The Church in the Darkness is an action stealth game that takes place in 1977. You infiltrate a religious cult to save your nephew, with guards around every corner. Personally, this game wasn’t my favorite genre, but there are some fantastic parts that make up for it.
The game sets the plot with a ton of dialogue and backstory, and then throws you right in the South American jungle. This top-down game has elements in it that all stealth games have, like hiding in places and searching for gear. You can lethally take down enemies, or you can play the nice guy and just knock them out. With this multitude of options it makes the game much more stressful in keeping your distance and having the right gear.
The Church in the Darkness plays extremely well on the Nintendo Switch. It plays nicely with the controls and graphics, both in docked mode and in hand-held. Something that all Switch games should be able to accomplish.
At the beginning of the game you’re given options on difficulty. This is a very nice touch to enhance the gameplay for those who found it easy, and lower it for those who found it difficult. These customizations are one of my favorite things to find in games like this.
The Church in the Darkness doesn’t have spectacular graphics. It’s top-down with in my mind, a basic theme for design. It’s easy to see enemies, buildings, and locating interactable objects. I find it very pleasing to the eye, and the color pallet fits the scenario in South America in a town of a religious cult.
Soundtrack and Voice Actors
The by far best feature of the game is the soundtrack and voice actors. When in Freedom Town, you hear over the loud speaker announcements, religious cult sermons, and even singing. The voice actor selection for the game was amazingly done. Ellen McLain, known for her role of GLaDOS in Portal is one of the cult leaders and plays a major role, alongside John Patrick Lowrie, known for his role as sniper from Team Fortress 2.
These key voice actors were accompanied by a plethora of characters with their own backstories and reasons for joining Freedom Town.
Ellen McLain and John Patrick Lowrie sing “Song of Forgiveness” from Church in the Darkness
Story trailer behind Church in the Darkness
As is with all stealth games, The Church in the Darkness is all about how you the player decide how to play the game. The controls are very straight forward, and the game gives you guidance on how to deal with combatant enemies. The only difficulty I found with the game when playing was locations of where to go. Having the top-down view can be very disorienting. There is a map to utilize when looking for specific cult members
As for gameplay, a great aspect to keep in mind is that your decisions matter. Enemies you kill or save will give you alternate endings. This increases the replayability of The Church in the Darkness and adds variety to the way you can play the game.
While The Church in the Darkness was certainly not my favorite genre of game, I did enjoy playing and learning about the story. There are some very great mechanics of the game, and the soundtrack with voice actors just increases the thematic nature of The Church in the Darkness.
The Church in the Darkness is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch for $19.99.