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Review: The Padre (Nintendo Switch)By Ofisil At 18.04.2019 20:28

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Evident from the title, The Padre revolves around a clergyman; a clergyman who begins his latest adventure right after learning about a missing cardinal. While starting doing his holy detective work, he finds himself inside a creepy, dimly lit mansion. It won't be long before he realises that there are a few resident evils *wink-wink* in here, which are bend or making his life a tad more challenging. Keep in mind that the dark corridors of this place are basically made from Minecraftium, but don't let the voxel visuals fool you. Shotgun With Glitters has actually managed to create quite the creepy world, courtesy of some great lighting, some neat piano-fuelled tunes, and, of course, that bizarre "magic" that minimalistic art styles seem to possess.

Sadly, while this really has some great atmosphere, it was all fed to the sharks. The Padre isn't a horror game, but a satire of it - or, if you want to be polite, a love letter to the genre's forefathers, but one that happens to have a pop referencing priest for a protagonist. Unfortunately, horror is somewhat hard to mix with comedy, especially comedy of the 'meta' variety, as not everyone will be able to appreciate some of the jokes. One example is how the crowbar that acts as the main melee weapon is called 'Gordon,' something that requires knowing a few things about Half-Life.

In other words, since the "horror" aspect will soon dissipate after a handful of geeky nudge-nudges (with only a few of them being really funny), all the player is left with is a lightly spooky action-adventure, with puzzles to solve, and enemies to fight with, or run from - and starting with the latter... it sucks! Apart from combat being boring, it's also annoying, as you can't lock on targets, and enemy hitboxes tend to be quite unreliable. Moreover, due to the design of each of the rooms, running away can occasionally be extremely frustrating, as you'll get stuck in... well, something!

When it comes to the whole survival horror aspect, the only interesting part of The Padre is how it deals with failure. When you die you get the chance to start all over from the most recent auto-save slot, but do that a few more times than needed, and it's permanent bye-bye for our raspy-voiced vicar. Sure, such, old-school-flavoured difficulty is not an issue per se, but the execution (pardon the pun) leaves something to be desired, as it's more about trial and error, rather than skill - oh, and be careful not to open the 'Darkest Souls' board game, because everybody knows what will happen if you do so, right?!

Now, maybe the developer wanted to convey the dread of early horror titles. A worthy effort, but it has been done so in a wrong way, feeling more like a resurgence of genre problems that had ceased to exist. Concerning the Switch version, movement and interaction isn't done with keyboard-and-mouse, which is a good thing when it comes to movement, but somewhat annoying when it comes to the interaction bit, as the 'use' button constantly changes when being close to many hotspots - a clunky, if necessary, alternative to the much easier point-and-click control scheme.

In the end, all that's really left here is the puzzle solving... and it's not that great either. In terms of concept these are of the usual kind: puzzles that require the use of your inventory items; puzzles that are like mini-games; and, finally, a few puzzles that need some out-of-the-box thinking. Some are plain and simple, some are tough and cryptic, but, as a whole, they are just serviceable. At least the boredom won't last more than a few hours...

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Final Score
[i]The Padre[/i] is a horror-themed adventure that's not frightening, is filled with pop culture jokes that aren't that humorous, has enemies that are annoying to fight with, and, finally, offers an assortment of puzzles that are a mixed bag. It looks good, and, generally, means well... but you should better play [i]Silent Hill[/i] instead.



User Comments
#1 RudyC3 - on 20.04.2019 at 17:44

Mmmh, quite frankly I could take inspiration from this for some of my Minecraft designs. Other than that yeah, doesn't sound very compelling indeed.

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