ELEA: Paradigm Shift is a first-person adventure game similar to games like old school MYST. You play as River Elea… something (not worth remembering as you will read), and your mission is to find your lost husband in space. That’s it, the end.
ELEA is honestly a beautifully rendered game, with visuals that are top-notch for the Switch. However, that’s where it ends. Aside from that, this game is a gigantic disappointment.
The plot is incomplete and full of holes that leave you constantly wondering what you’re doing. For instance, you start at home talking to your husband. The power goes out and you’re tasked to turn on the generator, and then talk to your angsty son. From there, it takes you to some acid trip visuals and you end up in space realizing you’ve been in a VR simulation reliving a memory. The next task is to figure out how to get to the ship your husband’s on as there’s no communication between ships and the captain has everything on lockdown. Sounds interesting right?
Well, once you progress through the story (which, in honesty, if you knew what to do, you could finish this game in 20 minutes) you find your way to the other ship.
The game ends! Yes, right when you would think the story is starting to develop and take off, it ends.
I would love to say great things about ELEA as it had the potential to be something amazing, but not only is the game unrealistically short, the controls are awful. The game is very slow-paced as your character moves as fast as a snail, and to run you have push down on the analog stick and hold it down. It’s super touchy, and if you bump into anything you have to repeat the process. The response time is all over the place.
While the visuals for the Switch are breathtaking with gorgeous lighting and reflective and refractive effects, the frame rate is horrible and impedes the game. It’s very glitchy and skipped frames cause you to run into a wall or bump into an object. And my biggest pet peeve is it’s very unstable, as the game crashed so many times I didn’t think I was going to be able to get past certain sections.
In the end, ELEA: Paradigm Shift looks and feels like a beta release. It has a very unfinished feel with all its problems. It wouldn’t even make a good hardware demo for the Switch because of glitches. Sadly, I feel this title was rushed, and if it had more depth and development I think it could have been an amazing game. In truth, I hate writing reviews like this because I’m a beta tester, and I understand how much time goes into games. That being said, I can’t recommend this one. I feel it’s a waste of money when there are far better titles out in the same genre.
Review: ELEA: Paradigm Shift (Nintendo Switch)
In the end, ELEA: Paradigm Shift looks and feels like a beta release. It has a very unfinished feel with all its problems. It wouldn’t even make a good hardware demo for the Switch because of glitches.