Written review by Mitch Vogel: www.nintendolife.com/reviews/switch-eshop/cult-of-the-lamb
#NintendoSwitch #CultOfTheLamb #Nintendo
Hello, there lovely people italics from Nintendo life here and today we're reviewing for you, Cult of the Lamb on the Nintendo switch.
This review was originally written by the stupendous Mitch Vogel and has been adapted for video by me, but anyway, that's more than enough waffling, let's Dive Right into things.
Devolver digital has always had an eye for some delightfully odd gaming experiences playing as an ape escaping its captors, while free-form Jazz blast in the background robbing pretentious rich people as a con man in 18th century France, eviscerating Houses full of goons as a drug addicted ninja with PTSD.
You know, that's all standard fair for them.
In the long line of this Publisher's memorable releases, Cult of the Lamb places you in the role of an adorable fluffy, lamb, harboring, the soul of a Sinister ageless deity.
It's intense, it's cute, it's stressful and it's absolutely something that you need to try out.
You begin your journey by being sacrificed by a woodland cult which is killing you because of Prophecy stated that a lamb would be the vessel by which the one who Waits would make its glorious return.
Obviously, the four resident old ones really weren't fans of the one who Waits so they imprisoned it in another dimension to consolidate their power over the Woodland creatures.
Little did they know that sacrificing your little Lamy self actually sent you straight to the one who Waits, who resurrect affects you and gives you spooky powers in exchange for your Eternal loyalty and commitment to killing the other four Gods, which would then free the one who Waits this is the only name they give.
You then set out to form a cult of your own in the name of your own Patron, Eldritch, Abomination, building spiritual power to aided in its long quest for vengeance, though, there are bits of law sprinkled in there explaining more of the conflict between the one who waits in its for Brethren.
The story mostly takes a backseat to the excellent gameplay after the first few hours.
The gameplay in question is one part: survival Sim and one part action.
Roguelike divided neatly between your duties tending to your flock and your efforts to fight your way through the forests of Heretics.
The roguelike half of the gameplay follows many of the expected trappings of the genre.
You start out with a basic weapon and a limited use, active skill and battle your way through room after room of enemies across randomly generated Maps.
A full dungeon should only take you around about 10 minutes or so and you're sure to collect plenty of spoils along the way in order to help aid in building your commune on standard difficulty, combat manages to strike a nice balance where you're always kept on your toes, but you never quite feel like you're being overwhelmed.
Most weapons except the dagger can take down enemies in just a few hits, and you also have a very useful Dodge roll to Grant you, some precious iframes weapons run the usual gamut of axes, swords gauntlets, all that sort of thing, whereas your curses usually give you some sort of area of effect attack like a long-range sludge bomb or a burst that pushes away enemies close to you, though, you start out each run with one random weapon and curse.
You can later occasionally acquire new ones to swap in as rewards for clearing a room.
We appreciated how this dungeon running element of cult of the Lamb manages to always feel fresh, whilst never overstaying its welcome new layouts and Equipment loadouts keep every run unique, whilst its intense and chaotic battles demand your full attention, plus, with every run being only 10 or 15 minutes in length.
It means you're in and you're out before things get too stale.
There isn't all that much enemy Variety in any of the biomes and other than Arrow cards, which Grant you temporary passive Buffs for the run.
You aren't given a whole lot of rope to build your character.
Combat is simple, then, but it nicely fills the niche it needs to in the overall gameplay Loop, whether you kill the boss at the end of your run or get overrun at some point leading up to it.
You'll always come back to your cult's commune, and this is where the Sim elements come into play.
Occasionally, you'll come across new cult members in a run or you'll forcibly convert them after beating them in a fight, and then they join your growing flock.
Every cult member can either work to maintain your commune, such as pitching in with the farm chores or going down the mines to get resources, or they can just sit around at The Shrine in the center of the map and worship it which grants you devotion once you have enough devotion, you can then invest it in upgrades for your commune, such as better sleeping quarters or a Hut from which you can send out missionaries as you grow.
Your populace, however, you'll need to ensure that you can keep the overall Faith level up as it is constantly decreasing.
Keeping your flock, fed and fixing structures, as they collapse, is critical to keeping people believing in you and low faith will raise the chances of dissenters rising up in your midst.
Of course, you can always toss the centers in jail and re-educate them, which is a delightfully frightening term, but on the flip side, that's one less Pair of Hands working for you.
So if your faith is getting too low, one way you can Shore it up quickly is by throwing a ritual such as a massive Feast that removes everyone's hunger or drugging your entire flock to keep them in a euphoric Haze for a few days.
It's it doesn't pull any punches.
The only drawback here is that all rituals have a pretty hefty cooldown, so you'll need to be strategic in when you choose to invoke them.
If there's one word that best describes Cult of the Lamb, it's stressful there's a never-ending day night cycle at play, and it will always feel like you are just barely able to keep up.
Maybe you don't have enough money to pay for a new sleeping bag for your new cult member, maybe you just ran out of food and half your Camp is starting to get hungry.
Maybe somebody just died and you don't have the resources to make a body pit going on a dungeon engine run is usually a somewhat fraught experience.
Then, because you leave knowing that you'll come back to a camp much worse off than when you left it and you might or might not be able to find the resources you need, while you're out.
In light of this, you have to sometimes get creative in a amusingly dark ways.
If a follower dies of old age, for example, you can desecrate their body whilst everyone's sleeping and use their meat for tomorrow's meals or you can turn into fertilizer.
So your crops will grow a little faster, it's um if a new dissenter speaks out and your prison is full, you can just kill them when nobody's looking.
If your faith gets too low, you can always marry yet another cult member to boost everyone's beliefs.
It's your cult.
After all and you're entitled to be as unethical as you must to get the results.
The one who Waits desires, coal members themselves can level up via loyalty which grants you more devotion and a new piece of Doctrine after they pass another Milestone, more loyal members will prove to be better workers, and once you have three pieces of Doctrine fragments, you can decline.
I renew Doctrine in church that either unlocks a new ritual for you to use or a new passive effect.
That applies to all cult members.
We appreciated this Doctrine system, especially as it goes a long way to making management easier as your flock grows as you.
Progress through new biomes you'll also slowly unlock other locations.
Besides the forest and your commune, where you can interact with other NPC Cults and participate in special activities head over to the lighthouse, for example, and you can play a fishing minigame to collect food for your flock visit rat house and you can gamble money away over a creative dice game that smartly balances luck and skill.
Meanwhile, the mushroom people run a shop where you can buy new blueprints for decorations at camp or new tarot cards to potentially show up in future.
Dungeon runs all this feeds into a nice sense of progression and Synergy that encompasses nearly everything that happens in Cult of the lamb.
For example, your exploits in the forest will directly influence your ability to maintain and expand your commune.
While your efforts to keep your flock happy lead to direct benefits to your combat abilities in the forests, whatever it is that you choose to do with your limited time, you can be sure that they will almost always be another unlockable blueprint ability or recipe just around the corner.
You can't do everything you want to, of course, so you'll have to prioritize what's most important in the moment, but we really appreciated how nothing feels unnecessary to the gameplay Loop.
There's a fine balance to all the activities that offers enticing incentives, regardless of what you do, which can make it remarkably difficult to not play for you know the the whole 10 more minutes and suddenly end up losing the rest of your night.
Unfortunately, one element that is decidedly substandard here is Cult of the Lamb's performance on switch, which is um disappointing.
The frame rate stays consistent as long as there isn't too much happening on screen, but it gets really choppy as things get busier and the frame rate drops lead to many instances where we took unnecessary damage or worse, yet lost a run.
The game even crashed on us at one point and soft locked us a few other times, necessitating a return to the title screen between all of this.
We also noted loading screens that could last as long as 15 seconds, which I I mean it's not devastating by any means, but it's just long enough to get irritating.
It seems that not all these issues are exclusive to the switch version and the developers have already announced the patches are in the works for all Platforms in order to address some of the technical issues.
Even so, Cult of the Lamb is in a rather sloppy state right now, which is a real shame, given the excellent underlying gameplay and design on display.
Here, it never feels good when a glitch or performance hiccup directly drags down some notable parts of the gameplay experience and the issues right now with Carl to the Llama rampant enough that you're sure to encounter something the longer you play.
As for his presentation, oh forget about it.
Cult of the Lamb manages to impress with his visual style, which is vaguely reminiscent of the dark 2D art style, seen in Don't Starve, everything from enemies to cult members to patches of grass.
They all have this flat, hand-drawn, look and they're all facing the camera, which holds a fixed perspective.
Moreover, there's this interesting Fusion of Q cute and horrifying, such as bright-eyed, smiling animals all participating in a ritual sacrifice at midnight.
Nothing features here that we feel qualifies as truly disturbing, but that ongoing contrast of light and dark remains thrilling all throughout the 15 to 20 hours campaign, as you come across new biomes and characters to match that creepy, but cute aesthetic, the soundtrack mixes together, various chants and Whispers, with tribal sounding music that has a somewhat Primal Vibe.
Most of the soundtrack is thus low-key and relatively ambient.
The kind of music that's discovered rather than announced, but some of the Boss music ratchets things up to more exciting Heights Cult of the Lamb proves to be a remarkably fresh, take on the roguelite genre, not just in its Goofy and creepy aesthetic, but in its smart blending of action and survival.
Mechanics gameplay remains tense without ever feeling like it's unfair and a steady stream of unlockables and collectibles ensures that your efforts are always rewarded.
It's just a shame that the performance isn't up to Snuff, at least at launch, and that's really the only major complaint that we have here.
We'd still give this a hearty recommendation to anyone who thinks it might be up their alley and it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Cult of the Lamb proves itself to be a great new addition to the switch Library.
You have reached the end of the review, and that means it's time for Alex's personal thoughts and yeah I had an absolute blast with this game.
It's I think Mitch just got it down.
Basically, it's a really really clever.
Blending of loads of different gameplay Stars.
Well, not loads, but you know a fair few different gameplay stars, but nothing feels pointless.
You know everything feels like it's got a purpose and everything feels like it's progressing you and that's hard to do.
Although I've got to be honest, I do think that the weakest element in this is the combat.
It's not bad by any stretch, but it does have a few things that are kind of dragging it down like it can get a little bit repetitive, there's not a great deal of difference, depending on what enemies, you're fighting.
It's mainly just kind of approach, attack, Dodge approach, attack, Dodge.
Well, that's pretty much the whole thing.
It's also where the performance really does start to be a bit of a nuisance numerous times the games just didn't register my inputs, so I'd be like in in combat and everything.
There'd be a slight stutter when I press the button and The Game Wouldn't register it.
So, whereas I thought I was attacking and producing hits done on the opponent and knocking them back, therefore, making it safer.
For me that that that didn't happen and I'd end up taking damage and a few times I even died from that.
The same goes with the hitboxes.
They feel a bit inconsistent, they don't feel entirely accurate, and that goes both ways like even the enemy hitboxes, don't feel entirely accurate, like I feel like I, should have been damaged by an attack, but I I wasn't and just as many times I tried to damage an opponent and they should have taken damage, but they didn't the style of combat means that you have to put yourself in danger to get an attack in and then knock them back and then you're safe, hey.
You know, that's just kind of the gameplay loop, as I mentioned before and he's so.
If you actually do an attack and the hitbox should have hit or it seems like it, erroneously doesn't it's, you know, you end up taking damage, and it's just now.
It's it's just annoying.
You know it just kind of slightly sours the experience of what is otherwise a really bloody good game, because all the life Sim stuff, it's kind of like kind of Half-Life.
Some half management Sim.
It's really good, it's kind of stressful at times, but I kind of love it when I first started off I was like no I'm gonna, be nice.
I'm gonna be nice to all my cult members.
You know I'm gonna be benevolent, and then they start requesting really weird things like one of them wanted to eat a bowl of feces, um and I.
Do that so I declined the question.
They lost faith in me and after a while and then they start dying and stuff like that and after a while, I was just like, ah they're, just numbers to me now, which I suppose kind of it's It's accurate for a cult you know, but it still makes me feel a bit bad, that's clearly what they're going for.
So it's uh very effective, it's very, very effective um.
This is this game is a good.
It's that coagulation that makes the experience so unique, if a little shallow. That said, the Switch version is so tainted by the oppressively bad technical performance that it tanks the entire experience. Don't play it here unless it's your only option or Massive Monster resurrects it with a patch.Is Cult of the Lamb better on Switch now? ›
Is the Nintendo Switch the best place to play Cult of The Lamb? Absolutely not, but if you turn off the screen shake, increase the font size and only play in handheld, then it's a serviceable port with a few concessions and the visuals look great on the OLED.Is the Cult of the Lamb DLC worth it? ›
Relics of the Old Faith will give Cult of the Lamb a new slate of tasks that may rival the Soulsborne series in terms of difficulty. Cult of the Lamb's upcoming DLC update will give the game a shot of adrenaline that should appeal to Soulslike fans.How many hours of gameplay is Cult of the Lamb? ›
Playing through all of the main content in the game takes around 14 hours. However, you will only beat it within that time if you're solely focused on completing the things required to reach the credits. This can be difficult as there are plenty of optional content that can distract you while playing.