Release Date: March 24, 2021
It seems that Paradise Lost & I are just not meant to be. First, the days got away from me, and after being ahead of the game all month, I almost didn’t get this one played before it’s one year anniversary, despite having been really excited when it showed up in the February 2022 Humble Choice. Then, having finally started it up only a couple days before my ridiculous self-imposed deadline, I had to bail on it after about 30 minutes.
The game is gorgeous, but it gave me pretty severe motion sickness, even with the “head bob” option turned off. This has only happened to me a handful of times over many years and many games, and I have yet to figure out exactly what causes it. In spite of this, I had hoped to make it through to at least the hour mark, but I found I just couldn’t continue.
My only consolation is this: I wasn’t really enjoying it overly much before my stomach started freaking out on me. I can appreciate how atmospheric the game is, but in the first half hour, I basically walked from one glowing white circle to the next, picking up papers and other objects to look at them. There were a few brief flashback cutscenes in which a dialogue choice was offered, but Paradise Lost is definitely more interest in the feel of the world than in direct storytelling. It actually took me a minute to realize that I needed to manipulate an item I had picked up, I had gotten so used to the pick-it-up, put-it-down-again cycle.
I’m honestly not too sure how I feel about the walking simulator genre in general, but even without the motion sickness problem, I probably wouldn’t have stuck this one out. I don’t expect sunshine and puppies in a post apocalyptic journey, but I also really wasn’t prepared to spend hours trudging through the snow reading about the tragedies of all the people who were just … no longer there.
It feels like this is supposed to be more of a statement game than a truly enjoyable one, and that’s not really what I’m looking for.
I guess I’m not the only one who didn’t particularly enjoy Paradise Lost. SteamDB estimates it has sold somewhere between 28,000 and 77,100 copies on Steam. Reviews were mixed, with a lot of them referencing bugs that I didn’t play nearly long enough to experience. It does however appear to be a first game for this developer, and I would definitely at least look into whatever they come out with next, because it truly looked and sounded fantastic. It is ranked 5301 out of 10,967 games released in 2021.