The blizzard covers your view. The white snow all over the plains is everything you can see. At the horizon, you notice something that could be a… construction? A building, maybe? Well, it’s worth checking. As you draw closer, you are sure you just found what you have been looking for: a shelter, where you can protect yourself against the freezing wind. ‘But what is this strange place?’, you ask yourself as you enter the building… and the door closes in your back as soon as you are inside. It resembles a high-tech laboratory… with corpses laying on the ground.
To discover what happened in this mysterious place and find your way out of here is your mission in Paradox Soul, the new Metroidvania adventure developed by Ritual Games and published by Ratalaika Games S.L. & GrabTheGames. Follow us as we explore the rooms of this mysterious structure in our review.
- Gameplay: You’re not Samus Aran, but you are ready for whatever crosses your way while using your suit. You start the game with only your primary gun but soon will become deadlier than Pickle Rick as you acquire your experimental suit, secondary weapons and abilities and upgrades for your gun. You must fully explore the map, looking for key and switches to open doors and gain access to new locations like good and old Metroidvania. The map is huge, but the exploration is quite dynamic, so you won’t have problems even if you get lost (like I did… Several times). Game mechanics are fluid and make the combat very interesting (especially the cover mechanic, something unexpected in this kind of game).
- Visuals: The pixel-art used in this game is quite impressive. The visuals of the game, as simple as it may seem, does a very good job. As much as the animations. Especially the animation of your character firing from cover (yes, I really liked it, as you can see). I’m aware the pixel-art style isn’t for everyone, but here we have a good example of what talented developers can achieve with it. Good job, guys!
- Sound: The sound transpires the retro style of the game, with quality melodies room after room. The sound effects, on the other hand, missed some more impact. While your gunfire and explosions do a decent job, your enemies seem too quiet and not too worried about a stranger invading the base. Maybe they are the silent kind of robots. And since we’ve mentioned enemies…
- Few enemy types: The game was a little shy about inserting different enemies. I may be wrong in my account, but I can only remember 7 different kinds (while three of them are exactly the same with different guns or behaviors). Not the exact level of variation we could expect, I’m afraid. The level bosses, on the other hand, are interesting and variated. Wish common enemies had this same level of originality.
- Story: My main complaint about Paradox Soul is its story. Or better said, the lack of story or reason to push forward in this adventure. The introduction at the beginning of the article? Well, it was my interpretation of the introduction for the game. Who you are, why you are in this base or what’s your goal is totally up for your interpretation. Well, the ending partially answers some of these questions. But it still misses a good reason to keep it going.
- Duration: Some of you may think the game is a little short. Well, I agree with you… partially. For achievement hunters and completionists, the duration of the game is perfect to nail another 1000G that fast. But for those who want to extract more value from a game, it’s a little disappointing. For instance, it took me a little longer than a couple of hours (even getting lost, with no clue where to go or what to do) to explore all its rooms and find the answer to leave this place thanks to its…
- (Really) Hard to notice secrets: Yes, the game has some secrets hidden behind the walls of this secret laboratory. But since these secrets are some are so well hidden, only after defeating the final boss I discovered I had something to look for. Seriously. Only after roaming for around an hour a noticed some strange signs in a wall. But don’t get me wrong: some secrets are always welcome in a game. But here in Paradox Soul, you need to find these secrets to finish the game. So, good luck in your search.
The partnership between Ratalaika and GrabTheGames with Ritual Games brings to Xbox players an interesting title for fans of Metroidvania games. The interesting visuals, good music and gameplay mechanics make Paradox Soul a pleasurable adventure. The absence of story and short duration may look like a letdown for the title, but the easy to get 1000G makes it an attractive title for any player looking for a boost in their Gamerscore. Even this is not your case, this adventure is worth a shot.
Developer: Ritual Games Publisher: Ratalaika Games S.L. & GrabTheGames
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PC, PS4, Switch
Time to beat: Around a couple hours
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Easy-peasy… You will get your 1000G before you notice
Perfect for: Those who want a quick boost in their Gamerscore. Metroidvania fans.
Xbox Game Store link: Click here
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.