Is there where I come to give blood? Because it seems like you’ve already got lots to spare.
I’ve played a lot of Metroidvania games in my brief time on this Earth – games like Hollow Knight and Dead Cells just to name some of the recent greats. I’m always excited to hear about a new Metroidvania game, and so I was intrigued to give Ritual Games’ Paradox Soul a go.
Originally released on PC early last year, it’s just been ported onto console. Paradox Soul is a short, fast-paced adventure that will have you shooting, crawling, and ducking your way around a dangerous testing facility. Testing what, you ask? Well, that’s for you to find out.
You play as Dr. Alli Rose who seems to have a love for danger and curiosities as she is determined to find the secrets that are hidden within the strange facility that acts as the backdrop for the adventure. You’ll be taking out lots of baddies, such as quick zombie-like creatures, mean dogs, and angry dudes that don’t hesitate to shoot back, while going deeper and deeper into the recesses of the mystery.
The levels in the Paradox Soul see you moving from left to right or nice versa as you adventure into room after room, taking out enemies as you go and collecting equipment to help better deal with the increasing difficulty. At the start of the game you may find yourself confused about where to go or what to do, but once you’ve figured out the tropes of the game you’ll be breezing through it in no time.
Due to its short length, Paradox Soul doesn’t give itself a lot of time to establish new and innovative techniques or complicated puzzle mechanics. It teaches the player two or three things that they can do and then lets them run with it. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it does force the gameplay to become pretty stale quickly. You’ll be shooting your 50th creature before you realise that it looks and acts exactly the same as the 49 creatures that came before it. The monotony is broken up by some pretty fun boss battles, but even the bosses become painfully predictable in the end.
While Paradox Soul may not reinvent the Metroidvania-shaped wheel, it plays it safe and finds a nice, warm home there with its brethren. The game doesn’t hold your hand, instead lets you discover what’s going on at your own pace. At the low price of $4.99 it’s a worthwhile adventure if you’re looking for a short, simple game without too much fluff.