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I got a chance to play and review The Church in the Darkness that is quite different game than usual. The main theme is about a cult in the end of the 70’s in the middle of the jungle in South-America. I saw some trailers and gameplay videos and it seemed interesting enough to try. Containing sneaking, stealthing, making choices, everything affecting directly to the story.
Isaac and Rebecca Walker runs a cult that takes in people from North-America. Its the end of 1970’s and they run away from US goverment and from capitalism to create some kind of perfect world of socialism.
I played as man named Vic who goes to seek his nephew Alex. The story is told by the PA system that Rebecca and Isaac uses to play some horrible hillybilly music or preaching their people about how good their cult is. My actions had direct consequences and they happend pretty fast. The story changed the way I played the game and my first complete playthrough ended up in a mass suicide; everyone killed themselves under the order of Isaac.
Gameplay & Controls
The Church in the Darkness is top-down gameplay that is pretty simple with everything. Depending how I wanted to play the game I could choose some items with me in the beginning and also around the camp I could find lots of loot and new items to use. The enemies has their certain area and distance where they can see, but with higher difficulties they come much more aware. I sneaked around the camp and ran like a hell and turned off the alarms every now and then. I also got caught and put in a cage, but after third time they killed me instead. I found the gameplay and controls being easy, nice and fun, but the game seemed difficult even in ‘normal’ mode.
As this is top-down game the graphics aren’t that detailed or fined, they look decent and it works with this type of game. There isn’t much I would’ve changed with the looks of the game, but I would polish all the texts, prompts and subtitles to look more nice, than just so rough around the edges.
This game is voice acted, except the main character, enemies and non-violent people. When reading letters the voice was the writer’s, but the ones who were all the time aloud were Isaac and Rebecca through the PA system. Giving their people advices, telling people to attack the intruder (me) and basically the story of the game was told through them, which was very nicely done.
I think this is kinda hard game overall and not anyone’s cup of tea. It takes lots of running from place to place, sneaking and finding the right person and even though I tried to avoid bloodshed, it became almost inevitable sometimes. The area isn’t humongous, but its kinda full of the enemies with guns. I sometimes lured them away from the post, but I really had to be aware of the surroundings and other pacing enemies. I could save the game anytime I wanted, but it can be loaded only once, so another save immediately is good to do.
The Church in the Darkness was something different for a while, even though it’s not that long game, but it has many different outcomes that I believe some players want to see. The option of choosing the way to play is real and it has real effects to the story. Still, I’m going to say the game feels little bit unpolished with the looks and mechanics, because sometimes the shooting enemies got awkward. Someone who likes these kinds of games surely like The Church in the Darkness as well.
Review copy provided by the publisher
RELEASE DATE: Aug 2, 2019
GENRE: Action / Adventure / Strategy
DEVELOPER: Paranoid Productions
PUBLISHER: Fellow Traveller
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4
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