Like holidaying with a difference? Slaycation Paradise is for you.
The travel industry in the apocalypse isn’t quite what it used to be. You can forget about relaxing on the beach, cocktail in hand. The only thing you’ll be tasting is the lingering smell of mutant blood in the air after you’ve blasted through a horde of them with your shotgun. Or SMG. Or wizard’s wand. Slaycation Paradise isn’t fussy about what weapon you use as long as you get the job done.
From a comfortable hotel lobby, you can make your way through to the terminal, and it’s there where you can choose from a number of vacation destinations. Perhaps you fancy the beachy outpost of Terra Feralis, or the neon-lit streets of New Amsterdam. Or maybe the abandoned subway system of Metro Mexicano is more your pace. To begin with, only Metro Mexicano will be available. But after you’ve made your way through a couple of short training missions, you’ll be able to head to a new location, with more opening up as you progress.
Each environment has secrets to find and its own unique enemy types. Developer Affordable Acquisition has had a lot of fun here, from the little green men and possessed cows that you’ll find in the American mountains to the angry blow-up dolls that litter the streets of New Amsterdam. Shoot them, and you’ll see them fly off into the air. No matter what area you find yourself in, though, your overall goal remains the same: kill enemies and survive.
Thankfully, killing enemies in Slaycation Paradise is a lot of fun. Combining twin-stick shooting with tower defence, you have a huge range of weapons and tools at your disposal. When you’re on the move, keeping enemies at bay with your choice of primary and secondary weapon might be enough. But once a horde moves in, you’ll likely want to bunker down, building an impenetrable defence system around you. Think steel walls, turrets and traps, and as you progress, you’ll unlock more tools to play with.
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It’s not all about mindless killing, though. Surviving a number of hordes and making it back to the hotel safely might often be your goal, but you’ll occasionally be tasked with rescuing someone, finding a lost item or uncovering some sort of secret. Every area of Slaycation Paradise is dotted with weird and wonderful secrets to uncover, like the giant creature carcasses on the beaches of Terra Feralis, or the weird ritual sacrifices that have taken place in Metro Mexicano. There’s not much of a narrative here, granted, but it adds a nice bit of flavour and a reason to explore every map you’re on.
There’s a roguelike feel to Slaycation Paradise in that if you die on a mission, you’re sent straight back to the hotel, and you’ll need to try it again from the start. But your weapons are yours to keep, offering a rewarding progression system. You’ll constantly find new weapons, and providing you have enough currency you can upgrade what you have in your inventory. You can also equip various modifiers to them, offering a chance to electrocute enemies, poison them or instantly kill them – amongst other things.
Other upgrades to your character are available to unlock too, offering you the opportunity to increase your melee power, the speed that you move, and more. Needless to say, no run is ever truly wasted, because you’ll always earn some currency which can be used to improve yourself or your weapons.
If you’re a fan of twin stick shooters, there’s a lot of fun to be had in Slaycation Paradise. It’s filled with humour, it looks great, but most importantly, it’s seriously satisfying to play. Laying waste to a horde of weird and wonderful enemies either with a weapon or an array of tower defences never gets old, and with the lure of a better weapon or a new upgrade always being dangled in front of you, there’s always a reason to keep on playing. It might not be the most relaxing vacation, but you won’t want to come home.