The month of October has seen some absolute brilliant game releases. However, this one might have flown under your radar (which can be forgiven with the volley of big AAA games that release at the end of the year). Some of you might be already familiar with “Chaos;Child” since it was released in Japan back in 2014, yet it’s only just made its way to the West. There is also an anime series. Even so, for me personally. This is my first encounter with “Chaos;Child”, and I have to say, it’s quite the surprise.
First off, let me tell you this isn’t like your conventional game. You don’t control a character and move him around a space killing stuff, or interacting with a space. It’s not an action game or walking simulator. It’s an interactive novel where you simply experience a compelling story, you can piece evidence together and interestingly trigger “Delusions” that can have an interesting effect on the story itself as there’s several endings and unique chapters to experience. “Chaos;Child” isn’t for the faint of heart either; it deals with some dark themes. In the matter of fact, there were moments that made the hair on my neck stand on end!
Now I have to be honest it’s quite difficult to go into depth with “Chaos;Child” as it’s a purely story driven game, so I will be covering the opening chapter and nothing more. The game is set in Shibuya, and “Chaos;Child” is a sequel to “Chaos Head” and is about a couple of high-school students who’re a apart of a school newspaper, who starts investigating various murders that start happening throughout Shibuya.
The opening of the game starts off in a room, with a gentleman live streaming. He’s then interrupted by a mysterious repetitive knock on the door, he vanishes off cam to answer the door, talks with his guests and improvises a snack, and before you know it. He’s back in front of the cam missing his arm (he had been eating his own arm), after coughing up his own fingers he collapses and dies. It’s here where the story begins, and you’re introduced to two young characters Takuru Miyashiro (the main protagonist) and Onoe Serika (child hood friend). It’s from here the investigation begins.
Along your adventure, you will also meet a large cast of other characters, whether they are friends, foes or the victims themselves. The story doesn’t just focus on Takuru; you see it from different perspectives such as Police investigators or the victims themselves. Everyone has something interesting to say and throughout there are keywords you can look up in a note-book if you don’t quite understand what a “wrong sider” means. There’s a lot of lore surrounding “Chaos;Child”, and it’s easy to get lost in, there’s a huge amount to explore and enjoy here despite it being an interactive novel.
Keeping true to a novel, the visuals in-game are static with some animation with the characters, the artwork is truly well done and sets each scene perfectly. Furthermore, the accompanying text you read is what really draws you in. The sound is also great with a brilliant sound track and voice acting. There are unnerving sound effects as well, the knocking is especially hair-raising. The imagery also does a good job of not showing you everything at once, there are moments where it slowly builds to a shocking discovery or an event.
Delusions play a huge part of “Chaos;Child”. As these events can be triggered during certain parts of the game. They can be either positive or negative and can have various effects on the story. Some can be comical while others are damn right sinister. You can also choose not to trigger any Delusions at all. This of course has an effect on the story throughout and can lead you down different routes towards various endings. Sometimes it can be hard to guess what will exactly happen, and it almost blurs the lines of fantasy and reality leaving you wondering what the hell is going on?
“Chaos;Child” doesn’t really have any glaring issues, it tells a good story, and it will keep you captivated throughout thanks to the great characters and storylines. Even so, one thing might irk some people, and that will be the price. You see, “Chaos; Child” is priced at £49.99, and that’s a rather hefty price tag for a story. So this might simply put people in a “wait for a sale” stance, but if you’re looking for a game that will captivate you for hours like a decent DVD boxset it’s not a bad investment. Especially with the fact that there are multiple endings.
I find myself turning off the lights, pouring a glass of wine (or a pint depends what’s in the fridge) and just simply enjoy the game. There are some really intense moments, and I found myself being sucked in. Even if the gameplay is just clicking through text and making the odd decision at time. So it’s certainly more enjoyable than some of the big AAA games I’ve played this year (I for one would much rather play “Chaos: Child” over “Shadow of War”, for example).
All in all, “Chaos Child” makes for a nice change from everything else I’ve been playing recently. So if you are looking for a story that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, and something that can be enjoyed multiple times (there are also plenty of interesting characters to be found in the game). Then “Chaos Child” is well worth picking up, even at the price of £49.99 as it’s a fantastic murder mystery game.
+ Fantastic story
+ Memorable characters
+ Very spooky!
– Hefty price tag
– Easy to get confused if you’re not paying attention
– It will keep you up at night
Replay value: 5/5
“Chaos;Child” is best enjoyed with the lights off, with a bottle of wine, alone. As it will captivate you from the very first murder. Furthermore, it will spook you and make you gasp throughout its twists and turns. So if you’re into visual novels and horror/thriller games, then you should give “Chaos;Child” a go with no doubt.
Release date: 2017-10-27
Spent time: +10 hours
Average grade internationally: % Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: +18
Robin Ek – Editor
The review code was provided by PQube.
The Gaming Ground
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