Sky: Children of the Light PS4 Review. The creators of PlayStation classics Journey and Flow return to the console giant with a port of its social mobile game Sky: Children of the Light. Find out if thatgamecompany has brought another gem to PlayStation with PlayStation Universe’s review.
I must admit I’d given up hope of seeing Sky: Children of the Light ever coming to PlayStation. Journey is one of my most cherished experiences on any Sony console, so I was a tad disappointed when thatgamecompany followed it up with a mobile-exclusive game that looked to build on the beautiful social aspect of its previous work.
I promise I’m not trying to be a mobile game snob here, Sky looked anything but the traditional idea of what a popular mobile game would look like, I just can’t get on with phone games all that well (big hands suffer on small screens) and of course, I wanted to see Sky: Children of the Light arrive on console. So I forgot about it as years passed, and lo and behold, here it finally is on PS4 for the grand old price of FREE. The only question that remains is; has the moment passed?
Sky: Children Of The Light Review (PS4) – Journey Developer Aims For New Heights
Sky Is A Distractingly Beautiful Affair From The Creators Of Journey
As with previous thatgamecompany titles, Sky: Children of the Light captures the eye with simple yet stunningly realised worlds and characters. To this day, I don’t think sand in any game has been as dazzling and striking as it was in Journey. Sky continues down that path with a really expressive, vibrant game that conveys things with a simple toolset far more intimately than games with budgets ten times as large. It’s so distractingly beautiful that it might be why I stumbled trying to get into it.
If you found Journey’s story a slightly abstract affair, then Sky: Children of the Light is a Jackson Pollock painting by comparison. Sure you can seek out the point of Sky, but it’s not exactly forthcoming with the rhyme and reason for what you’re doing, to begin with. It’s very overwhelming, but the essential gist of things is that you must find spirits in order to receive rewards and upgrades to your flying skills. It’s simple yet soulful stuff, it just takes a bit of cracking to get into it.
How simple is it in actuality though? Well, Sky: Children is the digital embodiment of the ‘do a thing to get access to more things’ game design mantra. It makes sense given its original platform and potential audience, and if any company was going to do simple right, then I’d put some big money on it being thatgamecompany.
As with Journey, there is an online component, but here it’s expanded beyond a mere two players and now there’s a whole world of players out there. It fits into the mold made by Journey in many ways. You just happen to exist at the same time in the same place and don’t have to interact with each other at all, but there’s something blessed about seeking each other out. The difference with Sky: Children of the Light is that it applies a bit more permanence if you want it.
A way to wash off the regret of only discovering who your nameless partner was after they were gone in Journey. Here you can name the people you meet (no information is given about other players), and the idea is that the next time you happen to be on Sky, you might well see that person you decided looked like a ‘Chuck’ and have a moment of gratitude at seeing their name in a sea of nameless others.
Sky Makes Encounters With Others Feel Special Again
It actually made me think how the majority of online games now just see an endless sea of people pass you by with nary a glance in the direction of their username, regardless of how impactful their time with you was. Sky: Children of the Light makes encounters with others feel special again. ‘Chuck’ can’t ruin the good time you had together because there’s no chance of finding out that ‘Chuck’ might be a bigoted creep or worse, a Tottenham fan. Thinking about that, that might actually be a terrifying mystery to leave on the table—a Conte’s (Schrodinger’s) cat of a conundrum.
You don’t really do a lot together. The interactions are relatively simple, with social situations very much just flitting about places and letting out little harmonious sounds, but it is genuinely remarkable how effective thatgamecompany makes something this simple so bloody effective. Not to mention that the deeper you get into Sky, the more options arrive for being social in your own specific way.
For instance, there’s musical instruments you can equip and play your own little songs with via different buttons on the controller. Serenading passers-by with your shonky tunes is about as irritating/inspirational as you can get in Sky.
There’s no denying Sky: Children of the Light is a casual experience, and it doesn’t need to be anything more. It sounds incredibly slight on paper and the truth is it is slight when compared to most online experiences, but thatgamecompany has a solid knack for making a sparrow dinner look like a roast goose.
Sky: Children of the Light is now available for PS4.