Cult of the Lamb is that rare game: a funny critique of organized religion

Cult of the Lamb is that rare game: a funny critique of organized religion ...

Cultists engulf you down a path, skeletons engulfing you with faint illumination. But instead of death, you are given life. A faceless Being known as The One Who Waits comes before you and grants its favor in the form of a living crown. You have been given flesh instead of lamb.

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Cult of the Lamb, a roguelike action game, encapsulates the absurd in a charming little set of characters that resembles children's books in terms of vengeance, consumption, and sacrifice. This is further enhanced by a more spooky score, which mimics chanting or incomprehensible songs of worship. It helps disarm the player, in a way, as they investigate the four Old Gods that they had sent to sacrifice.

Cult of the Lamb is a game that combines dungeon-crawler and religious management, with your tasks divided between tending to your devoted flock of followers and trawling through procedurally generated dungeons. Each stage has its own small map where you can encounter unique NPCs, some of which can offer stronger weapons, or even seeds, to cultivate your expanding commune. It's stock and standard, and it doesnt deviate much from the already established roguelike formula

What makes Cult of the Lamb so special is its ability to infiltrate a terrible pocket of organized religion. Because ultimately, you, the player, are cultivating followers and enticing them into your flock. To you, their devotion is crucial to your progress and your influence over the Old Gods who screwed you over in the first place.

It feels like vindication, or even morally just, to kidnap their devoted followers and send them to your own fictional settlement. As you unlock doctrines through the use of evil sacred tablets, your religion begins to take shape. This is also where Cult of the Lambs' wider commentary and more engaging narrative reside.

Cult of the Lamb posits the idea that all religion is cultlike in some way. That is, until you realize it, despite the pentagrams and pseudo-Satanic imagery, youve created a monster that resembles the Catholic Church. You can also send missionaries to help further strengthen your cult.

Cult of the Lamb allows for players to go straight into the absurd or comically bizarre. One follower admitted that they have always wanted to eat poop, and asked that I prepare a meal that included fecal matter. I declined. I didnt need someone to make the entire convent ill. Because your followers are the backbone of your society.

Cult of the Lamb was a fairly enjoyable sim game since I devoted a great deal of time to satiate my followers by showering them with presents, or investing in better housing and agriculture to keep them happy. I began cultivating crops to feed my congregation without making them sick in the later game.

At the Lonely Shack, you may gamble with the wizened old Ratau (a rat who had once occupied your position) or fish at the Pilgrims Passage for food. Some of the characters you meet in these areas are quite interesting, with their past histories mostly obscured and enhanced by charming picture book illustrations.

Cult of the Lamb is a game where followers can and will die either by your hand or through the passing of time. They can either be buried at your convent, their remains being destroyed by those who remain, or they can be prematurely sacrificed to The One Who Waits.

Whatever cult you choose to create, it will be centered around consumption, worship, and sacrifice. Everything you do, you do for more power and control. However, Cult of the Lamb raises the question: will you lead your flock to ruin as a result of hours of labor? Or will you bring them to slaughter, becoming the very god you killed and dethroned?

Cult of the Lamb will be released on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on August 11th. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for purchases made via affiliate links.

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