Paratopic is a game unlike any other. It looks and feels like something straight out of the N64 era, and yet it borrows ideas from modern games and applies it to its own bizarre storytelling in such a way that you are both confused and captivated by what is happening on screen time and time again. This is a game that grabs you instantly, and you will not want to put it down until you are finished.
Everything about Paratopic, from its intentionally-puzzling storytelling to its graphical fidelity, is executed to near perfection, and believe me, this is a hard one to review without spoiling. All you need to know is that this is an experience all its own, and it is one that demands your attention.
Right off the bat, you are being held against your will and are being questioned. Clearly, you have no idea what is going on or how to respond. This is how the game hooks you. You are basically working through various scenarios to try and learn the whole story, which means this game has incredible replay value. Although an average playthrough will only take around 45 minutes, you will immediately want to try again to learn more.
I will leave the details of the story at that as not to spoil any more.
Paratopic is basically a horror version of WarioWare in some ways. The gameplay consists of you flashing through scene after scene trying to figure out the puzzle at hand and connect more of the pieces to the story. It is simple to play, but it will constantly leave you in a perplexed state.
The synth music in the game is so entrancing and does a fine job of setting the mood as well as messing with you. Since the game clearly decided to go for an oldschool feel, the soundtrack’s direction is one from an 80s horror flick along the lines of Friday the 13th, but do not let that misdirect you into thinking this is a horror game along those lines. It just simply sounds like it.
Graphically, this is one of the more unique games I have played in recent years. Instead of attempting a hyper-realistic approach or even one that is a bit more detailed, the team behind Paratopic decided to go the low polygonal route, and it works wonders. Low level graphics like this are not simply nostalgic, but they allow us to fully understand the environment and create an intimate connection with our surroundings. Everything stands out in this game, and that is the genius of this approach. The stuff you can see genuinely matters.
The world is stunning, and learning what makes it tick is both a joyful and insidious journey. You may think that the garbled sentences produced by the characters carry little weight, but as you play the game more and more, it is hard to keep your eyes off the screen and your mind away from the meaning of things.
It is not every day that you come across a video game experience that is quite this mesmerizing. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are looking for a bizarrely unique horror experience, I cannot recommend Paratopic enough. It will hook you time and time again.
Stellar polygonal graphics
High replay value
Intentionally confusing storytelling may turn some people away
What's Your Reaction?
My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.