Ladies and gentlemen, I’m about to say something that even I can’t believe. Something that seems so astoundingly absurd that I’m struggling to even type it. Brace yourselves, the folks at Behaviour Interactive have found a way to not only make a Naughty Bear sequel, but they’ve also found a way to make it even worse than the first game.
Naughty Bear: Panic in Paradise attempts to pull some of the best features from your favorite games and invoke some of your favorite memories from horror movies, but they’re so haphazardly put together that they’re hardly recognizable. Naughty Bear is back, but you really have to ask yourself — why?
For those who missed the 2010 original game, Naughty Bear follows the ahem..adventures of one pissed off bear.In Panic in Paradise, Naughty is upset that his fellow bears have booked a trip to an island getaway and didn’t invite him, so he pends the time hunting, terrifying and ripping the stuffing out of them in revenge. Sounds amusing right? Much like the original, Naughty Bear’s utter blandness and lack of quality is made that much more disappointing because the concept sounds like so much fun. In a way this saved the original in some regards, as the joke was one we hadn’t heard before, but the novel feeling has all but worn off here.
Published by: 505 Games
Platform: PSN, Xbox 360
What works: It’s cheaper this go-round | Interactive menus are impressiver the first two minutes
What doesn’t work: terrible AI| boring, uneven gameplay| shoddy production values|everything|
Each of the game’s levels has you finding, stalking and taking out a specific bear. The game wants you to believe that this can be done in a number of different ways, like via stealth or making it look like an accident ala the much better Hitman series or Dishonored, but each one ends up the same way, you track down the target, and regardless of what you do or what costume you’re wearing, everyone around you will get freaked out and start to either panic or attack you.It’s especially infuriating when you’re attempting to flee an area and you realize that every bear in the game…except you…can run and jump, making escape tough. Good thing the maps are small enough that at any given time you’re near an exit or hiding spot.
Did you know that Teddy Bears were morons? Because everyone of them in Panic in Paradise features some of the worst AI I’ve ever seen. Take for instance the game’s “stealth system.” If you’re running from a pursuing bear, all you have to do is step foot onto a piece of the map featuring forrest and Naughty will appear to be holding a leaf in front of his face and the other bear will look confused. This happens whether or not they watch you go into the forest, they just lose their all track of what they were doing and go about their routine as if you were never there.
Look, I get it. I get the fact that the team at Behaviour Interactive is trying to spoof every horror movie you’ve ever seen, and these bears aren’t supposed to be the smartest in the forest, but all it serves to do is make the game very uneven and unfinished in the process. The game does have the a new upgrade system, which allows players to purchase new features, costumes and skills for Naughty but they don’t seem to matter all and my guess is that most people won’t pay much attention to them.
Much of the original Naughty Bear game took place in the woods and the surrounding areas — and the team couldn’t even make those areas look that impressive, want to guess how they fared when creating a lush tropical setting? Panic in Paradise looks like a ten year old game, and looks almost as if the developers were trying to create something that could be easily ported to a mobile platform. The user interface is also cluttered — but hey, at least the interactive loading screens are fun — the first time you play it.
It’s hard to believe that a game like Naughty Bear got a sequel in the first place; but what’s even harder to believe is that the developers not only didn’t make a better game — they managed to make a worse game. Naughty bear: Panic in Paradise is a bug-filled game that wears out any welcome that it had very quickly. It may be cheaper this go-round, but it’s still not worth it.