Children of the Sun Review – Freak on a Leash

Children of the Sun Review

There are certain games that tackle a genre from a different perspective to create something brand new yet familiar. Superhot did this with its movement-based time mechanics which perfectly blends First Person Shooter traits with a puzzler. Sneaking up the same path is Children of the Sun. With its unique approach to scoping and sniping enemies, will this tactical shooter hit the mark?

Betrayed and mistreated by The Cult, you play as The Girl and are determined to extinguish each member of the sadistic group until you find The Leader. Although the narrative isn’t delivered in an overt manner, you gather scraps of information about the group from each scenario. This bolsters the story as you progress and gives further incentive for your assassinations. While there is a story to latch on to, it’s secondary to the addictive gameplay. I would have liked further emphasis on the interesting scenario, however, it never delves deeper than being merely a premise for your objective.

The Single-Bullet Theory

Your goal is simple, eliminate all the cultists who roam the environment before you, however, there is one catch. You only have one bullet. What unleashes is a thrilling tactical sequence where you must direct your singular projectile through multiple enemies to complete your objective. At first, you need to scour the area and tag foes. Some can be hidden away and may require you to shoot your bullet to discover their whereabouts. Once you’ve located each enemy, then it’s time to work out the optimum route to complete annihilation.

Upon pulling the trigger, you follow the bullet toward your target and after a successful assassination, re-aim your projectile to take out another enemy. Soon you will pinball the bullet throughout the environment to stylishly murder each member of The Cult. Working out the order is an absolute thrill as you will need to consider the line of sight and positioning of foes. As you progress, more options become available which adds additional layers to the gameplay. One feature allows you to bend bullets so that they can swerve past obstacles to deliver a sick headshot. This opens up a range of possibilities that allow you to experiment with your order of kills.

X Marks the Spot

Particular parts of enemies will glow and hitting them in these areas will allow you to redirect your bullet mid-flight. This is particularly useful as the enemy variety develops. Certain characters require you to shoot from a distance and build up enough speed to pierce their armor while others may require you to bypass a shield. Due to this, you may need to venture out in one direction and then maneuver back to eliminate your target. The options and methods available are plentiful which makes the journey to your objective in each level feel distinct.

Levels are scored and linked to the online leaderboards which encourages you to replay missions to beat your previous effort. You can gain multipliers through quick multiple kills, using the environment to cause explosions and much more. This leads to experimentation to deliver as much chaos as possible to gain the highest score. As targets have a set route, not only do you need to consider your path but you also need to take into account the timing so that the execution of one leads to another. It’s devilishly addictive and adds to the longevity of the game.

Dark, Dingy and Delicious

The high-contrast, gritty visuals of Children of the Sun help to create a weathered aesthetic that drips with atmosphere. Each greasy location is smothered with filth and captures the hideous nature of the cultists that dwell there. Locations vary from murky motels to sleazy streets, each adding further gameplay depth and personality to the experience. The overall presentation is further heightened through its audio. Haunting drones and soft synths add to devious ambiance to create an incredible aesthetic which is to die for.

Children of the Sun is a twisted take on a tactical shooter. Surveying your surroundings to identify your prey before sending a solitary bullet for complete eradication is a blast. The development of the premise through special skills, challenges and end-level scores helps to make the game endlessly replayable. While I would have liked a little more focus on the interesting story that bubbles underneath, the intoxicating gameplay will sink its seedy hooks deep into your psyche, ensuring countless hours of adrenaline-fueled excitement.

***A Steam code was provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Thoughtful and Tactical Gameplay
  • Dingy Presentation
  • Addictive Score Feature

The Bad

  • Lack of Emphasis on the Story
  • Quite Short