Turn-based games, you either love’ em or loath ’em. With a lack of new turn-based titles currently on the market it was good to see one appear for the US market from Tri Synergy, Buka Entertainment and developer Mist Land. Paradise Cracked is a futuristic turn-based tactical RPG set in the future where you play the role of a hacker, imaginatively called Hacker, who is on the run from the nasty futuristic police who want his blood for uncovering some rather confidential information surrounding a powerful supercomputer called CyberBrain. Now gathering that piece of plot was no easy task, the game doesn’t exactly give much away at the start, it’s all rather rushed and hurried through a variety of short cutscenes.It’s not easy to pull of an enthralling turn-based title, waiting for enemy movement can be the most painstaking process if it’s done badly. Paradise Cracked partially suffers from this problem, there can be long wait times between moves, even if you do tweak the settings to only show certain character/enemy movements on each level. The levels are not too large but even so, with each character only having a certain amount of movement before having to whack the ‘next turn’ button it can take some time to get around the game. Perhaps the ability to only switch to turn-based during key elements such as combat could have improved the gameplay.Each level of the game is split into hexagonal squares and moving the characters around the levels is an easy enough task. Click the character you want to move and click where you want to move to. Turn-based titles always feature special character movements to add that strategic element to the gameplay and Paradise Cracked is no exception. Players can order their characters to run, walk, crouch etc and each movement has an adverse effect on the characters’ abilities. For example if you crouch and then fire your weapons there’s a much higher chance of hitting the target because the character is steady. It’s all pretty standard stuff that we have previously seen in the X-Com series.There is a certain amount of character development involved which adds depth to the gameplay. Character attributes can be boosted through statistics such as accuracy, intellect, dexterity and reaction. Character performance is also naturally boosted by the items they are carrying and throughout the game you’re able to pick up a variety of items and weapons to make life easier.The game control is easy and intuitive with the ability to completely rotate each 3D level which really helps identify where enemy positions are concealed. Players receive a warning when an enemy comes into the view of one of the characters in your party. By simply clicking the warning tab on the right of the screen you can easily find the threat that’s appeared in your line of sight. Character selection is handled by the number keys so flicking between them is no problem and when you have more than one character in your party actions and mission journals are just as easy to bring up via hotkeys. There appears to have been some thought put into the control system and interface which made the game a lot easier to get into than I first expected.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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