PAX: Cult of the Lamb puts an adorable spin on starting your own cult

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PAX: Cult of the Lamb puts an adorable spin on starting your own cult

Overview of the Cult of the Lamb

All it takes is a devoted little lamb

It’s dark and dreary as you, a little lamb, take a long walk. Hooded figures swarm behind you, pushing and shoving with weapons as you advance towards the sacrificial circle. Ancient gods appear and demand your life, in exchange for conjuring a prophecy. And that’s how Worship of the Lamb starts his demo: your death.

Well, your near-death. At the last moment, the little lamb is taken to another world. A potentially evil being makes him an offer he simply can’t refuse: keep your life, dedicating it to his. Return to the world and form a cult under the Waiting One. So you go back, with a nifty new hat, a sword, and a strong side of demonic possession, and wreak havoc.

Lamb chop, slice and dice

I didn’t quite know what to think of Worship of the Lamb when I first saw him. It’s a top-down action game, with a roguelite twist. As a former patron of your current master shows up to explain to you, you’ll have to go into the land and spread the good word. This means weeding out the acolytes of those other old gods and converting new followers to your cult.

At the basic level, there are dodging and hitting. Special moves and upgraded weapons can be picked up, as you progress from room to room. It feels familiar, and not in a bad way. The fight feels solid and kept me engaged. Enemy types also help, as soon as different variants start to change things up. Bats and worm-like creatures start stalking you, beyond angry fanatics.

It’s worth noting how art style developer Massive Monster has also crafted art. The almost papercraft, 2D-meets-3D looks great, in screenshots and in motion. Worship of the Lamb has just the right mix of cute and spooky. It’s both dark and light. He is very The Sinister Adventures of Billy and Mandybut with animals that engage in ritual sacrifice and indoctrination.

Pull the wool over their eyes

Indoctrination is actually quite crucial and leads to the realm of Worship of the Lamb I enjoyed the most. Between two adventures in the world, after finding more wayward souls to join your cult, you can return to a kind of “home base” and start putting everything into motion. Things start simple: take a follower and tell him to collect wood.

But the followers need food, so I had to build a kitchen pit to feed them. That’s where the base building, the management side started to form, and it really came into its own.

Now, when I ventured on paths, I wasn’t just looking for personal benefits. A node can offer me food or an item that could increase the abilities of my subscribers. At one point I had a necklace that could keep a follower awake. Finally, no more pesky rest. The follower would be a 100% uptime devotional machine.

My quick demo at PAX East took me from curious to very interested in Worship of the Lamb. The art style and atmosphere are obvious draws, and the action is solid. The base building and follower management add a really intriguing layer though, which made me make some cool choices I wasn’t always used to in a roguelite. I couldn’t just weed out heretics and fanatics to build my following. I needed to build a lasting, stable and effective cult to really continue to progress in the world.

Worship of the Lamb may look like other games of this type you have played before, like a wave Zelda-roguelite action-adventure style. But it is misleading. Dig a little deeper, and its artistry, dark humor, and meta management systems make for a pretty neat combination. Keep an eye out for an expected 2022 launch on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.

@destructoid

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♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

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