In the mix of all the huge titles and events going on it looks like Paranautical Activity has slipped on out for cross buy on the PS4 and PS Vita. It has been released on the PC and Xbox One by Code Avarice in the past but here we go with yet another release platform for this procedurally generated FPS title. We were able to sit down and dig into the game a bit and now we are ready to give out thoughts. Here's our review of Paranautical Activity on the PS4 and PS Vita to add to the long list of other platforms in the game's history.
There isn't much in way of a story here for Paranautical Activity. It's pretty much survive and make it along with one of four of the characters that have been crafted for us. We could make things up as we go along but it doesn't seem like there is a cohesive story to any of this. At least not that we were able to see during our play.
Right out of the gate the first big issue I have with Paranautical Activity is the fact that none of the character stats given seem to really matter in the game. Each character has things like Stamina and Rate Of Fire listed but no matter what you choose it seems like it all plays the same. You'd think that something with a high rate of fire would allow for some rapid shooting but not in Paranautical Activity. The fastest fires the exact same as the slowest. This makes it extremely hard to try and plan how you are going to go about the game here. In fact, it is almost impossible to do so.
While I am a fan of perma-death in games when needed, in Paranautical Activity it was much more of a hindrance to the fun factor of the game than a really cool feature. Especially since the above issues with the stats make it impossible to make sure you are able to choose a character for your play style. I think the furthest I was ever able to make it was five levels in before dying and not once did I find a shop or way to increase my health in the game. After a while it was just easier to put the game down instead of trying again as the helpful stuff was so random that I never once encountered it at all. I am not a glutton for punishment and if I was I'd go to a game with a story mixed in.
Lastly, the levels and monsters were all designed too dark in Paranautical Activity. Not dark as in ominous and creepy but dark as in everything blended into the screen and made me have to turn the brightness up to even see anything moving. I'm not sure if this was just a poor design option or just a way to hide the blocky graphics a bit more. Either way it made it almost impossible to even target and hit enemies to progress along. Mixing this into the perma-death "feature" made wanting to keep trying to progress even more of a kick in the nuts each time than something that was just a light gut punch. I can deal with the latter but not the prior.
Sadly, there isn't much about Paranautical Activity that I liked ore loved. The only thing I can think of that falls into the positive side of things was the procedurally generated levels. They were not something to be remembered but at least I never came across the same one once in my entire time with Paranautical Activity. That speaks on the ability to code the randomness of the levels but sadly it was plagued by too many negative to truly be anything awe-inspiring or enjoyable. But it was nice to see that Code Avarice got that part done well in the game.
I'm not going to sugar coat it, I would stay away from Paranautical Activity on the PS4 and PS Vita. Unless you want to see what a truly hellish experience is like and suffer from gameplay that isn't fun or really isn't even consistent. It feels like they wanted to make a game that was hard but given the randomness of helpful aspects to the perma-death you will find yourself playing a few rounds before just tossing your controller aside and going outside. Even in the heat of Summer that is a better experience than playing Paranautical Activity in my eyes. I can't even give a good reason why someone should shell out the small amount of cash to pick this game up.
I give Hard Reset Redux 4 Characters on the Character scale.
Paranautical Activity — Gameplay
Paranautical Activity was developed and published by Code Avarice for cross-buy on the PS4 and PS Vita on June 1st, 2016. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.