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Digital Chumps Review: PixelJunk Eden

Eric Layman writes:

''The climax of Return of the Jedi ultimately revolves around Darth Vader's choice: save his son or defeat his master? As we all know, his expressionless visage alternately gazes in both directions several times before he resolves to deny his instincts and rescue his son. The scale was somewhat less consequential, but I essentially went through the same dilemma when I was presented with two open kiosks on the E3 show floor. On one end there was Killzone 2, Guerilla's avant-garde FPS of mythic proportions, and on the other was PixelJunk Eden, Q-Game's ridiculously intriguing thing that carried undeniable aesthetic allure, but fundamentally ambiguous gameplay. My inner fanboy pushed me toward Killzone, but my own curiosity toward the dazzling art direction ultimately lead me to select PixelJunk Eden. Just like Vader, this spilt second rational turned out to be the more rewarding choice (Note: unlike Vader, I later experienced the other option after a considerable wait in line).

Thankfully, Eden's delightful aesthetic was matched with equally compelling gameplay, but that should come as no shock to fans of Q-Game's previous entries in their ambitious PixelJunk line. PixelJunk Racers was an inspired (though flawed) jump out of the gate, but last winter's PixelJunk Monsters won universal acclaim as the ultimate desktop tower defense style game. Eden, as one would expect, is wholly original and entirely unrelated to previous PixelJunk titles. If I had to nail it down to one genre, Eden would best fall under the classification of a classic 2D platformer. How a game plays and how a game feels are two entirely different perceptions, but I can tell you now, Eden engages both with masterful competence.''

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