Children of Liberty – Hands-On Preview

by on Feb 21, 2014

After the successfully executed 2D stealth mechanics in Klei Entertainment’s 2012 hit Mark of the Ninja , there has been some anticipation for another title to take a crack at it. Enter Lantana Games, an indie developer looking to make a splash with the self-described “revolutionary stealth platformer” called Children of Liberty. I recently had the opportunity to play around with an alpha build of this ambitious little game. Does it have potential to leave a lasting imprint in the stealth genre?

One thing that will instantly grab you are the visuals. The only other game that remotely comes to mind when describing it is Paper Mario. Each character has a flat, cartoony look about them that works surprisingly well with the way the game plays. In addition to its unique aesthetic, the presentation is also getting a boost from its  voice talent, which includes the talents of Ashly Burch (Tiny Tina in Borderlands 2), Sarah Elmaleh (Katie in Gone Home), and Sean Chiplock (Sanjin in Dust: An Elysian Tail).

The current build has you playing as a young boy representing the Sons of Liberty, sneaking around in a warehouse full of redcoats during the American Revolutionary War. Lantana plans for four playable character in total, each with unique abilities.

"Maybe I should look behind me? Nahhh... "

“Maybe I should look behind me? Nahhh… “

Your character can move left and right following a red line representing the path where you can be seen. You can also move up where there’s a blue line to press up against the wall and sneak by enemies. Each soldier you come across will have a visible cone of sight to avoid. It’s hard to say exactly what they do when you’re seen since the alpha build appears to make the enemies fall and stumble over your character.

There are sections where jumping is required, which I can see coming into play for accessing out of the way areas or sneaking over soldiers, but one of the game’s most intriguing aspects is your character’s ability to “lean” around corners before continuing on, essentially shifting the camera to a new 2D plane not unlike Fez. The brief 3D shift when making these turns is a nice visual effect that should look a lot more impressive with some polish.

The elements presented in Children of Liberty may initially seem lofty for Lantana Games to take on for their very first title. But speaking the team, they appear to have a good idea on the direction they’re going with it as well as dedication towards being as historically accurate as possible. If it all comes together as well as they plan, this could be an indie game that will surprise a lot of fans of the stealth genre.

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