock on missiles. By raising both your hands in the air you can unleash your smart bomb to obliterate anything on the screen and like Rez, each attack has a different sound which builds up and enhances the music and adds to your score multiplier provided you’re in time.
There are two complaints about Child of Eden that will become apparent to anyone who plays it, and one of those revolves around the Kinect hardware. On the one hand, Kinect really does add that extra level of immersion to the game as you honestly feel closer to the game using your body, although your arms will probably get tired after a level or two. On the other hand, there is noticeable lag between your movements and what happens on the screen, which can get a little frustrating. Thankfully, Child of Eden seems to be designed to be much more lenient when you choose to use Kinect, so while you can still play, have fun and experience everything the game has to offer, the score-hungry among you will probably want to stick to the controller option. The other complaint is one of longevity. Like Rez, there are only five levels in Child of Eden and although it will take some time to master every stage, it may seem a little bare-bones for some in this day and age.
The Child of Eden Experience is a fitting name for this pop up shop. If ever you should open your mind to new gaming experiences and try something new, this is the game to do it with. There is honestly nothing else like it. The game will have you chasing a giant whale through the ocean, up to outer space in one moment and in the next, you’ll be shooting insect-like creatures on the surface of a lake. The sense of wonder and discovery throughout the entire game is almost unparalleled, and while the game will not be for everyone, you owe it to yourself to try Child of Eden and see firsthand what it has to offer.
The Child of Eden Experience can be located on 34-35 Dean Street, London, W1D 4PR and it's open daily from midday until 20:00 from now until June 22. So there’s plenty of time to pop down and see it in the flesh. The staff there are lovely and it’s in the heart of central London so there’s plenty of things to do after your visit. Don’t forget that if you check in on Facebook while you’re there you get a free voucher to grab yourself a free Child of Eden t-shirt from GAME on Oxford Street.
For more details check out their Facebook page
Awesome Pikmin inspired t-shirt available from Insert Coin Clothing handsome model not included