Inspired by the likes of Castlevania and Bloodborne, The Last Faith is the latest dark, gothic Metroidvania with Soulslike elements.
It’s a mix of genres that’s becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not surprising considering they have have so many things in common. The Last Faith instantly grabs your attention with its mysterious premise, and then further holds it with a vice-like grip thanks to its challenging combat and large, interconnected world. And so, whether you’re a fan of either genre it draws from, it’s very much worth a look.
The Last Faith puts you in control of a troubled guy called Eryk. Awakening with no recollection of his past, like so many videogame protagonists, you’ll tentatively take your first steps into this world with apprehension until you’ve found your feet. With multiple starting classes to choose from, you’ve got instant freedom to determine your combat style here. Do you want to hit hard, be nimble on your feet, make use of ranged weapons, or master the arcane? These are your broad options, but with a Soulslike levelling-up system, you’re ultimately free to develop your character as you see fit.
Ultimately, whatever you choose, you have access to both melee and ranged attacks. With two weapons equippable in both your left and right hands, you can quickly switch between multiple forms of attack, too. You might have fast and heavy melee weapons equipped in your left hand, for example, and a gun and an electric-infused arcane spell in the right. Special focus attacks are available, too, as well as gory executions that are always a dark delight to perform. Overall, you have a pleasant variety of options.
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As important as going on the offensive here is, however, you also need to carefully observe your enemies, as their attacks can hit hard. Thankfully you can dodge through most attacks, and stamina isn’t a thing so you rarely find yourself a sitting duck. That only happens if you get stricken with certain afflictions, such as electrocuted, which can be a pain. Skilled players can try to parry attacks, with an amount of health also being recovered if successful, but this isn’t a game where learning how to parry is necessary for success.
Enjoyable as the combat is, especially when facing off against epic bosses, the true joy of The Last Faith lies in exploring its world and uncovering its secrets. This is a game that doesn’t hold your hand, irritatingly so at times. But while you might not always be sure where exactly you need to go next to continue the game’s story, it is at least clear to see where you’ve not fully explored. You can lay down icons on the map, too, much like in Blasphemous, allowing you to keep track of NPCs that have issued you quests, valuables just out of your reach, and more.
With multiple endings to discover, The Last Faith is the type of game that rewards players who seek out its secrets. You’ll gain skills that allow you to interact with the environment in new ways, and though these generally open up the critical path, they also present new opportunities in areas already travelled. Your reward might simply be some materials useful for upgrading your weapons, or it could be astat boosting charm or something even more exciting. In any case, you always feel rewarded for going out of your way.
Working against The Last Faith, aside from the aforementioned derivative setting and occasional lack of direction, is an awkward resource system that requires you to purchase basic health and ammo packs should you run out. Still, it’s not too much of an issue, given their cheap prices. Instant deaths as a result of spike pits and bottomless chasms can be a pain, too, but they’re not all that frequent.
It’s safe to say that we’ve been bowled over by The Last Faith on the whole. We’ve been lost at times, pouring over the map in the hope of finding a clue as to where we should go next, but it’s rarely dampened our enthusiasm to play. And thanks to many weapons, skills and other items to discover, time spent exploring never feels wasted anyway. While this is a game that doesn’t really offer anything original or ground breaking, then, it remains engaging nonetheless.