What if the ecosystem you thought you were part of was somehow a one that was forgotten. An ecosystem where it was not set in the present day as you might think, but one where deep down, its lost but at the same time a beautiful open one where you wouldn’t want to leave, but want to fix? If you had the opportunity would you try and leave it or stay to escape what you thought you knew? So does Developer Pixel Reef allow us to explore this type of world? Let’s find out with Paper Beast for the PlayStation VR.
In Paper Beast, you are exploring this mysterious ecosystem that is set in a lost-digital world. But this digital world is not empty as the impression you get from what seems like an uninhabited wasteland at times. It’s when you come across these paper beasts of different sizes and shapes that really show how beautiful they move and interact on this journey within this lost digital world within Paper Beast. So before you really get into it all, you will want to make sure either you Dualshock 4 controller or both Move controllers are charged. But I will say this, do not rush what is presented. In fact, just take your time and explore everything from puzzles (more on this in a few) to witnessing the predatory nature of some of these beasts that roam this ecosystem. When trying to move within Paper Beast, there is only snap turning and teleportation to move around, but it does work.
There are different types of beasts that you will come across and depending on the puzzle element that is in hand, each one may have its place or some as I mentioned may be out to get those beasts that are needed to help solve the puzzles that are needed to be complete. Some beasts may gather sand or some beasts can gather water. So really you want to pay attention to your surroundings and do not rush it. There was one part of a level later on in the game where it was windy and an item had to be carried to the next level, but the item kept getting grabbed by these leach type things and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get them to let go of it. But you just have to listen, take your time, and you will find the answer that you are looking for.
If you are looking for guidance on where the next point to go in Paper Beast, you will not have it handed to you. Again, this is about exploration and observation of the environment. What you will want to do is look at the creatures you encounter and almost see where they want to go. During the first part of the game, I noticed that each level was a tree that certain beasts were trying to get to only to find out that they are trying to bring life back while trying to deal with their harsh reality and struggles that are presented to them.
At one level I witness these predator beasts attacking the good beasts like they were ready to have a feast and it almost felt like the scene from the Lion King where the hyenas were trying to get the prey. I really started to feel for the good beasts, but understood that it was about the circle of this digital life that I had to sit back and really take everything in. Yes, you can interact with the beasts with some you can lift and launch just like they are made, well, out of paper and others that seem cannot be lifted or moved as easily and that will be up to you to try and find out the best way to interact with everything.
As you are exploring and finding your way around Paper Beast, you will want to be on the lookout for certain objects, that once collected, will open up more items in the Sandbox Mode. In this mode, it is free range to do whatever you like with the world from shaping it to having beasts roam around that interacts with the world that you are helping to create to even different elements to the environment that you can add.
There are a few things that I would love to see added. For one, in the Sandbox Mode, it would be kind of interesting to see others creations and then being able to interact with them and vice versa or even a way to create our own looking paper beasts. Second, I would also love to see additional puzzles with the environments. I think some of my favorite levels is when it came down to have the wind blow and having some of the paper beasts showing what it would be like if actual paper was in the wind is done very well. But I would love to see maybe having rain where if it hit certain types of beasts, casue those beasts to tear apart almost like an acid rain of sorts and then trying to figure out how to escort those beats within a certain type of shelter. And third, I would love to see some additions options for movements.
Overall, Paper Beast gives you that escape into a lost digital world where the journey and exploration are more than the eye of the beholder. It’s something that should be experienced and shows that sometimes when something seems to make us feel lost, sometimes it’s the poetic journey that is the way to be found.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to go back and find a few things.