Walking through the desolate hallways of an abandoned Nazi bunker, I couldn’t quite help but feel that the experience was rather milquetoast. There wasn’t much of anything to do in terms of gameplay. So I felt rather railroaded to a linear experience that I felt could’ve been introduced better.
It’s not that Paradise Lost is a bad game. It’s just hard to define is as such. Is there really a place for walking simulators in the industry?
Tension is absent when traversing through the remains of this Nazi subterranean society. There is no game over and no actual challenge to keep you from getting to your goal. There aren’t even any puzzles. There is only the path forward.
Paradise Lost relies heavily on its narrative and aesthetics to carry itself. While it introduces some pretty strong themes, I feel as if they have been touched upon rather poorly with most of the story being told through documented notes and letters that leave too much to the imagination. I didn’t feel invested with the mystery of the subterranean society. The lack of any appealing characters only helped further my disinterest. The only mystery that truly kept me going was the biggest question in the room.
What the hell happened to everyone?
The main goal of Paradise Lost is to find a strange man pictured with the protagonist’s mother. The protagonist we’re controlling being a 12 year old boy living in a nuclear wasteland of Poland who happens to find an abandoned Nazi bunker with a hidden underground city.
I feel that the biggest weakness of Paradise Lost lies within its linearity. It has an interesting setting with a dark background to tell. But besides the occasional diverging paths, you’re railroaded into an experience where you go where the game wants you to go. This wouldn’t be a problem if the narrative was gripping or if fun gameplay compensated, but it is a walking simulator through and through.
Most of the story is read through apocalyptic logs implying what happened to the bunker. This isn’t really effective story telling as it doesn’t carry any emotional weight for the player to get invested. The rest of it can be found through the environment as the remnants left behind by the Nazis provide imagery of what they were doing in that bunker. But it just doesn’t have the same pull as having the story happen in front of you.
Unless you’re finding the fun of pulling levers and rummaging through cabinet files for notes and documents to be enough entertainment to keep going, then I can’t really recommend Paradise Lost. It just doesn’t offer a memorable experience enough to justify a purchase.
Paradise Lost – Review
You’ll be left out with a “meh” after finishing the game. What game did we just play?