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 Cult of the Lamb Review: Does it feel like a roguelite

Cult of the Lamb Review: Does it feel like a roguelite

Cult of the Lamb Review, I didn’t think I’d have to do so much garbage pickup after launching Cult of the Lamb. In reality, it’s a solid base-management game dressed up as an action-roguelite, but the game manages to pull off the odd combination of genres with ease. While the battle wasn’t engaging enough to keep me coming back after the credits rolled, I am delighted to have accomplished this dark rite, and the game’s charming visual aesthetic and surprising number of side activities help make up for its linear structure.

cult of the lamb review

Cult of the Lamb Review

You play as the fluffy hooves of a cult leader who has just been revived by a divinity known only as “The One Who Waits” in Cult of the Lamb. To rescue your master from whatever has imprisoned him, you must amass a large enough flock, construct a stronghold, and lead brutal crusades against the alien forces responsible. With a charming art style and expressive animations, the game manages to inject a little bit of joy into every corner of its ruthlessness, making the loop of gathering supplies, tending to your worshipers, upgrading both your character and your homestead, and then going out to do it again, extremely satisfying.

Image Galleries from the Game “Cult of the Lamb”

Despite the fact that Cult of the Lamb is, at its core, a roguelite dungeon crawler in which the level structure and the objects you find are both randomly generated and your power increases between runs, straight comparisons to games like Hades or Rogue Legacy would be a bit deceptive. Each crusade has the same random and repeating structure, although they are much shorter, typically lasting no more than ten minutes. Cult of the Lamb is a roguelike, but it lacks the traditional roguelike tension of seeing how far into the gauntlet you can manage to make it every time, instead having you choose between one of four disconnected areas to fight through at the start of every run, with a boss waiting to be beaten at the end of each to complete the story.

While these little excursions aren’t necessarily negative, they did force me to spend the majority of the game’s 13-hour runtime not wielding a weapon but rather expanding my base and doing side missions for NPCs. When comparing Cult of the Lamb to games like Dead Cells, it’s easy to conclude that it has just as much in common with management games like Oxygen Not Included. Regardless, that’s a fine group to keep, and I appreciated having my devoted cultists at home inform my judgments while I was out on the hunt.

Reduce to tiny pieces

But that doesn’t mean the fighting isn’t enjoyable on its own. It’s not excessively complicated, with only one attack button, a unique “curse” power, and a dodge-roll at your disposal, but these tools are all finely refined to maximise their impact. Especially enjoyable is the game’s responsiveness in dodging well-telegraphed strikes from foes as you swiftly make your way through rooms packed of cultists and monsters. The numerous sorts of weaponry, curses, and tarot card-based boosts you can uncover along the way can also help mix up each new expedition as you work your way toward the finish of the game.

The one significant negative is that you are given a random weapon and curse at the start of each crusade, but regrettably you have no influence over which ones you’ll see and the possibilities are far from equal. While the default sword and harder-hitting axe are reliably terrific, the painfully slow hammer and the gloves (which do most of their damage only on the final strike of their attack combo) are ill-suited against Cult of the Lamb’s extremely mobile adversaries. Similarly, certain curses can be satisfying AoE blasts while others drop a pile of ineffectual gunk. Given the short length of most runs, it’s not always possible to locate a suitable replacement before the game ends; I had my patience tested more than once when trying to beat a boss who was severely hindered by a bad roll right off the bat.

For most of your gaming, do you typically use the easiest or the hardest setting?

Although you don’t have a lot of control over which attacks you use, you can make significant changes to your kit mid-run by drawing tarot cards. You can increase your health, add a projectile to your melee strike, or cause your adversaries to drop fish by using one of these power-ups. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these items are merely stat upgrades, such as a 20% increase to weapon damage, and thus they never did much to change my actual playstyle on any given run. Nonetheless, it was still a lot of fun to stumble upon a rare tarot card that completely doubled the attack speed of my axe.

Of course, coming upon a powerful card like that could also trivialise the boss battles on the default difficulty. The visual design of the eldritch monstrosities you face and the almost bullet hell-like attacks they throw at you can be imaginative in these battles. I rarely had to do more than spam the attack button to beat each boss on the first try, which doesn’t really give the spotlight they deserve to their clever designs, but if you have even a passing familiarity with roguelike action games, you’ll probably want to notch the difficulty up to Hard from the start.

“Field of Screams”

Despite the horrific appearance of Cult of the Lamb’s greatest opponents, many of them will joyfully change into adorable pals your size upon defeat – friends who can then be recruited to your cult back home. The action sequences may be how you move the rather modest plot along, but the base construction is where all of the real mechanical progression rests. Converting folk you encounter out in the field lets you put them to work gathering resources like wood and stone, worshipping your face to generate a resource called devotion, or cleaning up the dung they’ll generously litter the perimeter of your camp with.

You’ll be performing a lot of the work alone to start, but it’s extremely exciting to watch your base grow — both technologically and visually – as you recruit more followers. Your base and your lamb each have tech trees to work up, unlocking either new structures to build or new powers and weapons to find, respectively. By training your followers, you can free yourself from mundane tasks like watering your crops by hand and open up more fascinating possibilities like sending your followers on resource-gathering missions or even temporarily transforming them into demons that can aid you in combat.

cult of the lamb review

Cult of the Lamb made me care about maximising my business

There’s a tonne to dive into here, and I appreciated the balance that was controlling the faith, hunger, cleanliness levels of my followers, but it also made me wish keeping track of them on an individual basis was easier. Once your cult membership starts to reach the double digits, it can be exceedingly hard to discern who is completing what task, who you’ve already “blessed” that day for an experience bonus, and who is just sitting about twiddling their thumbs. Cult of the Lamb made me care about maximising my business to the point where it upset me when I couldn’t. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry too much about that things to keep up with their desires, especially when you’ve unlocked better facilities for them.

It does give you a respectable lot of say, however, and those choices are mostly aesthetic rather than useful. You may easily relocate buildings around your camp, modify the appearance and name of every new follower you acquire, and cover every area in unnecessary decorations that frequently have to be earned or unlocked as you play. You don’t have to go deep on any of this stuff if you don’t actually want to, but it gave me an ownership over my cult that got me far more invested – I even played favourites with my followers, giving the best of them extra attention and mourning them when they eventually died of old age… or when I sacrificed them, because who needs an old mouth to feed.

Despite its cutesy-devilish aesthetic, Cult of the Lamb maintains an excellent sense of proportion.

Similarly, the fantastic aesthetics that accompany all the mayhem in Cult of the Lamb are a large element of the film’s success. It strikes an excellent, well-balanced middle ground between its adorable cartoon feelings and its demonic set decoration, with hundreds of fascinating animal forms for you to discover, from elephants and giraffes to unicorns and some kind of bizarre spider creature. The score is also extremely memorable, being both upbeat and eerie at the same time.

Cult of the Lamb does feel like a roguelite

Also, there’s a lot more to do here than I had anticipated. There is a whole world map with discrete (though modest) areas to explore, all of which have stores selling new tarot cards and cosmetics and introduce you to new characters for whom you can do missions. Minigames abound, from casting a line to rolling the dice to a sidequest that forces you to revisit areas you’ve already cleared with a heightened difficulty level. There are some mysteries to unearth too, and the odd character designs are all top notch no matter what area of the world you visit.

That said, Cult of the Lamb does feel like a roguelite I am pretty much done with after 13 hours, nearly half of which I played on hard mode. I’m approximately two-thirds of the way through it, and I’ve already finished all the optional content I could locate and all of its main storylines. You can revisit levels you’ve already beaten in an endless mode that continues to amp up the difficulty nicely if you want to play Cult of the Lamb closer to a more traditional roguelike, but there’s not really enough variety in its weapons, tarot cards, or straightforward map layouts to make me actually want to do much of that. While I enjoyed playing through to the end of the credits, the game ultimately seemed more like a linear campaign than the roguelike action segments would lead one to believe.

Verdict

Cult of the Lamb Review is an endearingly weird jumble of styles and concepts that works superbly as a whole. Building my own cult base and tending to a flock of followers was just as enjoyable as any swing of the axe, and the combat is thrilling even if the game’s brief runs and relative lack of variety between them don’t give it the lasting appeal of other action roguelikes. Even though I loved playing Cult of the Lamb, I probably won’t go back to it now that the credits have rolled.

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cult of the lamb review

FAQs:

Q1  How long is the Cult of the Lamb?

Cult of the Lamb isn’t like some other games that require hundreds of hours to complete. Instead, most players will be able to wrap up the game’s primary storyline quests in around 15 hours.

Q2: Is Cult of the Lamb a rogue-like band?

Although Cult of the Lamb has found widespread success, its gameplay was initially influenced by the infamously difficult roguelike genre. For video games with similar difficulties to Rogue, a 1985 computer game, this word is often used.

Q3: Can I play Cult of the Lamb with other people online?

Cult of the Lamb Review may have been influenced by games like The Binding of Isaac, yet it lacks any sort of multiplayer mode. To counteract this and foster a larger community around the single-player game, a Twitch campaign will run for a while after the game’s release.

Q4: How old do you have to be to see Cult of the Lamb?

The suggested age range for Cult of the Lamb Review is 13. A film’s, show’s, book’s, game’s, or series’ “Age Rating” indicates what kind of audience is most likely to enjoy it.

Q5: What genre of video game is it?

The expansion of the roguelike market. Although Cult of the Lamb has found widespread success, its gameplay was initially influenced by the infamously difficult roguelike genre. Video games that have a common set of difficult gameplay qualities; the word is named after the 1985 computer game Rogue

Jennie Marquez

Jennie Marquez

Jennie is a Staff writer, contributor and has been writing about tech for over a decade. Jennie’s work at trendblog is to specialize in phones and tablets, but she also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. She is based in London, UK.
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