Metro Inspired Paradox Of Hope Shines In Its Inspirations
This week I’ve been in a paradox of nostalgia mixed with trying to play some older horror games I never got around to, like Shadow Hearts, finally finishing Fatal Frame 1, and starting to look into Haunting Ground. But one series of games that has slowly evolved to be more action-based than horror and that I usually play through every couple of years is the Metro series. This year, I’m hoping to finally finish Metro Exodus, which hasn’t managed to grab me like its predecessors.
Metro 2033 itself is a game series based on a series of novels written by Dmitry Glukhovsky, who helped with the video games as well as with the Ukrainian-based video game developers 4A. Since we are probably a few years off from another title, I looked around to see if there was anything Metro-like or inspired, and very quickly, I kept seeing the title Paradox of Hope pop up. Lucky me, it also launched into early access the day I was looking for a Metro-inspired game.
Paradox of Hope VR is an excellent example of someone taking their love for a game or series and putting their own spin on it. Not to mention I’ve been fully bought into VR for a few years now, and whenever something interesting and fun comes to a headset, I have to try it out. However, since it is in early access, there is only the first chapter and the “Raid” mode. Raid is generally an endless mode where the levels are procedurally generated. You have to survive as long as you can gather resources, ammo, and loot, find a way out of the level, sell that loot for better guns and equipment, and keep going.
Paradox of Hope has to be not only one of the better-looking VR games I’ve played but also one with some great interactions. For some reason, the ability to pick up pencils and write or draw is one of my favorites in VR. But Paradox of Hope is a great love letter to the Metro series. Even the developer Monkey With A Bomb has said it is inspired by the Metro series. And you can feel the inspiration at every turn. Having to maintain and switch out the filters on your mask to the great feeling of burning down the cobwebs with your lighter. Not to mention the one monster type we see in the story looks very similar to Nosalis from Metro 2033, which is no complaint here. Those things are terrifying, and I really hope we get to deal with Paradoxs version of Librarians soon!
Managing your items in VR has been something that I feel like Walking Dead Saints and Sinners figured out quite well, and a lot of that is implemented here. Weapons on your hips, lighter on your chest, and a backpack for gear over your shoulder. It’s a great way of navigating items that add to the immersion. In Metro, the mask was a big deal. It was the player character’s way of fending off the poisonous air. In Paradox of Hope, there is something more visceral about wearing the mask and hearing that almost strained air sound as our character breaths in your ear. It feels like you yourself are wearing that mask, and then, of course, the gunplay is fantastic here as well. I’ve always enjoyed aiming guns in VR, especially when you have to pull on the slide to reload your weapon. It brings a level of realism to it that traditional gameplay can’t really emulate.
With Paradox of Hope having a solo developer, I’m not sure how frequently we will see updates or even how quickly we will get additions to the story. But what is essentially a proof of concept, including the first chapter and the endless mode, Monkey With A Bomb has really outdone themselves here, and I hope we get to see other classics get their own VR spins like this.
Monkey With A Bomb has made something excellent here. It’s been a while since Saints and Sinners, or even Half-Life Alyx, since something has generally felt this good to play in VR. I’m excited to see where it goes and what happens with it, and if you want to check it out for yourself, head on over to Steam. If you’d like to stay up to date with the development of the game, head over to the game’s discord.