LifeisXbox’s Cult of the Lamb review | We’ve all seen them come and go. Some were here to stay, others? Not so much. What am I talking about you might say? I’m talking about the top-down, room-to-room, dungeon-crawling roguelite games in the likes of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, and so on and so forth. And while these are each and every one staples when it comes to this type of game, rarely a new challenger appears. Why? Because this is a very tricky genre to actually make a worth(y)while game in. Yet Massive Monster, the game’s developer, took it upon themselves to create a new contender… Oh, and create on they did! Enter Cult of the Lamb.
Here you play as, well, as the title suggests, a lamb. Not any lamb either. But the final lamb in this hellscape of a universe. You are about to be sacrificed to the gods of the Old Faith, because it is written in stone that a chosen lamb will be the undoing of this Old Faith, and bring in an age of abandonment and ruin. While you plead for your life, the hatchet comes down and… White. You open your eyes to find yourself in purgatory, a place between life and death, and in front of you… some sort of god bound in chains and cursed to remain chained down in between.
This ‘god’ gives you the opportunity to return to the land of the living as his chosen vessel. You get two options to choose from ‘Yes’ or ‘Hell yes’, or whatever the wording was. After your choice, you have donned the hat of disciple and return to earth, to bring forth the gospel (read: Death and mayhem) to the ones that tried to kill you. Will you succeed in bringing down this old faith? Is this chained god really to be trusted? Are you really the final lamb chop in this god-forsaken land? All will be revealed in … Well, not all. But at least a few things will be revealed in… Well technically not a lot… But. Agh, fudge it. This is our review of, Cult of the Lamb! READ ON OR THINE SOUL SHALL BECOMETH A NEW HAIR THAT WAS WISHED TO BE GROWN ON OUR LORD AND SAVIOR DAEJIM’S BALD HEAD. READ ON!
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Fluid combat: I rarely enjoy games like The binding of Isaac, because for me? That combat system really felt off and cumbersome. And yes, I know, that’s just me. But I just couldn’t find myself enjoying that one all that much. But Cult of the Lamb’s combat system? Why yes, please! Put it into an IV bag and deliver it straight to my veins, will you! First things first. The combat in itself? Solid. Nothing that could either improve or ruin it for me. But what really gets me going is the customizability of your combat. Every now and then you’ll be able to unlock a part of the weapon’s tree. These bring either new curses or new weapons to the table. Curses are this game’s equivalent to ranged combat (of which you get 3 straight out of the box) and weapons are your melee types. These can range from puny daggers all the way up to greatswords or warhammers (not the brand, just the weapon). These all have their own unique effect. One weapon could give you a %’s chance of getting a heart back, while another would possibly raise the dead, giving you an extra spirit that kamikaze’s itself into the enemy body. You could get poison damage or maybe freeze them. And that is just … Wow. Only one tiiiny little gripe is that sometimes the hitboxes are off… a hit that wouldn’t be one sometimes registers. In both directions… And that might just need some tweaking. Otherwise? WOW! Amazing job! Well done Massive Monster!
- Soundtrack: Mmh… You all know me by know. Music is what runs through my veins. Well, music and Magic (the gathering). So I take a particular interest in how certain games sound. And I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the devs at Massive Monster took it to themselves to make sure that we would enjoy every single second of this game’s music. There are two different styles. When you are out and about adventuring, slaying heathens, and taking names, or when you are meandering through your beautiful base. Harvesting berries and cauliflowers. Making sure your dead bodies turn into poops so that you can fertilize your soils to make richer harvests… Aaah yes. The battle music really gets your heart pumping, with deep and blood-pumping melodies. While frolicking gets you the soft soothing notes that your soul desperately needs while its being forsaken to another heathenous god… aaah… yes. Join us…
- What the Flock: The main bread and butter of your new cult. Your followers. Each unique with its own sets of traits and names. Their own unique visual style, and let me tell you. You won’t find one follower out there that is alike. Okay sure, the race and maybe colour could make them feel the same. But their traits and personalities aren’t. And that is just delightful. Your flock also is mandatory for another reason. Devotion. With this devotion, you’ll be able to purchase new upgrades in the devotion tree. These are all base upgrades that will either, bring more devotion in, make your followers more efficient, harvest resources, and what have you. So make sure you take the time to interact with them as much as you can. They level up you see. Making them even more productive and unique to your tribe.
- Beautiful art: One thing that won’t come as a surprise is how amazingly beautiful and well-drawn Cult of the Lamb actually is! The animation on… Well, everything. If you slap down your weapon and there are blades of grass still standing? They’ll sway around, depending on the force of impact. The colour scheme is also vivid and perfectly easy on the eyes to look at. They also took into account that there should be a difference between your own land, and the enemy territory. Those lands will be a bit darker and foreboding. While your lands are vibrant and full of life. *insert chef’s kiss here*
- Story: The story, albeit short and sweet. Is actually pretty fleshed out. Every now and then you’ll get a bit more details on who these old gods are. What they stand for, why they want to stop you or what the motives are. And that is just amazing. It’s not a lot of exposition from the get-go or anything like that. Just, short and sweet tid-bits every now and then. And that is just perfectly fine!
- Becomes clunky: Since this is a base management simulation of some sorts, it also comes as no surprise that resources are a thing as well to keep in mind. And that is where the game lost me a bit. Sure I need to make sure that everyone is fed and all that jazz. But come on… I shouldn’t be wasting half a day (in-game time) on topping everything off just so that my followers have stuff to do. Albeit rebuilding my mines, or restocking the poop (fertilizer) and seed boxes. Sure, after a while you get upgrades that they also harvest your grown crops. But come on… Each and every time extra time wasters get introduced. I kid you not, I actually spent one whole in-game day just tending to everything, my sick, my prisoners, my crops… And then I still had to go out and fight because I needed gold just so that I could get an extra tent. No. It just becomes too clunky after a while. Plain and simple.
- Base management: While your base, or in this case temple grounds might be easy to manage when you haven’t got a lot of followers at the start, you’ll come to notice that the bigger your flock gets? The harder it becomes to really properly build around everything. I would’ve loved it if I could get more ground each and every time I killed a god. But nope. No such thing happened. After a while, I was actually forcing myself into a tech tree upgrade that I actually didn’t really want. Namely to compost dead bodies. That, at least, made it possible to ditch my dead flock members without me having to waste another square on a pit in the ground. I also noticed that the more I built, the fewer critters were around. I don’t know if that was a real thing or not. But I found it a shame that that wasn’t an option for me to get into, expanding my domain, literally.
What we Disliked
- Bugs: I honestly didn’t think this would be happening in an otherwise extremely polished game. But sadly, after I went pretty deep down the rabbit hole? I found some pretty breaking bugs. My first one was when I just killed the second god. Normally, you get your items, the room clears and then you get another set of items. This time however, I got my first set of items… Yet the battle music kept going. I got the heart of the god, yet… The battle music STILL was going. I had cleared everything. Yet… It didn’t finish. I couldn’t move on, nothing… So I had to (thank god that was my first ability) teleport out of the room. That ended up losing myself some follower faith. Yet! It did show me killing the boss in the final screen. So that all registered. But locked me out of some stuff. The second major bug was when I cleared a room, and proceeded into the next. I noticed that before it transitioned? The screen ‘stuttered’ and when the next room would’ve normally loaded in, all I got was a black screen. But the game was still running in the background. Sooo, I decided to slash around, killing and even clearing that room. Rescued a follower that was held hostage there and… Proceeded to teleport out since I couldn’t find the exit to the next room… again, losing me faith and gathered materials. And the third (tiny) glitch I found, was that I knocked enemies outside of the perimeter walls. So they were running in darkness, trying to get to me. Thank god I had splash damage on my melee weapon, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to kill them. Locking me in another room… AGAIN!
How long to beat the story | 13 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 20 to 25 hours
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