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Paradise Lost review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: All In! Games
Developer: PolyAmorous
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

Paradise Lost has one glaring flaw: walking. The character you’re inhabiting moves at a snail’s pace pretty much the entire time. He gets blocked by random debris on the ground, and has to back up and go around it. He occasionally lurches for no obvious reason.

Given that Paradise Lost is a first-person walking simulator, that’s kind of a significant flaw to have.

On top of that, the world you’re exploring isn’t all that interesting. Despite the fact you’re in some underground Nazi bunker from an alternate universe where World War II continued for a few extra decades until the Nazis irradiated Europe by dropping a bunch of atomic bombs, everything here is extremely linear. There’s almost always only one path to take, and there aren’t any obstacles or puzzles to overcome at any point. It’s just straight walking, with the game constantly directing you exactly where to go.

To be sure, Paradise Lost has a somewhat compelling narrative – the whole “post-apocalyptic Nazi bunker” thing sees to that. And the game slowly doles out its story via found documents and a mysterious voice helping you along, which gives everything a bit of tension.

On top of that, the visuals are appropriately chilling. How could they not be? An massive abandoned bunker is a pretty skin-crawling setting at the best of times, and adding in swastikas everywhere ups the creepy factor exponentially.

But neither the story nor the setting are so compelling that they can overcome your character inching along from room to room in what’s essentially a straight line. There’s nothing inherently wrong with pushing you in a clear linear direction; one of my all-time favourite games is What Remains of Edith Finch?, and that’s nothing but linear exploration. But add in the glacial pace, and it makes it a lot easier to stop caring about the story as you’re faced with long stretches of simply walking from point A to point B. There’s a lot of potential for Paradise Lost to have been a great game, but unfortunately, it mostly goes unrealized.

All In! Games provided us with a Paradise Lost code for review purposes.

Grade: B-