What would you do if you found yourself in different surroundings than what you might be used to only for those surroundings to become a life and death matter? Do you think you could be prepared for what you saw your possible future to become or could you overcome the outcome by any means necessary? Situations that are out of our control can be a scary situation. But does the developer, WanadevStudio, show us how to make the best out of any situation in this hotel stay? Let’s find out with Propagation: Paradise Hotel for the PlayStation VR2.
Propagation: Paradise Hotel is an intense single-player VR survival horror game with great storytelling that will get your adrenaline pumping as you are trapped inside the Paradise Hotel, where you are desperate to find your sister while exploring dark surroundings, gathering resources, and surviving terrifying encounters.
Now, before we begin, it’s good to have a little history. Propagation: Paradise Hotel, is not the first of the series there are a few entries into the series. There is the original Propagation VR and the Co-Op DLC that combines survival horror and wave shooting as you try to survive a zombie apocalypse that is on PCVR. Then there is the Location Based VR experiences, Propagation Storm where night is falling. The infected wake up and attack a military camp as the players try to stay alive. And then Propagation: Top Squad where you and your squad face hordes of zombies. I bring these other entries for the simple fact that WanadevStudio knows a thing or two about the zombie experience and I can say that playing Propagation VR is a great experience, so we should all be happy to know that the same love and care is provided here in the newest story.
So before you take one step inside Paradise Hotel, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, decide if you want to play standing or sitting. Either way works, but play in what’s going to be comfortable for you. Second, things can get intense, so before you go showing this off to the youngest member of your family, stop and think if this is a good idea. Third, I will not spoil anything for anyone, so I will only be showing gameplay footage from the earlier parts of the game. Fourth, make sure those Sense controllers are charged. You don’t want to come face to face with something that you might regret because you forgot to charge them. And finally, just have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…
There is something that says a lot when you can first start a game and not only the look and feel set the tone, but the moment the first musical note plays as well, and that is what is done here right as the main menu becomes visible. We have the hotel counter with the darkness that surrounds the mystery of the establishment to even having the blood stains on the marble floor that help set the presence of it all. But before you select New Game, take a little bit of time to go into Settings, If nothing else have the belt height to the way you like it depending on if you are playing sitting or standing as it does and will help while you are playing. But you will also want to select the type of turning, your forward direction, and even things like Locomotion Mode. Once you have everything the way that you want it (you can change things up later on if you would like), it’s time to start your extended stay inside the Paradise Hotel.
When you first start, you already get a sense that things are happening, but it’s when you pick up the picture of your sister, Ashley who is the housekeeper, that you know it in your heart that you, Emily the bartender, will have to do whatever you can and try to find her. This also serves as your tutorial that will assist with moving and interacting with objects, such as opening doors. This is where you will also come in contact with Owen, the security guard of Paradise Hotel, who you can tell things are starting to get to him about everything that is going on. As much as he doesn’t want you to leave, he knows that finding your sister is more important and hands you a weapon for your safety, whereas part of the tutorial, get to learn how to use it. Along with weapons, you are given a health spray that can be reloaded with the different health antiseptic bottles you find, as well as batteries for your light throughout the hotel as well as an inventory system that will include your inventory, documents, and map of the different floors of the hotel. So make sure you look in every cabinet and drawer as well as all around you as you never know when you might find some ammo, health, a note, a clue, or even batteries.
As you progress through each of the floors, you will want to look out for all the ammo, health, and batteries that you can as there will be times you wish you had them as it may be possible that you shot a dead body on the ground 3-5 times as you thought you heard them moving. Not saying anyone would do this, but for research purposes only, I may have. But there will also be secrets throughout that you will want to try and find. There is one thing for sure that you can count on is that more times than not, things will be dark and it’s within that darkness that things start to play on those senses of fear that is the real star here. Every step you head into a direction, have the music and sound effects with those creaks to hearing sounds that you know that something that seems so simple to things that will make you rethink your strategy, could bust and come at you at any moment that will keep you engaged.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. I knew from the moment I started playing Propagation: Paradise Hotel and seeing how clear the bloodstains were on the ground made me appreciate the amount of sharp details of the high resolution that playing at 120 fps to where you can make out the flies hovering over the decomposed just put a smile on my face, well, that was, of course, until things made me jump and that is part to the display and when you add the Hons VR prescription lenses. The sound also was very well done here with hearing things that sounded like it was coming from the next room that made me pull up my inventory just so I could read my journal entries again to make sure I didn’t forget anything. But these sounds playing can be from something as simple as a T.V. that was left on, it makes you appreciate the soundscape of the game.
There are a few things that I would love to see. First, a few more batteries are scattered throughout or at least last longer. Part of the fun is the light that has that requires batteries. The problem is the batteries last shorter than Dollar Store batteries and even the Energizer Bunny would frown upon it. Second, dead bodies. There were many times I saw dead bodies on the floor and I made sure to shoot them in the head just in case they decided they wanted to have one last word with me. Some of the zombies I would have just shot in the head, multiple times, and they would go down only for me to leave an area and come back for them to attack me again. I mean there are other ways to deal with them, but I will let you find that out for yourselves. And finally, more Propagation. Since this is a new chapter, I do hope we get more sequels in the future.
Propagation: Paradise Hotel welcomes us with open arms into its world and will make you rethink ways. It will pull you along both through the sight and sound of the intense moments it brings and delivers. In life, we are faced with choices and depending on those choices, can have outcomes that we did not think about and it’s how we handle those situations that become the opportunity for us to test ourselves that continue to develop and build the characters we become later in life.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to find those last few secrets I missed.