For: Xbox 360 Kinect, PS3 Move
Developer: Q Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
When? 17 June 2011

What’s it all about? The brainchild of Rez creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Child of Eden progresses the on-rails, rhythm-based, shoot-em-up still further, this time embracing Kinect’s gesture control though – for those of us still to adopt the motion controller – the 360 pad remains an option, while PS3 users will presumably have the same choice of Move versus DualShock.

Recognisably from the same stable as Rez, but embracing themes of nature, curves, colour and orchestral manoeuvres (where Rez embraced lines, edges, wire frames and hardcore techno), Child of Eden is both instantly familiar and undeniably fresh.

A single on-screen targeting reticule is controlled by the sweeping of the right-hand, while clapping switches weapons between the choices of an automatic rapid-firing ‘pink’ laser or a missile-launching lock-on weapon which is fired by pushing forward once your happy with how many enemies you’ve targeted. Then there’s the ‘euphoria’ attack, triggered by throwing both hands into the air which is essentially a devastating smart bomb attack which deals huge damage to everything on screen.

And, in a move vaguely reminiscent of the colour changing mechanics of Treasure’s Ikaruga, the pink laser is the only weapon capable of shooting down incoming pink munitions, while the missiles are better able to deal with stronger enemies. Brilliantly each successful shot triggers a specific musical tone which blends with the game’s soundtrack perfectly and, even better, each weapon has its own tone enabling the player to punctuate the action with a uniquely absorbing percussion.

With five stages – or Archives as they’re known here – in total, and the promise that each will be completely distinct, there should be plenty of variation too while the game’s plot in which the player must protect ‘Project Lumi’ from a virus attack, so that a human personality may grow in Eden (which should be familiar to Rez fans), is suitably out there; but then you’d expect nothing less from Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

Worth the wait? We’d have to say yes. Think Panzar Dragoon meets Flower with a sprinkling of Rez sown throughout and you won’t be far from the mark. Though we’ve only had access to the garden themed stage thus far we were suitably mesmerised by the organically flowing sounds and visuals while even on normal difficulty there was enough frantic swapping of weapons to please even the most hardcore shooter – it’s what we’re calling “the first Kinect game for gamers”.

View the latest trailer of COE below: