Screenshot by Destructoid

Impressions: Relics of the Old Faith adds unholy pleasures to Cult of the Lamb

Join the Lamb today! Or else.

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Cult of the Lamb basically sold itself with art and concept, but the game mechanics delivered as well. It’s dark, adorable, and undeniably fun.

As much as I loved being a cult leader though, I plateaued before I could beat two of the Old Faith, located in Anchordeep and Silk Cradle. Once I had unlocked all of the buildings, I was milking coins from the housing, shrine, and even the graves. Money was meaningless, my flock self-sufficient, and so I moved on to another game. Thankfully, the latest major update, titled Relics of the Old Faith, has brought fresh air, breathing new life into one of my favorite games.

For a completely free update, there is a lot to enjoy here. The overview of the update spells out the truly generous amount of new content added, including bosses, follower forms, Relics, new structures, heavy attacks, a judgey jellyfish, and more. Post update, I’ve been playing for hours, finally beating Anchordeep and Silk Cradle as well as adding “The One Who Waits to my flock”. Of course, I have thoughts.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Time and Space Saving Structures

Seeing Devotion coming out of the Shrine again filled me with joy. It unlocks new buildings, and thankfully, the team at Massive Monster understood the assignment: save space. The cult is beautiful, but space is pretty limited. With a temple, beds, a kitchen, a growing farm, a shrine, a prison, graves, and more, some common space issues soon pop up.

Where do I put all of these dead people? I chose a combination of graves and Natural Burial, which turned dead followers into fertilizer. However, it was easy to run out of space placing graves because once someone was buried, you couldn’t actually get rid of it! The new update fixes this by allowing players to exhume bodies from the grave.

There’s also a Morgue, which lets you assign a follower to take care of those bodies that drop while you’re out exploring. I watched the little guy actually change his outfit to go pick up the body and drop it into a pit while it waits for me to do something with it. The Morgue just holds the bodies for you, but you can then move them into the brand-new Crypt, where they can be buried. With upgrades, you can eventually inter as many as 12 followers in it. I would say that’s a problem solved.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The bed situation is also under control. While I invested in quality housing for my cult, many of them still had to sleep in tents that would occasionally collapse. Plus, as my flock grew, so did this area of bedspace. Now there is a shared bed where three followers can comfortably sleep. Another space issue solved.

The new kitchen is more of a time saver than a space freer. Cooking for the flock was time-consuming but had to be done. Hungry followers aren’t big fans of following anyone anymore, you know? But with Relics of the Old Faith, you can build a full Kitchen, instead of just a Cook Stove, and then you can assign a follower to do the cooking. You still have to schedule meals though. I didn’t realize that until everyone got super hungry, but if you periodically queue meals, they are always fed.

Relics and Heavy Attack

Screenshot by Destructoid

The bird doling out Relics is the creepiest character yet, in a room already filled with meat and hanging corpses. It’s awesome. The new Relics are a great addition to the arsenal. They aren’t so overpowered that you need one to succeed, but it’s like adding a second, non-renewable Curse. Some Relics are labeled fragile, and can only be used once, while others offer recharge at varying speeds. Some of these unholy weapons do crazy things, like poison everyone on screen, or shrink you down to a tiny, hard-to-hit target.

The new heavy attack maneuver is great! I forget to use it sometimes, but it does come in clutch when I do remember. The really heavy hammers that you have to aim now suddenly swing around you, while your one dagger transforms into a line of falling blades. You can also upgrade the strength of your axe, hammer, sword, dagger, or gauntlet by giving sermons.

With plenty of new mini-bosses and additional enemies, combat is fun again.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Photo Mode

This is by far my favorite part of the update! I absolutely love this feature. While you’re doing your cult leader business, you can click to go to your menu where you would maybe Save or Quit. Now you have the Photo Mode option which allows you to take more in-depth pictures of your cult. It’s a feature that I didn’t know I wanted but now know that I absolutely needed.

One of the very best elements of Cult of the Lamb is the artstyle. It’s this crazy mix of cute and demonic, and some of the things the flock does are just so funny. But there’s only one viewpoint in the game and screenshots tend to look the same — not doing the art true justice. Being able to adjust height, depth, and focus length is such a game-changer.

In fact, I’m actively trying not to spam you all with brochure-level marketing material for my own cult.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Most of all, I like that the update was designed to pick up right where you left off. Yes, you can start over and still enjoy these benefits, but for all of us who just needed a little push to jump back in, this is perfect. There are four new fleeces to unlock and new ways to gain Holy Talisman pieces that don’t involve sacrificing people, and I was able to capture some fantastic moments. There’s still more for me to do! There are some minor bugs, but the team is already on top of fixing them according to Twitter.

Overall, Cult of the Lamb: Relics of the Old Faith is a big win, making a great title better still.

Relics of the Old Faith is available now as a free update for Cult of the Lamb.


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Author
Sam Arthurs
Sam joined Destructoid as a Freelance Writer in December 2022. She is a fan of narrative games and creepy Metroidvanias. When she isn't playing or writing about video games, she reads and writes horror stories.