Children of the Sun

Review: Children of the Sun

Children of the Sun is about that one-shot, one-kill mentality. Your character’s innate ability is unique, allowing her to deal lethal damage in a fascinating and satisfying way. Without knowing a lot other than what was revealed, I was eager to dive in to see if the premise would be as good as it sounded – and it was.

While the situation is something right out of a science fiction novel or show, that idea doesn’t hold Children of the Sun back. Some series provide great ideas but fail to execute them satisfyingly. Thankfully, the idea here is to get vengeance, and you’re perfectly up to the challenge.

Children of the Sun is a fun revenge story

Playing as The Girl, a woman waging a one-woman war on The Cult, she must take down each member individually as she works up the chain to The Leader. As she travels, she uncovers secrets from the people she is hunting and what they’ve done to serve the leader.

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Children of the Sun is a tactical third-person puzzle shooter as you guide one bullet at a time through complex levels to kill cultists. The premise is chaotic, yet it is satisfying. You must maneuver the level and ensure your bullet does not bounce off the environment. Once you understand the mechanics, the levels make a lot of sense, and you can make some impossible shots happen.

Children of the Sun’s story is told through hand-drawn, brief and unvoiced segments, so you must pay attention to understand the broader strokes of the story. Even cutscenes include zero dialogue, and the story is explained in minimal context. Despite that, some moments will resonate with you as they are impactful.

I’ll boil it down a bit further – this is a basic revenge story about someone who wants to make those responsible feel the same suffering the protagonist feels. Revenge tales generally feel one-note, but that’s the point of wanting to inflict suffering on those who wronged you.

Finding the optimal sport is an essential element of each level. As soon as you aim down the scope and pull the trigger, the camera shifts to the bullet as it hurtles through the air. It can be a gory sight watching the bullet tear through flesh and permanently impede any cultists from getting up. However, the catch is you only have one bullet but also telekinetic powers, so you’ll be able to maneuver the bullet to ricochet through every bad guy. Failing to do so means you need to start over, and it can sometimes be a nuisance but a great learning experience.

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There is no penalty when you make a mistake, and frankly, I’m glad there isn’t one because I found myself making many mistakes during the beginning levels. Sometimes, the best solution is to fire a shot and see what happens, allowing you to see further ahead and plan the perfect route to the end when obstacles are involved, like buildings.

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Players acquire new abilities that include changing the trajectory and direction of a bullet and increasing the bullet’s speed. These abilities become essential to progress through the levels, which introduce enemies with shields or enemies in moving vehicles and heavy armour that can only be defeated by a sped-up bullet from a specific distance.

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The difficulty of Children Of The Sun increases with each level, which is primarily due to the level’s architecture. This is because later levels become more intricate with their layouts.  However, playing later levels multiple times, knowing that you will fail, is an inherent feature of the game. Players can mark enemies once they have spotted them, and this mark remains persistent through restarts of the level. Nevertheless, I had issues in later levels where I’d be near finished, but a new enemy type would eviscerate my run, and I’d be stuck having to restart. It is a bit frustrating when you hit a snag, and it can lead to moments of feeling defeat. However, persevering is a right of passage in any revenge tale, right?

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My initial playthrough lasted around six hours, and the developers say there is a level of replayability once you’ve rolled credits.  You can find replay value in the game due to the inclusion of leaderboards. Each level has its leaderboard, allowing players to compare their scores with others who have played the game. The objective is to finish each level as quickly as possible by taking the fastest route while maximizing points by hitting objects like gas tanks or birds to get multi-kills and headshots.

Verdict

Children of the Sun is a great title, but it can be frustrating sometimes. A lot of the violence is locked by solving the puzzle and finding the perfect path to vengeance. The short run-time won’t leave you feeling burned out, but you must be creative and bring down the cult that wronged you.

Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PC

Children of the Sun
Review: Children of the Sun
Summary
Children of the Sun is a great title, but it can be frustrating sometimes.
Liked
Exciting concept that is satisfying to execute
Very cool aesthetic, cool powers later on
Leaderboards add a level of replayability
Didn't Like
Developers said it's replayable but I don't feel inclinded to replay campaign
Some frustrating enemies in later stages