Escape from Paradise City
RPG and strategy in Paradise City: criminals under cover for the NSA against underworld bosses with vampiric tendencies. A success story?
Paradise City is of course all but a paradise, except for gangsters that is. Some of them have paranormal powers and the police therefore decides to assign three former gangsters who can get a general pardon for their crimes if they accomplish their mission. The story isn’t always clear and it looks to come in second place. Honestly, if they would have cut out the entire storyline you probably wouldn’t even notice.
There are three main characters: Porter, Angel and Boris, and they all have their own properties but except for the last mission you can’t choose between them. Porter is good with arms and is used as Ranged Combat Specialist. Angel collects swords to improve her melee combat, and Boris is the natural born leader who easily gets accomplices.
Target of the mission is either to take over a certain part of Paradise City, to kill a certain character, or collect some items. The city is divided in a number of areas that are listed on the map and that need to get conquered one by one. This is done by defeating the resident boss and his agents. From then on you get the advantages that area has to offer and you can hire your own guys to do some defense. After a while it does tend to get a bit repetitive.
Rewards you can get when conquering a part of town are extra power, trait points, some power skills and the functions of certain buildings. Power is necessary to use the power skills and this bar gets filled in an average pace. An example of a power skill is poison with which you can… poison a certain area for a while. With this you can weaken adversaries before you crash the party. Trait points give your characters extra abilities while buildings can give you weapons, or the possibility to recruit henchmen amongst other things.
The henchmen are helpers that are a bit stronger than the average accomplice and they can go along with you to defend a certain area. The strength of your guys and the amount you can get depends on the leader capacities of your hero. They also level up together with him but will never reach a higher level. Also you can’t give them better arms or gear, but additional skills are an option. These can be bought at a skill trainer and can give you some advantages in combat. Your hero can for instance learn how to use grenades.
Beating opponents earns experience with which your guys can gain a level and for the Hero there’s an added advantage: with each level you get some additional points you can turn into more charisma, concentration and so on. In most fights, however, it comes down to who has the most people under his or her command.
Money is very important. The hotels bring you a lot of it but at a certain moment the moneyriver dries up. This forces you to go on the offensive as without money you can hardly do anything. Once the hotels have dried up you’ve got a big problem: getting better weapons and gear, accomplices or henchmen, or even power skills… forget about it, they’re all out of your reach.
From the top down everything looks nice but you do notice that there’s something wrong when you look closer. You can watch the city from two angles: from the top or you can use the combat view that shows the city from the height of your hero. Closer to the ground the music changes in the sounds of the city and this is really not something to put on high volume.
In the beginning I could immerse myself, but in the end I just wanted to escape from this game