Lovecraftian horror games have often traded dynamic gameplay for creepy storytelling. However, Forgive Me Father aims to combine the two.
Few classics have had as much success in the horror game genre as the works of HP Lovecraft. Despite the author’s death over 80 years ago, his signature horror stylings continued to be a popular choice for setting in many cerebral horror games over the years. While Lovecraft’s themes continue to inspire developers, the game types based on his work were often all too similar. Many Lovecraftian games tend to have more subdued gaming experiences and focus on adventure game mechanics rather than dynamic action, which often parallels the more subdued horror of Lovecraft’s works.
Games like Call of Cthulu focus on storytelling via gameplay, preferring a slow build to weave its tales of madness and unspeakable terror. When Lovecraftian themes show up in action games like Blood transferred, they often avoid narration for a more aesthetic approach and focus on action. However, a new game intends to combine the storytelling of these slower narrative adventures with dynamic action. This game, Forgive Me Father, gives a new twist to the popular Lovecraftian genre of horror games by turning it into a Retro first person shooter with throwback which also corresponds to the mushy feel of Lovecraft’s best works.
Forgive Me Father transports players to the familiar New England Lovecraft setting, which recently experienced an apocalyptic disaster. The players take on the role of a Catholic priest who somehow survived the mysterious catastrophe and is one of the few people forced to face this post-apocalypse with intact senses. The only way to stay alive is to take up arms against the monsters who have emerged in the wake and find out, desperate, what happened to the world.
One of the main ways that the game instantly sets the game apart from other Lovecraft games and retro shooter games is in comic book style. This highly stylized and colorful setting not only conjures up the history of classic horror comics like Tales From the Crypt and Creepy, but also helps serve the Lovecraftian creepiness in which it is set. The horror works mainly because of the art style that helps deliver the otherworldly creatures in a surreal way.
Forgive Me Father manages to capture the sense of fear and terror that lurks around the corner and the otherworldly threats that exist in the shadows by effectively using both his art style and combat mechanics. Players can act against these threats and defend yourself against the cosmic horror, and with its excellent atmosphere, Forgive Me Father hits that note. For example, in between blasting hideous monstrosities, players can find lore that hint at what happened but just keep things obscure enough that players can delve further into the mystery.
Like many other new retro shooters recently, the game features 3D levels designed with 2D sprites of tentacle beasts and crazy mutant cultists. Players roam the environment using a combination of powerful faith-based powers and conventional weapons, combined with otherworldly firearms powered by an unknown source. Players can collect a double-barreled shotgun, double revolver, and even sacred weapons like the priest’s writing and the crucifix to fight the numerous enemies.
In addition, the game with the madness display adopts a popular mechanic from other Lovecraftian games and develops them further to match the shooter gameplay. As the players experience more horrors and destroy them, the player’s psyche begins to crack and a meter fills up over time. This indicator can be used as currency to give the player new skills, such as a crippling attack or a healing skill. However, as a player increases in madness, the screen begins to shift and blur and players must now try to survive using visual filters over the action. This risk / reward is a brilliant way to combine the gameplay with the Lovecraftian themes while empowering the players at the same time.
Forgive Me Father takes Lovecraft’s ambiguous horrors and places them in a fast-paced shooter atmosphere, and it works great. The combination of the insane mechanics coupled with the throwback shooter action provides a new way to immerse yourself in the works of the famous author for anyone interested in Lovecraft-style games but not the adventure game mechanics that so often accompany them. This clever shooter is now available in Early Access on Steam and offers Lovecraft fans a great opportunity to experience the popular horror genre in a new light and give players the opportunity to defend themselves against a world of madness.
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About the author
(176 published articles)
Lucas has played video games all his life. He’s a lifelong writer and lover of all things nerds. When he’s not in front of a screen playing games, you can find him in front of another screen to watch movies. Originally from Cincinnati, he made his way to England using the rain as an excuse to stay inside. For hot takes and video game love, you can follow him on Twitter @LucasBlaine and let him know what you think about your favorite games.