The Procession to Calvary – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: Joe Richardson
Publisher: Joe Richardson
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PC

The Procession to Calvary – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: The game displays art in a charming, Interactive, Monty Python nostalgic fashion.
Bad: The minor typos with text and the areas that are not obvious to enter because the artwork of the game is so submersive
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

You read the title correctly and no it’s not referring to the famous oil-on-panel by the Dutch Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel. This review refers to the video game developed by Joe Richardson. The game was released on the 9th of April 2020 on Steam. It is a traditional point and click interface with a Renaissance artwork theme, referring to the painting, The Procession to Calvary, hence the name. This game is filled with classical music that suits the artwork with quirky humor to keep you well entertained. If you are familiar with Joe Richardson’s previous titles, this game is set in the same world as Four Last Things.

Story

The game begins immediately after the Holy War, as in the very second it ends. The protagonist is the mirror image taken from the painting “Bellona” painted by Rembrandt in 1633. It is very clear and obvious that the protagonist still has a desire to spill the blood of her enemies. Unfavorably for her, a new monarch has risen to power, one that has decided to rule with peace and wishes for no more bloodshed. The protagonist then speaks to the new monarch and is able to find one last hope to fulfill her death-obsessed desire. She guided the conversation with the new monarch in such a way that he agreed to one condition in which he would allow bloodshed. The only blood that may be drawn on the era of this new ruling, is the blood of the previous ruler who escaped at the end of the war – the blood of the tyrant who calls himself “Heavenly Peter”. This then sets the protagonist on her way to have her last kill.

The story is truly enjoyable and as a game with an emphasis on visuals, it allows one to get lost in it easily. As the game progresses with humorous surprises along the way, each stage or point of traversing in the game becomes a page-turner.

Graphics

The art style of the game is derived from Renaissance artwork. The game is visually a collection of masterpieces, with famous artwork referenced throughout. The visuals blend and move with ease. It leaves you with the whimsical imagination of what happened before and after the point that these famous paintings became a still image. The artwork becomes very playful by adding a motion effect to the still images, setting the scene up for humorous situations usually involving some dark humor that pokes fun at history and religion. The graphics in this video game are a good example of how art from history can be used to awake the love of arts in gamers. The gamers could be people who were not interested in art in such depth but are now possibly researching the history represented in the game because of how humorously the game portrays events of history contained in these paintings. Many of the paintings in the game are painted by artists such as Rembrandt, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and many more, all brought together in this game. If you were to be caught up in art history this game would be even more enjoyable to you. The characters do not speak, however, there is text on the screen describing the speech of the characters. There are a few typos within the speech component of the game which are easily forgiven as everything else makes up for it.

Sound

The soundtrack to the game is brilliant, complementing all the art styles appropriately with classical music throughout the game, but with a lightened, humorous twist which makes it enjoyable for a modern audience. Composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, and George Frideric Handel are a number of musicians to mention whose music has been attributed to the soundtrack of the game. The music steers the tempo of each scene and keeps the game cheerful. When the visuals are tied in with the storytelling and the music, there is a sense of nostalgia and humor that reminds one of some scenes of Monty Python. This is a game based in a Shakespearean time of how people carried themselves with their day-to-day lives.

There are no voice-overs for characters when speaking. There is the sound of actions in the game. There are also events in place throughout the game to keep the player captivated, which ensure it is not a dull point and click game. When the protagonist draws her sword, you can hear it being unsheathed. This is an example of how in the game, all actions are accompanied by sound, further making you feel immersed in the game and story. There are some noteworthy scenes, such as when passing by a number of men who have been crucified and your ears are filled with their screams of pain while a pied piper follows you playing a cheerful tune to make it bearable. This shows how the game combines beautiful visuals from history with sound effects to add dark humor and a sense of the mood of the scene.

Gameplay

As the protagonist travels on her journey to succeed in her task to kill the only person she has been granted permission to kill – Heavenly Peter – she meets some interesting characters along the way including Jesus himself. The controls to allow her to take on the journey are quite simple. As a point and click game, you click with the mouse where you want the protagonist to go and double click to make her run to her destination. There are three options available with the items that are interactive in the game: you can speak, touch, and look at the item. If the sword is unsheathed instead of the option of touch, you would stab. When the sword has been sheathed the option to slap people can be used on nearly everyone. Some non-playable characters even turn the cheek so you can slap them on the other side. 

The monarch may have granted that only death can be brought to one person, namely Heavenly Peter. However, you do have the option to kill other people. If you choose to take this action, the game prompts you to save as this action can change certain events in the game. Another aspect of gameplay is your inventory, which appears when the mouse hovers around the top of the screen. This is where items collected on the journey are stored, like a severed head which can be used to help you when you have a problem later in the game. As you travel in the game to kill Heavenly Peter, certain obstacles are thrown at you. This is where you have to figure out what to do for who, in order to get what you need to move to the next stage of the game. One of the most frustrating events is entering a talent show that you have to participate in, so that you may ultimately be granted access to an area closer to Heavenly Peter. In this game, you are then tasked with completing many sub-challenges in order to acquire the items needed to get into the talent show and do well there.

Conclusion

The Procession to Calvary is a great game and extremely entertaining to play. It takes you away from the seriousness of AAA titles, allows you to be immersed in classical music and revered artwork by artists whose names you definitely have heard of but never took the time to know in-depth, possibly. This game is a gateway into the world of arts and classical music, with its twist of dark humor and its eccentric storyline. The only faults in the game were the minor typos and the areas that are not obvious to enter because the artwork of the game is so submersive you may assume you cannot access that area. For example, sometimes there will be obstacles such as a non-playable character standing in the doorway of the area you are meant to progress to, so you do not realize that is where you need to enter. All of this shows how good the game is visually, allowing you to feel fully present in the game. In other sections, such as the soundtrack and the aspects of dark satirical humor that carries the story, the game shows how it brings together all these elements to create a very compelling storyline, so you are the furthest feeling from disappointment. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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The Procession to Calvary - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ziggy Valentine


I'm a Gaming Content Creator on YouTube and Twitch known as 'raindanceziggy'. Video games are one of the greatest ways in which to tell a story and I am a huge fan of story-driven gaming titles. My dream is to become a professional video editor, writer and use those tools to contribute to the gaming community and leave my mark or at least a high score!

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