If there’s one style that actually feels at dwelling within the interactive world of videogames, its horror. Studying a spooky story from Edgar Allen Poe or sitting down to look at one thing from the ingenious thoughts of Jordan Peele would possibly get your senses on edge, however feeling intrinsically a part of that terror is one thing else fully. It is a distinctive ingredient that is made the likes of Resident Evil and Amnesia as necessary to the style as any TV present or movie, however identical to these different mediums, it could actually typically take itself slightly too critically.
The Padre may be very a lot a survival horror recreation, full with a creepy ambiance, a fair creepier mansion and sure, you guessed it, the odd zombie creeping about. However whereas the likes of Layers of Concern: Legacy will purpose to make you query your individual private sanity, indie studio Shotgun with Glitters desires to unsettle you and make you crack a smile. You may clear up environmental puzzles, struggle a roster of mean-spirited monsters and make time to crack a gruff one-liner or two. It is all in a day’s work for this digital vicar.
The titular character is a person of the material who splits his time between clerical duties and demon searching – you understand, as you do. Nevertheless, when an necessary cardinal goes lacking, our sardonic holy man finds himself heading dwelling to face off in opposition to a strong evil with out the consolation of his typical weapons. Will he clear up the thriller and save the cardinal? Or is our hero destined for an eternity of torment by the hands of some dodgy demons?
At first look, the voxel-based graphics – which appear to be one thing constructed fully out of Minecraft blocks – appear immediately at odds with the succinctly grownup nature of the sport’s setting and gameplay, however the distinction actually works in The Padre’s favour. With some clean animations and a suitably gloomy lighting mannequin, the distinction makes the eeriness of its ambiance juxtapose even additional. Nevertheless, that design selection can typically make finding sure gadgets or switches slightly trickier than we would like – particularly when looking out darker areas – so some puzzles can often turn out to be irritating.
Whilst you management The Padre with the left analog stick, a lot of your interactions with the world are contextual. Because of this, the sport performs extra like a point-and-click journey the place you will want to examine and mix gadgets to create weapons and instruments to unravel puzzles. Every new location sits on-screen like a grisly diorama, with the digicam panning out and in relying on the place you roam. Contemplating a lot of The Padre’s rooms and chambers are sometimes bathed in darkness (even along with your trusty oil lamp at hand), it’s miles too straightforward to lose your bearings. It is a problem that actually rears its ugly head once you’re attempting to evade a zombie or significantly persistent demon.
The wading-through-treacle pace you progress at and aforementioned clunky fastened digicam are clearly there by design. This can be a recreation that wears its love for Resident Evil and different much less timeless horror classics resembling Alone within the Darkish upon its bloody sleeves, however at the same time as a tribute, you’re quickly reminded that the world has moved on from tank controls for a purpose. Nevertheless, regardless of these points, The Padre nonetheless has a improbable sense of character.
The voice appearing strays slightly too near the drawl of Mark Hamill’s Joker at occasions, however the result’s a extra tongue-in-cheek Max Payne the place our blocky hero at all times has a fast quip to unleash. You may stroll by way of libraries and must dodge flying books like one thing out of Ghostbusters, or sneak round a zombie nanny sat studying a bedtime story. Cute little touches resembling fits of armour that flip to look at you go by, solely to snap again into place each time you look again at them, present simply how far this little indie has come since its burgeoning years in Early Entry on Steam.
Fight is usually a little clunky, particularly once you’re combating extra highly effective enemies and also you’re usually placing at hitboxes that have a tendency to look and disappear at their very own leisure. You’re additionally usually scrabbling for sufficient firepower to tackle enemies, and when paired along with your gradual motion, enemy encounters quickly turn out to be a chore. Which is a disgrace, as a result of there are some actually attention-grabbing enemy designs to battle/evade in voxel type.
Whereas The Padre is a removed from good indie providing, its combination of satisfyingly difficult puzzles, a darkish sense of humour and a perennial love for traditional survival horror makes for an intriguing addition to the style. The problems with fight and the typically infuriating nature of its puzzles can grate, however with slightly additional polish The Padre has the potential to be an actual hidden gem on Nintendo Change.