Even after having completed the game, it’s hard to know exactly what to make of Paradise Killer. The concept of an open-world murder mystery is very intriguing, and the world offers enough piecemeal rewards to spur on thorough exploration. But the flip-side of that same coin is the potential to severely hamstring the pacing of the already difficult-to-navigate narrative.
Death end re;Quest 2 carries over most of the first installment’s major aspects — both good and bad — while also distancing itself enough from its predecessor to make it feel almost standalone. However, the removal of a number of unique ideas previously implemented means the shortcomings are much more apparent this time around, and the formula established by the first game is starting to wear woefully thin.
It would be easy to dismiss it merely as a novelty, as other peripheral-based games certainly have been in the past. But that would be doing a disservice to the ingenuity with which the designers have found a way to get players to try out a workout routine and, even more impressively, stick to it.
While it isn’t a flawless experience and absolutely refuses to hold the player’s hand, it does manage to set itself apart by virtue of its unrelenting difficulty, all while telling a story that comes closer to Lovecraftian fiction than many of its contemporaries.