Paradise Lost is an upcoming alternative history game in which Nazi Germany dropped a nuclear bomb on Europe, decimating many countries, including Poland. To preserve themselves, the Nazis created bunkers to keep the best and brightest people safe for when it came time to rebuild Germany. However, right before the bombs went off, Polish resistance soldiers infiltrated the bunker, sealing themselves inside with the Nazis. The history of the bunker has been lost until Szymon, a 12 year old boy, stumbles upon it in 1980.
From everything revealed so far, Paradise Lost has built an immersive world for players to explore through the eyes of Szymon, also known as Simon in English. Exploring this alternative history from a child’s perspective was definitely an interesting design choice, but Paradise Lost is about more than learning the truth about the bunker. It’s a personal journey about overcoming and dealing with loss. In an interview with Game Rant, two members of the Paradise Lost team, Bogdan Graczyk and Chris Panas-Galloway, discussed the journey that the playable character, Szymon, takes throughout the game.
Szymon is a 12 year old boy dealing with an immeasurable loss. His mother dies, setting off the events that lead him to the bunker. The young boy is trying to find a man that’s in a picture with his mother, though he has no idea who he is. All Szymon knows is the man may have answers about his mother.
What Szymon doesn’t anticipate, however, is finding an abandoned bunker frozen in time, and it seems as though the people inside simply vanished into thin air. On top of trying to find this man, Szymon can discover the truth about the bunker and where the people went. However, an intriguing aspect of the game is that Szymon can actually affect the history as it's told depending on what he finds.
The boy is only 12, yet he’ll have an incredible impact on history depending on what players find. One playthrough of Paradise Lost could take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, but that’s only to achieve one ending. There are quite a few different routes players can follow through the eyes of Szymon, leading to different outcomes per game.
Paradise Lost is not only the story of the hidden bunker, but also about loss. Szymon loses his mother at the start of the game, kicking off Szymon’s journey. The game is actually modeled after the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. From what we’ve been told, it seems “Bargaining” and “Depression” will be the longest segments of the game, which could pretty accurately describe the stages of grief as it applies to real people as well.
Though the game seems isolating, it’s not meant to be “scary,” instead showcasing the journey Szymon goes through regarding the loss of his mother. Each scrap of history uncovered also seems to parallel the stage of grief the section is named after, which will definitely make for an interesting and intertwined story. Players will not only explore the bunker and its secrets, but uncover aspects of Szymon’s personality and story, too.
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