All hail the lamb, for he is our leader and saviour.
Set to release on 11th August, Cult of the Lamb may just be the most adorable game about slaughtering creatures and worshipping questionable deities we’ve ever played. We’ve had our hands on the opening hour of the game, and now August just can’t come fast enough.
This is quite the departure from developer Massive Monster’s last game. It made The Adventure Pals, an adorable, kid-friendly platform adventure game filled with hotdogs where your protagonist has a giraffe in his backpack. Cult of the Lamb couldn’t be more different. But that only goes to show how creative and varied the team at Massive Monster is.
There are two key parts to Cult of the Lamb. There’s the hack-and-slack gameplay, where you’ll make your way through a series of levels, killing enemies along the way and, eventually, coming up against a boss. Then there’s the ‘town-building’ aspect. You see, the goal here is to grow your cult following – but to do that, you’re going to have to provide for them. You’ll need a source of food, somewhere for them to worship, places for them to sleep and more.
The two sides of the game feed into each other very nicely. You’ll find new followers as you’re out killing, and you’ll also gather resources, which will come in handy back at your base. You’ll have a supply of wood and stone within your cult hideout, but the more nefarious resources – like enemy bones – require you to go out for. You can’t perform rituals without the bones of your foes now, can you?
Not only is Cult of the Lamb far more adorable than any game about forming a satanic cult has any right to be, but it also plays like a dream. It’s somewhere between The Binding of Isaac and Hades, without the harsh roguelike elements. That’s right: this isn’t exactly a roguelike, despite feeling an awful lot like one. Your real progress is saved in your cult’s home, and that’s never lost. Die on a run, and you’ll lose some of the resources you’ve gathered, but not all. So you’ll still be making progress every time, even if you succumb to a particularly beastly enemy.
You will be jumping back into the same areas to fight time and again, though, with new, tougher maps unlocking as you progress. And, like a roguelike, you’ll come upon perks and upgrades that only last for the duration of your current run. Same goes for your weapons: you’ll be given a new, random one every time. It never feels repetitive or arduous; you’ll gladly jump back in, each time with different enemies to fight, challenges to overcome and resources to collect.
Ultimately, Cult of the Lamb feels like the amalgamation of two genres we love. It combines the thrill of a roguelike adventure with the tranquillity of a town-building life sim. It’s like Harvest Moon from Hell, and we’re loving it. This is going to be the type of game we can’t get enough of, we can already feel it. The cult is calling us, and we’re ready to serve.
Cult of the Lamb is coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC on 11th August.