Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], Playstation 3
Genre: Action and Adventure
We probably don’t stand alone on the fact that no-one really expected to see a sequel to 505’s Naughty Bear. The game was such a flop and so under-done, that a lot of people thought it was a joke. There is no lying here, as we also thought it was a very bad title of 2010. It had a lot of potential, but sadly all wasted. Is Panic in Paradise a continuation to the suffering or is it the game we should have seen 2 years ago?
When I first started the game, I was greeted by interactive menus with bear torture and execution mini-games. “This is a good sign”, I said to myself. When I looked over the game, I saw that the graphics were roughly the same as I remember in the original game. It may not be as crisp as one would hope for, but – for the style – it was right around the expected. The presentation, customization options, overall gameplay planning, and replay factor have seen massive improvements. The gameplay premise still remains the same, but is much deeper now in its design.
In this game you have several targets, and a good measure of free-reign in how you approach taking them out. For the most part, you are required to take them out in specific way. As a bonus you can trap, kill, or make a bear suicide to gain extra coins. When you complete the objectives given to you in the game, you get coins that can be used towards buying equipment for Naughty Bear. This includes different weapons, hats, masks, pants, shirts, and shoes. Each item gives you different stat changes and will gain you XP in the areas it provides stat upgrades. You can only gain XP for a limited time, however, and then you must change items to keep gaining XP in the stat areas. This adds toward the replay factor, as they certainly give you A LOT of guns and apparel to choose from.
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In order to unlock new weapons you must first find it in the map or take it from another bear. Get a kill with that weapon and you can unlock it for purchasing in the customization menu. In this game you can also take on the look of another bear and disguise as them. Sneak behind that unsuspecting bear and drag him into the bushes to steal his wardrobe. I might add that some missions even require you to impersonate a certain bear to complete the other tasks. Some costumes can even be purchased as DLC. Want to be GhostFace, LeatherFace, or Pennywise? The DLC packs made available in the coming weeks will let you dress up as those iconic characters.
There is more than 1 small map on which to adventure, unlike the first game. There are several maps given to you, and as you progress through the hit list, they will be crowded by more dangerous and difficult foes! Not only do you get all of this with the varied environments, but the maps themselves hold MANY different hazards to punish those pesky bears on. For a $15 title, all the content and gameplay value that you get is well worth it, and a step up from the past game’s mishaps. You can easily get several hours out of this game before you get tired of it. As for the original, it was almost cold turkey within the first ten minutes. Not anymore! Panic in Paradise puts the nail in that coffin… or the machete through its door; whatever you prefer.
Overall Rating: 4/5