Since 2018, Paratopic has been hidden away in the back of horror aficionados’ minds that played it on PC and Nintendo Switch: The kind of slow-burner game that lingers long in the mind after its completion. Now, home console gamers can finally experience it too, as Paratopic releases today on Xbox.
Paratopic is an “experimental” first-person horror game that looks ripped straight from the late ‘90s. Polygonal models with real-life faces spliced on top of them; it is like the games you remember as a kid that still haunt you now.
It may only be a short title, but Paratopic tells the story of three individuals: a man contemplating whether or not to shoot another, a VHS smuggler that has just been caught, and a twitcher on their way to find a rare bird. That is twitcher in the sense of the word before Twitch was a thing. A bird enthusiast.
Paratopic also includes:
- A narrative-driven horror-tinged adventure game that takes you on a journey through a cruel fever dream world.
- Cut between numerous detailed and varied vignettes to unravel how the stories of three separate characters intersect.
- Explore the detritus of forbidden industry, kill, drive through the night, find yourself in conversation with some very off-kilter individuals.
- A leisurely playthrough should take forty-five minutes, give or take, with plenty more to discover in the detailed, grimy low polygon environments. Or speedrun it, if you’d prefer.
- Over an hour of gorgeous dark ambient music is used to create our subtly dynamic soundscape. An anachronistic blend of modern and outdated production as glitches and textural pads meet synthesis & sampling akin to 1990s Unreal Engine soundtracks.
We sent one of our own to investigate the strange goings on and you can check out their thoughts in the review here.
That review may leave you with more questions than answers but fear not! Paratopic is available to download now from the Xbox Store priced at £4.59. Approaching summertime might not be the most appropriate time to play a horror game, but in this instance, we will let you off. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
You got caught smuggling VHS tapes across the border, and now there’s hell to pay. You want to find an elusive rare bird in the forest and snap its picture. You have to kill a man in the back room of a shady diner. This is Paratopic, an experimental first-person horror game named by Rock, Paper, Shotgun as one of the best games of 2018, and by FACT mag as having one of the top 10 soundtracks of the year. REVIEWS “Paratopic sticks with you. It’s the kind of game that lingers, haunting the dark corners of your mind after its credits roll. There’s something off about it in a delightful way; the atmospheric fever dream of low-poly horror imagery shows, but never tells.” Destructoid “Paratopic‘s city is a sooty husk, a ruin whose scarce inhabitants eke out day-to-day existence by taking dangerous smuggling jobs, murdering for money, or reconfiguring their flesh in agonized cathode-ray rapture.” Heterotopias “Paratopic is a short first-person horror game which draws ideas from Thirty Flights Of Loving but takes them somewhere terrible, leading them down an alley and through an unmarked door into a world which looks a bit like ours but just isn’t right.” Rock, Paper, Shotgun AWARDS Nuovo Award Nominee Independent Games Festival Excellence in Visual Art Honorable Mention Independent Games Festival The Best PC Games of 2018 So Far Rock, Paper, Shotgun Favourite Games of 2018 AVClub The 10 Best Video Game Soundtracks of 2018 FACT mag Best Horror Games of 2018 Bloody Disgusting