Ubisoft’s Child of Light: And the Darkness Understood It Not
“Matthew 4:16 – the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”
Despite its overwhelming sense of other-worldliness, Ubisoft’s newest Child of Light trailer reveals an underlying foundation of a distinctly religious narrative. Our first glimpse of Aurora, the game’s young heroine, shows her journeying through “the wilds of a land unseen” scattered with kingdoms and towns in the fairy-tale setting of Lemuria. Crumbled statues and desolate villages trailer suggests that restoration to this world will require more than a child’s simple intercession. It’s in that moment that the trailer shifts to show her as a young woman, journeying through Lemuria until the trailer ends with her overlooking a world desperately in need of redemption.
Though this world is claimed by darkness, the game’s opening moments declare Aurora’s purpose with little uncertainty: “Let me tell a story . . . of a girl born for glory.” The motif of a savior is easily seen, and the game’s narrative is not the only place where we see these ideas. An interview with the game’s creators reveals that they are trying to convey “intimacy, fantasy, and nostalgia” through the music and art direction, furthering the idea that Aurora has entered a place where her impact will be more personal, grand, and significant than perhaps we initially realize.
Yet that emphasis begs the question: what is the nostalgia and intimacy supposed to recall? While Aurora’s name carries obvious connections to the light, her journey appears to be more than a simple coming-of-age story. Echoing the grander archetype reflected in her story, we find that the game’s greatest significance comes from remembering the light which has already come in our world, redeeming those who sit in the shadow of death.
Child of Light releases April 30th for PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U.