Cult Of The Lamb was first announced in August last year at Gamescom 2021.
That’s almost a full year between announcement and release, and as we know very well, the game industry turns in waves.
The potential was there for the game to finally release and be completely pushed past by the industry, ignored like so many games before it.
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Yet Cult Of The Lamb is enticing in so many ways, despite being part of what is now a swamped genre of games emulating The Binding Of Isaac: Repentance and Hades.
It’s one of the best games of the year, with every mechanic blending perfectly.
Cult Of The Lamb, In Essence
Cult Of The Lamb has you playing as a lamb that was marked for sacrifice, saved by a being that remains a stranger to you. As the Lamb, you’re tasked with recruiting as many followers as possible, ensuring that they obey everything you preach to them, and preventing them from dissenting (and dissent they will).
It’s not that simple, though. You also have to travel throughout a total of five realms, defeating four bosses per each area (except for the final area, which is just one boss) and a whole series of other mobs.
As you do that, you pick up useful items that you can use to build structures in your base, weapons that will help you fight, special curses that will do more damage for a limited time, and tarot cards that will give you various boosts, and NPC’s that unlock other areas.
You’ll be in and out of each area pretty quickly, with the length you’re in the area changing depending on both the difficulty level you choose and the fact that each area increments in difficulty.
The designs of enemies are beautifully creepy, with massive teeth and twists on what you’d traditionally expect from these creatures.
Creating Your World
While the game won’t have you coming back as often as a game like the aforementioned The Binding of Isaac: Repentance or even Hades, it’s still a beautifully designed experience in basically every way. Visually the game is a feast for the eyes, with designs that stuck in my mind long after I’d shut down the game.
The base building mechanic seems pretty expansive, even if I didn’t get a chance to do everything I wanted to do with it before reviewing the game. There’s this sense of progression while you’re creating new buildings for your followers, this idea that you’re truly creating a community.
Sure, that community may be morally grey at best or morally corrupt at worst, but it’s still something that you have built with the collected materials. You’ll build up several buildings that will enhance you, such as an area where you can give sermons to unlock new options for controlling your followers.
New Forms To Try Out, New Tasks To Take On
You’ll unlock new forms for the followers, new traits, and new ideas. Your goal here is to create a self-sustaining environment. Sure, you could water the plants and crops you plant yourself, but if you place a watering hole within a certain radius of plants, your follower will do that themselves.
Followers will relieve themselves in any location and then rely upon you to clean it up until you build an outhouse that they can use to make your life easier. In essence, it’s less about creating something that looks good (as many base management games boil down to) and more about creating a fully functional eco-system that can survive even when you’re not there.
The only issue I have with the game is the fact that a lot of the quests given to you by your followers can seem like an artificial attempt at making the game longer. It’s always menial tasks like ‘Build X amount of this’ or ‘Perform this action X amount of times.’
I’d have a lot more respect for it if the game went full throttle with this and kept throwing them at you, rather than having them only really appear now and again.
They’re the kind of side quests you’d only really be interested in doing while you’re doing your first run-through of the game before rapidly realizing that the reward for doing them simply isn’t worth your time and effort to do again and again.
Cult Of The Lamb Deserves Massive Praise
Cult Of The Lamb serves as a reminder of how incredible a publisher Devolver Digital is and how many incredible developers they house. Massive Monster has created a game that will have you repeatedly returning, trying to best yourself and defeat bigger and bigger enemies.
The base management elements of the game, along with the other hidden mechanics we’ve chosen not to dig into here, are icing on the cake, creating one of my favorite games of the entire year so far. Truly I cannot imagine a better cult for people to join and enlist members to
Cult Of The Lamb is a true game of the year contender, a prime cut of gaming heaven. I cannot recommend this to enough people, and I won’t stop talking about it for a long time.
Now if you don’t mind, I have to go attend to some business. Barbatos is dissenting again, and it’s time he finally figured out who’s really in charge here.