The Padre is a retro stylised 3D horror adventure game tapping deep into the roots of the classic horror games like the 90’s Resident Evil. It’s all about a priest who likes to slay demons and preach the word of God. It was developed by Shotgun With Glitter and produced by Feardemic.
The plot is pretty simple to understand, you step into the shoes of the titular Padre, who’s gone in the quest of the missing cardinal. His journey takes him to a haunted mansion where the cardinal was last seen. This mansion ends up being filled with enemies to defeat, puzzles to solve and tasks to complete in order to rescue him. Most of the puzzles you need to complete can be seen as fairly straight forward to solve for the more experienced gamer, but for the less experienced player, they can be seen as difficult and extremely frustrating due to the lack of explanation.
The difficulty levels increase appropriately throughout the game, the challenge often lies in working out where there is a puzzle to solve and where the game is just greatly detailed. I myself spent around half an hour maybe more trying to work out if a suit of armour was a puzzle to solve or not. Its head would move and follow me around as I walked by but when I turned back to look at it, it would immediately turn away a bit like BOO in the Super Mario games. I did eventually figure out it was an addition to enhance the creepiness of the game.
As you explore the game, you gather a horde of items which include weapons, torches and other seemingly random objects that reveal themselves as puzzle pieces as time goes on… if your lucky that is. Some of the items you gather on your journey and even some of the puzzles you solve can actually kill you instantly which is both frustrating and inconvenient when you are trying so hard not to die, as although most of your progress is saved by checkpoints each time you die a vial will fill a little with angel tears. Once this vial fills completely all your saved progress is lost and you have to start the game back at the very beginning. There are ways throughout the game to empty the vial these include praying to God at crosses or playing tunes on a piano but they can only be used once so trying to be extremely cautious not to die is all good and well but gets extremely frustrating when you are killed by solving a puzzle or picking an item up.
One of the main points in the trailer of the game is the fact that you can go over to the ‘dark side’ and become a bit demonic yourself. This does add additional help with fighting monsters as your durability and damage increases, but it does wear off after some time at which point you have an annoying side effect. Padre will hear voices and stop in his tracks no matter what you are doing at the time whether it is just walking through corridors or a monster is chasing you. This then allows the monsters to attack you and cause damage while you are somewhat incapacitated for a short time.
The death mechanics themselves are interesting, upon dying you are transported into a room with four doors, where you are a ghost and have the ability to select one of the doors to return to a saved checkpoint. Each door leads to a different checkpoint.
One thing a good survival horror manages to do is to grip players and keep them hooked, keep them searching until the puzzle is complete or the monster is slain. It is often found to encourage replaying the game, especially for speed runners who love horror games. I found that this game does have that appeal after getting to grips with the initial bugs and completing the game, I would happily go back to play it from the beginning again in the near future.
The visuals of the game have a sort of Minecraft feel to them which fits in well with the static camera angles born from the likes of Resident Evil. Though I am sure some will find this a little jarring considering its survival horror theme. Jarring the setting even further are the easter eggs they have thrown in, for example, ‘Gordon’ the trusty crowbar, that’s a clear reference to half-life and a dark souls board game which when you use in menu kills you and flashes in big red letters ‘YOU DIED’ on the screen.
My personal opinion on the game is that I found it to be quite frustrating, there seemed to be a few bugs throughout the game which would stop you from progressing any further without reloading the game and losing any progress made in that room i.e. Padre getting stuck on an item of furniture and not being able to move without exiting and reloading. I do feel there could have maybe been more help with solving the puzzles as I myself did struggle with quite a few of the puzzles during the game.
The Padre is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Macintosh operating systems
This Review is based on the PC version which can be purchased on steam here – https://store.steampowered.com/app/747650/The_Padre/
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Unravel the mystery of a missing cardinal by solving the riddle of a demonic power you did not expect to come upon. Face your inner demons and fight the power of evil while it seduces your soul. Play as the wittiest, pop-culture referencing priest in video game history and face an ultimate game over, if you make the angels cry you a river.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 15.49