The Padre – Review
Follow Genre: Horror Survival Adventure
Developer: Shotgun with Glitters
Publisher: Feardemic
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, Switch
Tested on: Switch

The Padre – Review

Site Score
5.5
Good: An original take on a horror survival game with classic elements incorporated
Bad: Poorly polished gameplay with dissapointing mechanics
User Score
4.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Confess my son. What is troubling you. What? The supernatural is everywhere? We have to make sure they are gone? Well, what are you waiting for! Grab the shotgun, grab the bible! Let’s go and hunt us some creatures of the night and possibly get involved in some complicated mystery that you will have to help me with to figure out. Possibly. Ok, most likely. 

Story

In The Padre, you play as the title-bearer ”The Padre”. This because you are connected to a church, which doesn’t have to be the traditional church per se, since it seems rather normal for the people of this church to be trained in combat and have knowledge of the supernatural. You get an assignment while in your room, and it seems to be concerning a missing member of the church called Benedict(us). Not being very fond of this person because of your shared past, you go anyway in the name of the church. The game has some cutscenes to clarify this, and sometimes freezes your options to do anything to quickly explain what’s going on when arrived at a new location. Nothing is safe for our protagonist though, and it quickly seems that there’s a lot more going on than bargained for in the house where Benedict should be…

Graphics

The graphics work and also don’t work well. On one side there’s this neat little experiment to use voxel graphics, which is 3D pixelated art basically. This gives the entire game a bit of a mood like you are playing Minecraft. Now, this could work perfectly well for The Padre, and with the shading and lighting in the corridors of the game, it mostly works. Weirder styles have managed to make horror still horror. Yet The Padre also seems to copy the clunky way that creatures in Minecraft move and slash things. While this is working in Minecraft, this does not work well in a horror-survival game unless you want to give it a funny twist. Something The Padre doesn’t seem to want when looking at how it expresses itself with the rest.

Sound

The background music is nothing to complain about! It’s a mix of cinematic and atmospheric and it enhances what The Padre wants to be. The sound effects are a combination between the childish voxel side and something more serious. The game also does something annoying on the Switch where it randomly starts vibrating when something like a continuously knocking on a door or something touching you is near. It also vibrates for no apparent reason though, making it confusing and somewhat annoying. There’s also a voice actor, who isn’t very good and can be a bit rough to get past at the start, but, fair is fair: Once you get used to the voice, it’s starting to fit the character and quickly won’t become as much of a bother anymore.

Gameplay

The Padre seems to rely on games such as the original first Resident Evil with its survival horror concept. A few things are the same. The camera that is somewhere in the room in a fixed position (and which you often can switch between two different positions), the element of collecting things, solving puzzles, and trying to survive enemies attacking you. In theory, it all sounds quite good. And partially, it works. The camera and the walking around is a good base. There’s a decent amount to pick up and read/discover, and the seemingly haunted house you find yourself in is divided in some classic rooms such as a bedroom, a balcony, a library etc. Nothing wrong with that.

What’s annoying, however, is that the game is bad at communicating in hinting at possibilities, as well as in gameplay elements. Puzzles are weird and unclear and actually lack a real puzzle element. Most of it is just picking up an object and using it somewhere else. It’s just messy. The game keeps contradicting itself in multiple ways as well. As an example, there’s this original premise of a bottle filling up with angel tears each time you die, causing you to play a bit more careful cause the game threatens to be fully reset, making you lose all your progress. This would suck in the first place because there’s a lot of boring stuff to go through as well in terms of gameplay. Yet even though this idea itself at least is original, later you find ways to empty the bottle again making the concept null.

The combat has the same type of issues. You can use a crowbar to smack zombies, and at some point guns as well. But with the crowbar, you can charge your hit which releases automatically at the end of your charge. Yet in the end, it’s more button mashing than anything else. A zombie takes about four hits before he dies, and you yourself don’t have any life indication. If you smash him fast enough though, he doesn’t get a window to attack you back. So what is the charge meter for? All these things just destroy the little tension the game builds up. Sadly there is more like this, like door openings having a specific way of looking at the door before you can click to enter. Eventually, you walk around too slow, very clumsy, and more frustrated than afraid.

Conclusion

The Padre is a game that seems to want to be taken seriously, yet it only does so by yelling ”look at me!” and doesn’t deliver on the gameplay elements. The ”Minecraftian” graphics don’t really help it as well, though it’s a nice experiment that could have worked out if only the gameplay had been worked out more properly with more attention to what the player experiences or has to experience as an ultimate goal. The minimal gameplay that is present, barely sells that it wants to be a horror survival experience at all and frankly is a bit boring.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Padre - Review, 4.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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