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

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

As you fall before the pillar of sacrifice, an ax swings down. But instead of death, you are given life. With the promise of revenge, you are no longer a lamb brought to the slaughter.

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Cult of the Lamb, a roguelike action game, is a charming little collection of characters that resembles a kid's narrative of vengeance, consumption, and sacrifice. This is further enhanced by a nearly whimsical soundtrack that mimics chanting or incomprehensible songs of worship. It helps the player, in a sense, disarm the four Old Gods that had sent them to sacrifice.

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

Cult of the Lamb is unique because it offers the opportunity to create a truly horrific pocket of organized religion. Because, ultimately, you, the player, are fostering followers, by enticing them into your family. Their loyalty is fundamental to your progress and your influence over the Old Gods that screwed you over.

It may seem like vindication or even morally just to steal away their ardent followers and send them to your own saga. As you unlock doctrines through the use of worrisome sacred tablets, your religion begins to take shape. This is also where Cult of the Lambs' broader commentary and more engaging narrative reside.

Cult of the Lamb posits that all religions are cultlike in some way. You can also send missionaries to assist your cult.

Cult of the Lamb allows players to go straight into the absurd or comically bizarre. One follower confessed that they always wanted to eat poop and requested that I serve them a meal made of fecal matter, but I declined. I didnt need someone eating shit and making the whole convent ill. Because your followers are the backbone of your society.

Cult of the Lamb was a fairly enjoyable sim game. I became more mindful of how I was spending my time between dungeons, making sure I was preparing sermons and cultivating crops to feed my congregation without making them sick in the late game.

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

Cult of the Lamb is a game that isnt without consequences. Followers may and may be buried at your convent, or they may be prematurely sacrificed to The One Who Waits. Some of your followers may express their love or want to see flowers in the forest.

Every activity you do, whether it be consumption, worship, or sacrifice, serves as a pleasant and obvious irony. However, Cult of the Lamb asks you what kind of leader you will be: will you lead your flock to ruin? Will you allow them to escape from the chains of the religion youve nurtured over hours of labor? Will you slaughter them to the slaughter, becoming the very god you dethroned?

Cult of the Lamb will be released on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on Aug. 11; the game was reviewed on PC using a pre-release download code provided by Devolver Digital. These do not affect editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.

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