Paradise Lost – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Interactive story
Developer: PolyAmorous
Publisher: All in! Games
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Tested on: PC

Paradise Lost – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Great story, awe-inspiring environments
Bad: Very slow walking speed, no puzzles
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Paradise Lost is a short, story driven game which transports the player to an alternate universe in which the Nazis have won the war. It’s 1980, twenty years after a nuclear was has rendered the world around you into an icy wasteland. As you enter a bunker, a whole lost world will open up before your eyes…

Story

You play as a boy named Szymon, exploring a mysterious bunker, hoping to learn some more about the history of your recently deceased mother. All you have is a photograph of her and a mysterious man, which you use as a lead to explore deeper into the bunker.

As you explore, you learn about the purpose of the bunker, about what happened in WWII, and what transpired after this bunker got discovered by the Polish People’s Army. This game sketches an interesting alternate universe, in which America stayed neutral in the second world war, Germany fought against Russia, and nuclear war ensued between these states somewhere around 1960.

The story is being told via documents, audio recordings, and computer simulations. You’ll be able to interact with the simulations, testing several outcomes to scenarios, even though they won’t have an effect on the happenings of the past. As you delve deeper into the bunker, you’ll speak with a girl called Ewa, who speaks to you through the bunker’s intercom system and can see you through the camera system. She leads you deeper into the bunker, to free her from the room she’s trapped in. As your personal journey leads you deep into the bunker anyway, and Ewa seems to know more about the bunker than you do and helps you to open doors, you’ll roll with it.

The UI is minimal and easy to understand, since this game doesn’t have much gameplay besides exploring and investigating what happened in the past. However, it’s a pity you can’t further inspect some objects, or zoom in on interesting objects you’ll encounter.

All signage and posters you’ll encounter as you explore the bunker are in German, which makes sense, and since Szymon can’t read German, it is quite logical that these aren’t translated. However, the documents you find are in English (if you play the game in English), while it would be much nicer and way more fitting to have the documents displayed in German (or Polish) and have the UI translate them for you.

Graphics

This game is absolutely gorgeous. The inside of the bunker seems cramped at first, but eventually you’ll traverse into larger structures, eventually opening up to a humongous underground colony, filled with neo-classical splendor. The areas you’ll explore are all beautiful and impressive; this game manages to awe you at every turn.

The graphics look beautiful and realistic, with great lighting, nice looking textures, and a gorgeous style fitting to the classic German architecture style, the neo-classical style which was favored by the Nazis, and decorative Art Deco style with hints of orientalism. Of course, everything you’ll encounter is old and distressed, covered in patina and carrying a post-apocalyptic sense of desolation.

Sound

The voice acting is fine but not amazing. Since the voice acting is mostly two kids talking, it’s okay that it seems a bit emotionally flat at times. It would have been nice if the game was narrated in Polish, and the UI provided the subtitles.

The music, soundscape and environmental sounds are great; very atmospheric, and really help to set the mood of the game and the impressive environments you’ll explore.

Gameplay

Paradise Lost is a first-person exploration game that fully revolves around experiencing the story. You’ll be able to pick up some objects to use later, but there are no puzzles to solve; it’s always very obvious how you should use these objects. Occasionally you’ll be able to interact with some elements in the environment, like buttons or levers, and the computer system controlling the bunker. This system enables you to view some events which happened in the past, and even interact with these events. Sadly, since these events happened a long time ago, your choices won’t really matter for the outcome. You’ll also be able to choose between several conversation options, which will eventually influence the ending of the game.

The game is mostly linear; you’ll explore the bunker following the only possible path, save for a few deviations where you can choose between branching paths which will eventually end up in the same place. However, when trying to explore absolutely everything you can, you’ll be rewarded with quite an impressive number of documents to read and voice recordings to play, which helps to further illustrate the story of the bunker and its inhabitants.

However, as you make your way around the bunker, you’ll quickly notice that your character walks very slowly. Since you’ll be exploring quite a bit, and completionists might walk back and forth a lot to ensure that they’ve opened every door and investigated every alleyway, this slow pace will quickly start to be quite tiresome. Using the shift butting seems to speed up walking speed by a marginal amount, but it still comes down to a slow walk.

Conclusion

Paradise Lost is a gorgeous game that tells an intriguing story, set in an interesting alternate universe. The environmental storytelling via documents and recordings works very well, and fits within the setting. However, it would be nice if the documents and recording would be in a fitting language instead of English, to match the narrative of the game. Increasing the walking speed of the protagonist, or getting the option to run, would improve this game as well. But despite these shortcomings, this game is a great experience that will let you delve into an amazing story and explore beautiful and impressive surroundings.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Paradise Lost - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

1 Comment

  1. […] Unfamiliar with Paradise Lost? Then make sure to check out our review for the game to find out more about it right here: http://3rd-strike.com/paradise-lost-review/ […]

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