Paper Dolls 2 | PlayStation 5 Review
Paper Dolls 2 is developed by Beijing Litchi Culture Media Co., Ltd. and published by Winking Entertainment Corporation. It is a first-person horror adventure game, currently available on Windows PC, and PlayStation, and for my review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
Paper Dolls 2 takes you on an adventure playing as Yang Mingyuan, who awakens from a horrendous nightmare whilst being gripped with an unfathomable sense of terror and fear. Yang finds himself speeding down the highway and finds himself travelling towards an abandoned mansion that seems both familiar and strange to him, as if it's a place he has once envisioned but hasn’t quite become reality yet… until now. Yang must now investigate and uncover the secrets hidden within the darkness in the mansion and unravel the truth one part at a time in the hopes that he will be able to find his missing daughter who appears to have succumbed to the dark mansion.
You begin off your journey with a phurba, which is a traditional three-sided dagger, and eventually you manage to get yourself a gun, however the dagger is your primary means of defence, and you will use this during quick time events to avoid taking damage. The combat often felt quite frustrating for me, particularly during boss fights where things became slightly unfair as my character's movement was certainly considerably worse than the enemies, which became quite tedious for me after a while. Alongside this, enemy spawns seemed to be very random in the sense that I’d clear an area, be meandering my way over to an objective I was seeking, and I’d then be jumped by a new spirit whilst solving a puzzle which certainly made my goal of avoiding clunky combat very difficult.
This is not the first horror game I’ve said this about, but thankfully, the main attraction in Paper Dolls 2 wasn’t so much the combat and this game is certainly more of a horror walking simulator, whilst being very puzzle heavy. There's a fine line to tread when it comes to puzzles. Some puzzles are just so obtuse that there's no figuring it out, so it comes down to pure luck, unlimited experimentation, or looking up a guide, however, in the case of Paper Dolls 2 the puzzles were all just incredibly glaringly obvious, while which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but EVERY puzzle is like that and there was only really one that posed any genuine challenge to me. I understand though that puzzle difficulty is very subjective, so some may have found them challenging; but for me, they really didn’t land well. Alongside this, there was a lot of backtracking required in places, which reignited the combat frustrations for me. In essence, all these little things really reduced the quality of the game massively for me, and achieving basic things became a massive chore for me.
Paper Dolls 2 has a really great aesthetic and I really liked the setting, however for a PlayStation 5 release, I experienced a lot of stuttery moments, and it only runs at 30fps, and it isn’t a terribly stable 30fps either and in terms of resolution it just about felt like 1080p. I understand with technology improving and such that developers have additional challenges in terms of improving their games, so I try to be a little more lenient with things like resolution and FPS, but 30fps is a real challenge to play and not notice the impact it has on the game.
Overall, I see potential within the game, however there are a lot of finer details that seemed to lack some finesse and really turned a potentially tense and scary horror game into a bit of a chore. Paper Dolls 2 has around a fourteen-hour run time, normally I’d complain that a game is too short and could use some more time to develop, however, in this case because of the lack of engagement I felt, the time I spent just felt like too long for me. The overall pacing of the game just didn’t quite feel right and began to feel like work just to progress, and unfortunately the great setting became borderline unenjoyable for me because everything else just felt so difficult to appreciate. The areas where Paper Dolls 2 wins some points is for its atmosphere and story, however, everything else feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth and feels like more effort than it really needed to be.
Lj’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
For more information on Paper Dolls 2 please use the following links...
Beijing Litchi Culture Media Co., Ltd. - Developer | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Website
Winking Entertainment Corporation - Publisher | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website
Many thanks to Winking Entertainment Corporation for supplying the review code.
Paper Dolls 2 | Windows PC | PlayStation
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