Paradise Killer initially debuted on PC and Nintendo Switch back in 2020. It was well received, but didn’t set the world on fire. Launching on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One earlier this year, and now with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S optimisations, this Paradise Killer review will inform you why the game deserves it’s time in the light.

The game features an incredibly intriguing plot. Some beings once decided to break from their society in search of a closer connection with the gods. To do so they established an island in an entirely different realm, known as ‘Paradise’. However, they got it wrong. And so, Paradise 2 was created. Then Paradise 3. Paradise 4, and so on. Every time they got closer. Just as they thought they’d nailed it, something would go wrong. So here we are now, at Paradise 24, and suddenly the governing council have all been murdered.

Enter Lady Love Dies (surely ‘Love Dies’ should be hyphenated?). The player character is an investigator that has been exiled from Paradise for reasons that are not immediately obvious. Now however, you have been tasked with uncovering evidence as to who the murderer is. After meeting with a few introductory characters you’re set free on Paradise 24, a wild and varied open world that holds many mysteries within.

Paradise Killer screenshot

As with the plot, the world design pulls you in deep through your own exploration. The world isn’t massive – we’re not talking Far Cry 6 here – but it is complex and varied. When you’re initially set free you’re entirely directionless. A small intro setting the scene above is all you’re given. You know you’re an investigator on this island, and you know the crime you have to investigate. The how’s and why’s however, are left entirely unspoken.

After a few minutes of wandering you’ll probably have found a few items, a save point, and maybe your first NPC. This, by-and-large, is the entire gameplay loop. It may sound simple, but in truth every new item, NPC or area discovered just pulls you in deeper.

There are only a handful of characters spread across the map. They are members of the ruling elite in Paradise (aside from the accused murderer), and all have deep personalities. Despite (or perhaps a tongue-in-cheek reference to) their appearance being entirely 2D. As you return time and again to each character, presenting new evidence uncovered during your investigation, you’ll learn about their relationships with one another. There’s so much to explore – both in the world and the characters – you’ll easily be drawn in for a dozen or more hours.

Paradise Killer screenshot

Despite the exceptionally high calibre of writing and world design, Paradise Killer isn’t without flaws. There are only three power-ups to obtain. One of these reveals all the mysteries (read: items) hidden within the world. However, it’s use requires you to stop moving, fade the screen to black and click through a dialogue every time, despite the reveal only lasting for a few seconds. Many of the paths of questioning will lead to dead ends – as should be expected – though the game rarely tells you that the line of questioning is over. These are minor issues for sure, but still blemish the experience.

If you’ve learned nothing else from this Paradise Killer review, you should at least understand that it’s a lovingly crafted world with few peers. Every inch has been designed with openly interpretable gameplay in mind. It’s a testament for how to design non-violent open world gameplay, and how to create detective adventures without relying on dark, gritty noir. Paradise Killer is a game that you shouldn’t hesitate to give 12 hours of your time to, and love every minute of.

Categories: Games