For the past few weeks, I have been playing Cult of the Lamb off and on while playing through Gamescom demos. I have followed Cult of the Lamb for some time and it is really nice to see it gain all of this attention from all of the video game media outlets. Having more people play indies the better and I have played more than enough to accurately say that I have cleaned up more shit in this game than any other video game. This week I cultivate a cult around my favorite frog villager from Animal Crossing and show my followers the way the of the frog, this week is Cult of the Lamb.
Cult of the Lamb is an action rouge-lite from Massive Monster and published by everyone’s friend Devolver Digital. The game was Released on August 11th, on all platforms, and retails for a solid $25. I bought and played it on the Playstation 5.
In a world inhabited by many gods, there are those who want to remove those who seek to challenge their power. This sets the stage for the main story of Cult of the Lamb. As one of the last followers of a false idol, you are to be sacrificed in the name of the other four. As the light fades, you are granted a second wind by The One Who Waits, and in exchange for that life be the one who leads a cult in honor of the one who saved you. It’s up to you to run through the lands of the old gods, save potential new followers, build a huge following, and use their faith to grow stronger to then fight the biggest of the bad guys to bring back The One Who Waits.
Cult of the Lamb is an action rogue-lite with an added base building. The rogue-lite aspect of the game is nothing special: Enter the dungeons, kill the bad guys, pick up seeds, followers, and currency to spend at your base, beat the boss, and come home, rinse and repeat. The sections are procedurally generated, like always. The beginning of each dungeon with a weapon and equipment. Weapons like axes, swords, and daggers and abilities like a heavy swing, a knockback, and even a tentacle that shoots out in four directions. The weapons that are available and the added types, as your progress throughout the game, make the game incredibly enjoyable as it allows for a few different builds.
Each dungeon section consists of a handful of rooms with a card reader that deals two cards and the player chooses one for a boost. These cards provide a wide range of benefits: attack damage, attack speed, extra resources, and benefits regarding ability usage. More cards are unlocked by using currency at vendors and can drop in dungeons. The cards are a little noticeable improvement on gameplay, except for the attack rate when coupled with the axe; that’s a great combination.
Combat is as follows: swing the weapon, dodge, swing, and maybe use an ability until all the bad guys in the room are bones on the floor.
You take the resources that you gain while out in the wild to take back to build your base up. As followers enter your fold they need to be taken care of. Followers need food and sleep. As you take care of them they provide benefits through work, praying, and even adventuring out in search of resources. As the player collects faith and levels up it allows for the option of various buildings to construct. Things like farms, mines, prisons, outhouses, etc. Use resources to build new buildings that increase faith and other resource output to buy more and build more until you have all the things.
Followers also have an individual level that provides the player with the ability to exact doctrines to provide new static abilities: Like the ability to accept death, the ability to bribe for faith, etc.
As a leader of a cult, it is customary to provide sermons to keep those little followers in line. As the player conducts sermons, the player can level up to access a range of types of weapons seen when on a crusade.
Cult of the Lamb, for the lack of a better description, is a beautifully grim but cute game. The world is scary but you and your followers are just the cutest. Each zone has its own environment, with bloody effigies littering each area dedicated to their old world god. God the game looks good.
The music is also absolute fire. From the sound byte that introduces Massive Monster to the music while you are crusading, the lo-fi mixed with a deep bass really makes for a good soundtrack to murder bad guys.
Cult of the Lamb is a fun game, no doubt, but I do think that it is just good. The crusades that you go on are boring because the game offers zero depth to run customization. The cards that can be acquired are only minor gains and the only real noticeable gain is when the player chooses something involving fervor (ability usage). IT also really feels like crusades are only in the game because Massive Monster needed a way to progress the story because that is all that they do. Everything can be done from the lap of luxury at the home base.
Home base is also something that I just fell off from as well. It is simplistic management, with the added ability to customize your followers and maybe sacrifice them to an otherworldly being. Most of the gameplay revolves around managing your useless followers until you get enough faith to be able to acquire the ability for them to do all that shit themselves. I want to play my rogue-lite game not feed fourteen followers and then clean up their shit. I get it, I had fun naming my followers and interacting with them, but that shit falls short because there is, again, no depth to the followers other than a means to an end.
Mind you that Cult of the Lamb is also an incredibly easy game. I died only once and that was because I was soft-locked out of the game and was forced to stand there and die.
I want to leave this on a good note. I think Cult of the Lamb is a good, fun game. It’s not great, but it does pass. I just have gotten to the third world (the underwater world) and I want to go back but there is nothing giving me the reason to. My base just got to level three, because I was spending so much time there and not crusading that I just kept continuing to level up.
Fun game. It has its flaws, but it is in fact a fun videogame