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Paradise Killer review | PC Gamer

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What is it? A stylish freeform detective game that takes place on a bizarre island of love and betrayal.
Reviewed on: AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 16 GB RAM
Price: $20
Out: September 4
Publisher: Fellow Traveller
Developer: Kaizen Game Works
Multiplayer: None
Link: Official site

Paradise Killer is a detective game where you’re free to investigate on your own terms. That’s my favorite thing about it: I explored its eco-brutalist structures, speculated, and accused its hyper-eccentric characters at my own pace, of my own volition, based on the evidence that I found, without ever being pushed in a particular direction. During the final hour, I had to play prosecutor at a trial and use all of the evidence, testimonials, and information I’d gathered to nail the culprit (or culprits?) of a brutal killing spree. As I went over my notes, I felt like I’d really accomplished something. Paradise Killer gave me a sense of freedom that I’ve never felt in a detective game. 

Where most investigation sections in games are guided experiences that lead players down a path with answers at the end, Paradise Killer is open ended. When you pick up evidence, it automatically links itself to relevant parties in your files. If there aren’t any clear links, it goes into an unsorted pile that’s unusable at the final trial unless you find out how it connects to someone. That system made contemplate things like motives and plausibility. I went back and re-interviewed subjects with new knowledge to see if they’d slip up and tell me something they shouldn’t. I had to be curious and hone my detective skills, and when I finally completed the trial, I genuinely felt like I’d earned my satisfying conclusion.

(Image credit: Fellow Traveller/Kaizen Game Works)

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