Chaos: Child Review
- Developer: 5pb
- Publisher: 5pb, PQube
- Genre: Visual Novel
- Release Date: October 2017 on PS4
- Platforms: PS4
- Reviewed on:PS4 Pro on 4k Samsung TV
- Game Supplied by : Publisher
If you have never experienced or played a visual novel game, this might very well be the one to dip your toes into. Visual novel games are nothing more than a slightly interactive audio book, where every once in awhile you can effect the story with a very simple game mechanic.
From the get go, Chaos;Child is gruesome, very, very gruesome and certainly has a very adult theme. The opening sequence to read is gripping and appalling in its detailed horror, and was quite a shock at how graphic it is even despite it’s 18 rating. Even though, this set the tone to have me completely hooked.
Then a few hours more in there is a most uncomfortable, but gripping scene in a hotel. It’s indicative to how a simple game idea of a great narrative, superb voice acting, great story, can be so compelling and evoke such emotions when all you are doing is reading text and listening to Japanese voice actors. My heart was racing, eyes on stalks wondering how the scene would be played out. That’s the power of good writing.
And so it goes on for many more hours, with a plot that twists and turns in the most unexpected ways at time, with superb character development all the way. This is important as the game has multiple endings, ( including your own death ) via a system called “delusions”.
These delusions appear at junctions and are either positive, negative or neutral choices to make. The game unfortunately doesn’t explain how impactful these choices could be and don’t make you sit and squirm that you did the right thing like they did in the game Steins; Gate also made by 5pb.
The graphics, are nothing more than anime stills, with the odd bit of lip movement, various scene setting backgrounds, and a lot and lot of text to read. What is really good though is the games audio. The voice acting really conveyed the characters tension, character, and believability, with a great soundtrack that added to the overall gripping unfolding drama.
Visual novels are as visual novels do. You either like them and “get” them or don’t. You also have to have a lot of patience to play/watch them as the narrative does go on at times for a long time seemingly going nowhere, but if you stick with it, and trust that the game is worth your time, you will be rewarded.
I was gripped by the story but disappointed in the lack of apparent drama forced on the player when you had to make choices. The choices you make are only scenarios in the players head and when they finish you are back to the real world story. As someone who likes being positive, most, if not all of my choices were positive as i didn’t like seeing negative things happen in the game and I’m not really sure how this affected the game/story.
However, the story telling, gripping drama, is more than enough reason alone to keep playing this game, and for completionists, many times, to find the multiple endings. I’m also not really sure, even though the game has many hours in it, that it’s deserving of the full price tag. To make this genre of game more mainstream they need to lower the price point to a more acceptable level of around £30 brand new, as technically your getting nothing more than a glorified book/visual novel.