Content of the article: "Paradise Killer released just this friday and I completed it with the certitude of it being my game of the year. I want to take the time to explain how it is a surprise gem that most likely escaped your radar and is well worth your time."
I saw some posts not understanding what Paradise Killer was even after watching the trailer and weren't sure if it was a worthy purchase, so I want to clarify it in more detail. I got it because of the extremely good reviews calling it a new standard for the detective genre, and I have to agree. This has been such a surprising gem that it became my current game of the year. I spent over 20 hours just because I didn't want it to end, and I only paid 13 bucks for it.
To explain, Paradise Killer is a murder mystery set in an open world. You are tasked in solving a mass murder and talk to suspects and witnesses, but you are free to do it however you wish. You have full freedom of exploration to tackle any leads that interests you the most, and it is great. Remember how Breath of the Wild redefined open worlds within the Zelda series in something refreshing and unique? Paradise Killer did the same for the mystery genre (just like the great Outer Wilds, they share similarities). You have a comprehensive list of leads and a exhaustive case files on every suspect, so you always have something to do. You don't just aimlessly wander around, you do everything with a mission. Maybe I have to explore around the apartment of a suspect to see if I can find a piece of evidence, or maybe I will first check the crime scene to see if I can find something that links it to a suspect. Hell, maybe I will find something new walking between two new places? The freedom is yours to take and it is liberating.
The amount of freedom is such that I didn't even explore the crime scene until 8 hours into the game, and I still made a huge amount of progress without it. I was so engrossed with the game that I totally forgot about the most important aspect of the investigation!!
I would describe the gameplay loop of Paradise Killer as a game where you investigate because you want to, not because you have to. The deep mystery coupled with the rich lore makes for an incredible combo.
And the mystery is thrilling. The devs took inspiration from Suda51's cult classics (remember Flower Sun and Rain and Killer7?) in crafting a unique universe that is so fascinating. You play as an investigator in exile that is brought back among the living in order to solve the mass murder of the council, religious Zealots dedicated to craft a perfect paradise in order to revive dead gods. The next island, Perfect 25, was already created and is meant to be the last and final island free of demon corruption. All it remained was for everyone to transfer, but the council was all killed in a locked room mystery and now you have to solve this murder before everyone moves on to the next paradise by order of the judge.
So you are exploring an island on the cusp of ending, birds fly backwards, the island is slowly crumbling, reality itself is beginning to lose its grasp, and you have to solve a murder during the end of this current world. It is so good. The lore is also extremely deep and honestly fascinating. Full of dead gods, people of different allegiances, and areas with a rich history. Just the fact that we are at the 24th Island Sequence tells us a lot about the 23 previous ones in terms of the rich history it has.
Did I mention the game is beautiful? It is. I have put a small album of screenshots from the game that I found. They're from the PC version and it is surprisingly smooth and bug-free. I had no issues over my 20 hours of gameplay at all.
…it is tremendous. You unlock tapes throughout your journey that will give you more tunes and all of them are absolute bangers. It's a really refreshing OST that blends city pop, vapourwave and future funk altogether in a unique mix. I think 2 hours of my 20+ hours of gameplay has been spent just jamming to the music.
You ought to check out this game if you want something fresh and unique. It is, honest to god, my favorite game of the year and I didn't expect it at all. I recommended it to three of my friends already and they are all loving it despite not even being into mystery games. I have really enjoyed my time with it and there is a good chance you will too. The game has a demo on steam if you want to dip your toes without committing.
- Paradise Killer – Review Thread
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