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Saturday, April 16, 2022

[Review] Obliterate Cosmic Horrors in the Stylish Shooter ‘Forgive Me Father’

Having lived through the wave of games that inspired it, the first-person shooter revival represents an exciting time. It’s like having my youth remixed in new and exciting ways. The bare bones of what made shooters great in the 90s and early 2000s with some modern flair? Sign me up again and again.

One of the latest variations on a theme is Byte Barrel’s Forgive Me Father, a comic book-styled shooter that’s heavy on Lovecraft, religion, and hyperviolence. It places the player in the shoes of the only remaining sane person in a world besieged by horrors. To face the maddening monsters that populate the world you’re going to need guns, lots of guns…and maybe the odd crucifix.

What immediately strikes you about Forgive Me Father is its visual style. A 3D world with 2D characters makes for a distinct look even before you factor in the graphic novel art style. It’s key to the look of many early first-person shooters after all. Yet it’s exactly because of that art style that it really catches the eye. The character animation takes on a stop-motion staccato feel, like a really violent Laika Studios film, which I’m sure you’ll agree, sounds like a really good thing.

forgive me father review 01

Style is one thing, but everyone knows the key to building a successful shooter is down to how good your shotgun is, and Forgive Me Father has a pretty freaking meaty shotgun, and the rest of the weapon set is good too. They’re upgradable, adding new tricks as they become more powerful, and most importantly, they feel weighty and impactful in use. But that shotgun? There’s something deeply satisfying about the shower of gore that explodes from 2D monstrosities when you give ‘em both barrels.

As for the Lovecraft/cosmic horror influence, well it relies upon the more obvious aspect of that by playing with madness and its effect on the player, but here, it’s as much a boon as it is an albatross. As you descend into greater mind-wrenching terrors, both the music and visuals alter accordingly, but so too does the gameplay, with ability boosts handed out at random as madness escalates. It’s Forgive Me Father’s equivalent of being ‘In The Zone’ and it makes the hectic action a pulsating (sometimes literally) gore-soaked thrill ride.

What accentuates this further is the hand-drawn monster design, and the way Forgive Me Father steadily puts weirder and gnarlier creatures in your path, often leading to some epic stage-ending battle against something extra-beastly. Forgive Me Father really is a grisly feast for the eyes.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite the same treat for the ears. Music and gunplay are good, but the voice work is somewhat less appealing. Not terrible mind, but very much below the level of everything else in Forgive Me Father. I can see how it might irk some folk a little too much, but I was able to live with it given what else the game offers overall.

forgive me father review 02

However, it’s not the only stumbling block I came across in my time with Forgive Me Father. It’s a tad top-heavy on its showmanship, leaving the latter part of the game in a slightly less impressive state. The level design gets more erratic and piecemeal, throwing up an imbalance in terms of ammo, difficulty spikes, and pointless wandering. It’s disappointing more than it is devastating. It’s Byte Barrel’s own high bar set in those opening hours that makes it feel like a more significant drop in quality than it actually is. With the game’s history as an Early Access title, it has every chance of rectifying these imbalances with future updates, and all of it will no doubt serve the developer well in any future projects.

What Byte Barrels has launched is more than good enough for now. Its pulpy comic book take on cosmic horror and retro shooters is a winning combination. Yes, it’s nowhere near the first game to utilize Lovecraft or a retro aesthetic, but crucially, it does so on its own terms.#

Forgive Me Father review code provided by the publisher.

Forgive Me Father is out now on Steam.

The post [Review] Obliterate Cosmic Horrors in the Stylish Shooter ‘Forgive Me Father’ appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/video-games/3711171/review-obliterate-cosmic-horrors-in-the-stylish-shooter-forgive-me-father/

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