Let’s Talk About Paranoid
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Friends, this has been a long time coming. Though I kept putting this off, hoping for an improvement. However, it’s now time to talk about Paranoid. This won’t take very long, it’s another game from Madmind Studio (the folks behind Agony and Succubus). Don’t worry though, Paranoid is very on brand.

What is Paranoid?

Paranoid is the story of Patrick Calman, a man with paranoid schizophrenia, who has lost almost his entire family. His psyche is shattered, and his apartment is essentially a prison for him. A call from his still-living sister comes in, many years after she seemingly disappeared. Patrick is now faced with the choice of going out to pick up his medication, or staying home without meds to spy on his neighbour. There’s no way to make that not sound creepy. Dude has a hole in one of his walls to look at his neighbour through.

The thing with Paranoid

I’ll get the technical things out of the way first. Graphically speaking, Paranoid is not something to write home about. It’s not bad, it’s not particularly good. The word mediocre springs to mind. There are moments where the animation itself even feels clunky, even on the lowest settings. Optimisation is poor, to say the least. The only way to describe the gameplay is janky. Movement doesn’t feel particularly natural, and combat feels heavy. It’s jerky, more reminiscent of a PS1 game than a game released in late 2023. There are also minor annoyances, like subtitles not actually matching what has been spoken.

Paranoid tries to emulate the sound design from Hellblade Senua’s Sacrfice. Tries, mind you. It does not succeed. Instead of giving an intense, dark vibe, it just gives headaches.

Not very Paranoid

This game is meant to be showcasing a person living with a mental illness, but it misses the mark on every front. I’m all for games showcasing mental health and illness, when it’s done well. However, this is not done well. The longer the game goes on, the more it feels like a cash grab. It feels like someone just sat down with Psychology for Dummies, picked out a random disorder and rolled with it.

Paranoid has an interesting concept behind it, but misses the mark on every single point. Which, at this point, is to be expected from Madmind. Even updates can’t fix all the issues with this game. However, there are still loyal fans throwing their money at this studio, allowing games like this to pass through the cracks. This one is just not worth playing at all. But hey, you have to admire the lack of care to keep putting out such poor quality games. Maybe one day Madmind will flip the script and give us a good game. I won’t be holding my breath though.

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About The Author

Jade is a 25 year old horror queen (her words), artist and gamer. She's also a bit too obsessed with dinosaurs. When she's not writing or in game, Jade can normally be found buried in some kind of art.

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