Cult of the Lamb A cultist in sheeps clothing
Games

Cult of the Lamb – A cultist in sheep’s clothing. review

played on Xbox series S

The writers of Cult of the Lamb have found a win-win formula. They took as their basis The Binding of Isaac, one of the most popular “bagels” in history, which is still being heard more than ten years later. And they mixed it up with Animal Crossing, whose latest installment is selling insane numbers and is about to enter the top ten best-selling games in history. The result was a symbiosis that caught the attention of tens of thousands of buyers – last week Cult of the Lamb competed with the newly released PC version of Marvel’s Spider-Man for the top spot on the Steam charts.

new religion

In the game world, the bishops have killed all the lambs in the surrounding lands and are ready to sacrifice the last lamb, preserving the ancient belief and prophecy not coming true. The Lamb is nevertheless rescued by He-Who-Waiting, a sinister stranger who offers the protagonist a deal – to found a religion in his honor. A submissive flock will prove useful in freeing He-Who-Waits – each of the four bishops guarding the chains that bind them.

    Rituals must look spectacular!

Rituals must look spectacular!

We have a large chunk of land available that will begin to fill up with followers very soon. Some creatures are found on missions, some are invited by other residents. More buildings become available every hour: an altar for prayers, a temple for rituals, a hospital, a public toilet, a sawmill, a quarry – all buildings allow you to accumulate more power and better prepare for battles with bishops.

It’s hard not to compare the elements of the control simulator with Animal Crossing: we cut down trees, we hit rocks with a pickaxe, we cultivate the land and plant seeds, water them and harvest … Over time, a shifts Part of working on trailers – while doing your own business, they extract resources. When they have nothing to do, they pray at the altar, and the player must periodically collect the accumulated loyalty points – new buildings will be opened for them. For example, a resource consecration shelf that allows you to turn logs into planks needed for some structures.

    Working days of a cult leader

Working days of a cult leader

Also, the cult leader must visit the temple from time to time to read sermons and strengthen the faith of the followers. Rituals are also held there (including offerings, of course) and promulgated new commandments that add passive talents or allow you to temporarily improve the herd’s characteristics. Well, if one of the cultists rebels and starts spreading heresy among the others, he can be sent to prison for re-education and tutored daily so that he can come to his senses in time.

Babysitter with horns

It sounds difficult, and sometimes Cult of the Lamb really demands more from the player than he can deliver. In the camp, it is important to keep the faith indicator as close to the maximum as possible, otherwise you risk not only making someone a dissident, but also making them leave the camp (they will also take money with them) . Preventing this is easy enough, but it takes a lot of work communicating with each cultist, giving gifts and blessing them, reading sermons, and in some cases running their errands.

    Sometimes invited followers turn out to be heretics and are immediately thrown in prison.

Sometimes invited followers turn out to be heretics and are immediately thrown in prison.

Sometimes these are simple tasks – for example building three decorative elements such as lanterns or fountains. And sometimes the characters will ask you to sacrifice someone, which you might not want to do. If you refuse, you lose faith points. Agree – you lose a follower and have to look for a new one. The strangest thing is that the characters’ requests do not always match the tasks in the task list. A pig came up to me and said that his mission was accomplished and he wanted to be sacrificed. After the deed was done, it turned out that a completely different name was written in the quest. As a result, everyone got angry, one became a dissident, nobody prayed – in general, in the game it took several days to cope with the consequences.

The game puts a lot of such sticks in the wheels, which is why stock management is tedious at times. For example, nobody cleans up after themselves – the excrement is scattered all over the map, the cultists who see them feel sick there, and you have to sweep everything away. Otherwise, due to unsanitary conditions, they will get sick and may die. If you build a toilet, the problem is partially solved, but it also needs cleaning sometimes. Everything is not easy with food either – the characters want to eat all the time, but all dishes have side effects: a chance to throw up on the spot, a chance to get sick or even die. So when you cook food you have to stand and wait for everyone to eat and disperse to do business.

    The character has to fight with himself... The search seems impossible

The character has to fight with himself… The search seems impossible

But the strangest thing is the collapsing buildings. The beds on which the cultists sleep become unusable – logs are needed. The sawmills that produce those logs also break down – they also need logs to rebuild them. Wood is always scarce and necessary for many buildings, so sometimes you start chopping down trees yourself to at least collect something. Few people liked breaking tools in Animal Crossing – the situation is exactly the same here. Well, planting seeds, watering, and fertilizing is also a chore – the mechanics work the same as in other similar games, but along with other elements, it pulls you into a routine.

But if there are at least a few resources and the cultists are happy, it’s nice to decorate the camp. First of all, you have to thank the excellent optics, but you should not assume that everything is based solely on that. It’s exciting to think about what will stand and where, and it’s also nice to help your followers construct buildings. At such moments, a spiritfarer comes to mind – here too there is a cozy atmosphere and charming characters.

    Some would-be cultists have fallen into traps - either pay to release them or defeat your enemies

Some would-be cultists have fallen into traps – either pay to release them or defeat your enemies

favorite pattern

There are fewer complaints about episodes that look like The Binding of Isaac. You can always make a breakdown from stock. Structurally, travel is similar to floors in Isaac: there are one or more exits from each room, enemies are everywhere, and at the end of the run there is a boss. Sometimes you’ll find a fortune teller who will give you a choice of two passive talents: bonus health, increased attack speed, better rewards, and so on. The more you progress, the more possibilities open up to you – for example, one of the talents allows you to make weapons poisonous.

The main difference is related to the weapon – if Isaac shot tears, then the lamb fights in melee. Starting weapons are issued at the beginning of the run – these can be gloves, the damage of which increases with a combo, a slow and powerful axe, a fast dagger, and so on. As the belief in the camp grows, new characteristics of the weapon open up – it either calls for spirits or is endowed with vampirism.

Another element of combat is curses, a type of spell restored by orbs falling from enemies. Summoning tentacles, creating a poisonous puddle, an explosion on the spot – the further you go, the better curses and weapons appear, and it’s better to get to bishops with decent equipment. When returning to camp, all things are taken away and have to be searched again in modified locations at the next race – generally a classic “bagel”.

    Tarot cards improve over time and offer more significant bonuses

Tarot cards improve over time and offer more significant bonuses

Although the combat system is simple (hit and roll), fighting with opponents will not be boring – thanks to the style and wonderful animation, as well as a sufficient variety of enemies. Some of your punches will stun, some will stutter, some will throw bombs – the longer you play, the quicker you’ll understand what tactics to use when you get to the next room. Sometimes there are “floors” with surprises – then the opponents leave behind poisonous puddles, then you take double damage.

In general, one of the strongest points of Cult of the Lamb is the progression system of both the player and their character. Constantly unlocking new “passives” more and more dangerous Types of weapons, tarot cards can significantly affect the next race – in local stores you can buy new cards so that they appear on excursions. And for completing optional tasks of secondary characters you unlock runes that serve as a kind of modifier. With one of the runes you get four cards right at the beginning of the run, but they no longer fall out. On the other hand, the damage you take doubles, but the damage dealt increases with each kill.

    As with Isaac, health can sometimes be sacrificed for stat gains.

Like Isaac, sometimes allow you to donate health to improve performance

***

Cult of the Lamb captured audiences’ interest for good reason – beneath the lovely visual style lies an intriguing mix of genres. While episodes in the camp can sometimes slip into routine, they don’t spoil the overall impression so much that the game wouldn’t be recommended to fans of original entertainment. Yes, sometimes the mechanics seem to be more than we’d like, but when everything works as it should, there’s a lot of joy in passing.

Advantages:

  • an unusual mix of management simulator and roguelike;
  • The progression system is designed in such a way that you constantly unlock some new features both in camp and in battle.
  • a simple but pleasant combat system and tarot cards and random generation make the races a little more diverse;
  • charming visual style.

Defects:

  • Camp episodes are sometimes tiring due to the many tasks and lack of resources;
  • strange bugs related to the inconsistency of remarks in dialogs and the tasks that appear after them.

graphic

Everything is clear from the screenshots – the game is very beautiful, and in dynamics it looks even better.

sound

An unobtrusive sound – neither praise nor blame.

single player game

Games that mix different genres are always difficult – if you don’t like one of them, you probably won’t like the whole game. It’s the same here.

Estimated travel time

15 hours.

collective game

Not provided.

overall impression

Although managing the camp can be a little tedious and boring at times, overall Cult of the Lamb is fun and original.

Rating: 8.0/10

Learn more about the rating system

Video:

About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment