The survival genre is one of the most popular gaming genres to date. Titles like The Last Of Us Part II and Resident Evil carry this genre with their implementations of resource management and a general understanding of enemies and gameplay. Well, there are a few sub-genres of survival games that deal mostly with managing a community and its resources, unfortunately, Cult Of The Lamb really doesn’t get that part right.
Many players tend to ignore these sorts of games due to them being too boring or repetitive, well to some extent I can agree that this is the case, but these types of titles are an acquired taste that not many tend to develop. For this reason, many of these games tend to have a small, but very loyal fan base.
What are the games that excel in this extremely specific genre? Well, some of the best ones include Frostpunk, Oxygen Not Included, Factorio, Don’t Starve, and many many more. These games are some of the best in the genre, but it is a shame that Cult Of The Lamb isn’t even close to them let alone comparable.
For starters, Cult Of The Lamb revolves around many themes. At one point you are fighting the spawn of the four bishops in a roguelike essence, next you’re taking care of your demonic cult, and afterward, you’re doing some very underwhelming side quests.
Sometimes, a small menu is better than a large one, that is exactly why indie games like The Binding Of Isaac, Enter The Gungeon and Dead Cells were considered some of the greatest roguelike games ever conceived. The reason for their success is simple, they focused on one element and took it to new heights until it reached a near-perfect state.
Let’s get this out of the way, Cult Of The Lamb has almost zero replay value as it is now. After you finish the game, you have experienced nearly all of the tarot cards, every type of enemy, and the extremely uninspiring bosses containing three moves, which include a melee, some bullets, and summoning other creatures — this is the case for almost every boss in the game.
After you raise a cult in your first playthrough, there really is no need to do it again as there is almost nothing new to discover or any tangible things that you might have missed. For a title that has this feature in its name, it really does end up being extremely disappointing.
Let’s look at something you and your “slaves” can do while raising a cult. They can mine stone and wood around ten times slower than you, and they require a lot of resources to stay happy and loyal, which is something I did not expect from a demonic cult, they can survive the entire game with one singular dish, and will sometimes give you side quests that have you getting something for them. I mostly denied these as the backlash wasn’t as hefty as it was shown.
Although, a really unique thing about the game is the many types of rituals and some unique buildings. Summoning demons were always interesting, although at the cost of a follower. Doing rituals was pretty simple but I loved the concept, and just watching your followers go by their day was very relaxing, too.
These ideas may seem great on paper but in reality, you rarely do them due to high cooldowns, and not wanting to sacrifice your followers. A typical day starts with you going to a random follower blessing them, giving them a sermon, cooking some berry soup, heading off to slay some beasts, and repeating until you get a new building. It gets very repetitive.
Although the game does get some things right, for starters, the story has a unique play and I loved how the characters interacted with me and my cult, the amazing style, extremely crisp camera movement, and just being charming at times with a few cute surprises.
However, unfortunately, the reason it might have ended up like this is probably because of how much diverse work was required to make the open-ended on many fronts. When you go into a dungeon to take out these other-worldly beasts, you have a total of five weapons, a handful of curses, and an extremely limited set of power-ups you can find in a run. It is safe to say that in around three hours, you can quite literally, get the entire combat experience.
At one point, taking care of my cult felt like a chore rather than feeling as if I accomplished something. Many times during my playthrough of the game, I felt as if there were missed opportunities everywhere I looked, but all hope is not lost.
Devolver Digital is a studio that tends to nurture its more popular titles, which is why we saw Enter The Gungeon receive so many game-altering updates. It seems that this trend will also extend towards Cult Of The Lamb as it hit an impressive one million copies sold worldwide.
In conclusion, this is the type of game that will receive big updates in the near future, but as it stands right now, I really would not recommend it to any player. The title is more of a one-time experience that players will forget right after they finish the game.
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