|a game by||Arbitrary Metric|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 2 votes|
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|See also:||Horror Games|
Ah, don't we love a good walking simulator? There seems to be this explosive indie trend that games of this genre are super cool - to a point where they aren't actually games. You always get the feeling it's just an excuse to minimize development costs and churn out something easy to make a few bucks. There are plenty of 'games' like that out there. Surprisingly, Paratopic is not one of them.
This walking simulator stands out not because it has any genre-defining mechanics or elements. But its art style pays homage to Playstation 1 narrative-based games of the past. That alone has players' nostalgia racing to the surface and really fends off any idea that the game could potentially be a bore. Alas, we'll need to look under the engine to confirm whether this 'game' is good or not.
No, It's Not a Game
Walking simulators are just a pretty way of saying - "There is nothing interactive about this game apart from the occasional item collecting." Paratopic will have you take on the persona of three varying storylines that switch between each other in a non-linear fashion. The characters are nameless - but all have specific goals in mind. You'll follow a contract-killer preparing for a hit, an aspiring photographer exploring a forest - and a VHS tape smuggler. Giving away the story outcomes would defeat the purpose of playing it - so we'll focus on how this game stands out. Yes, all you'll do is just walk or drive around, interacting with some people or assets. You may feel confused by the sudden jumping into different scenes - but that can all be overlooked for the art style and sound design.
Paratopic tailors its experience to 1998 releases perfectly. Every detail is captured from the blocky texturing, low-poly modeling, and the motionless faces of characters. The sound design incorporates that fuzzy dialogue and poor mix that was so prominent in early cinematic gameplay. All these elements define what the game was made for, and it's hard to look past that. There's not much else offered to clock at only about an hour - but it does leave players impressed.
Written and Directed By...
Paratopic is not a game per se - it's more an interactive short film that feels like a retro take on a failed Quentin Tarantino script. We have to remember that it wasn't made for a playthrough - but for an experience. There are plenty of players that will hate that idea, where a game like this could have the potential to be more action-based.
Others, though, will be impressed by how Paratopic was created. You can think of the game as a stripped-down version of Firewatch - being so heavily story-focused with little interaction. Without a doubt, the cinematics of Metal Gear Solid comes to mind. You are half-expecting Psycho Mantis to come out and demand you not change the controller port. All things considering - Paratopic should be tried for the sake of art, even if you love or hate the concept.
- Unique walking simulator in parallel to old school narrative games
- Perfectly captures the essence of a 20th-century game
- Sound design is phenomenal
- Not really a game - minimal interactivity
- Incredibly short and will leave you wondering if it's worth the investment
- Certain scenes drag on a bit too long
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP