Discovering the secrets of the Freedom Town cult, who has power and influence where, as well as the inner workings of the leadership are the best parts of The Church In The Darkness. That combines with excellent stealth gameplay, a dynamic and engaging scenario-based narrative, and some excellent characters with great voice acting to create a memorable and unique experience. An experience that is only held back by a few technical issues and some missing quality of life features.
The randomized nature of the game does allow for new-ish experiences each time you play, though I wish the game took it further, such as making Freedom Town modular so that its camps, playground, open-air theater, and places of worship could be moved around and really shake things up. As it stands, The Church in the Darkness is a decent exploration of cults from the perspective of those participating in it.
Ultimately, The Church in the Darkness rewards players with a fascinating and original cult setting, but the provided method for navigating and interacting with that setting is entirely uninteresting. For some, it may be worth trudging through an uninviting cult compound to understand their experiences and culture; for me, I wish I’d stayed far away.
At its soul, The Church in the Darkness begins with a fascinating concept: infiltrating a cult. The idea of the cult having a different personality through each playthrough is also a unique one. However, the big ideas don't live up to the hype with a game that's so small and gives the player very little to do.
The Church in the Darkness has some good ideas, but they’re not properly realised. Gameplay never ventures out of its basic boundaries, while the narrative doesn’t offer up enough variety or compelling subplots to engage with. The Church in the Darkness is competent for a couple of playthroughs, but it’s an experience that you’ll quickly forget about.
There are some intriguing ideas at play here. Decent stealth mechanics and a captivating cultist backdrop will reel you in though there just isn’t enough substance to make The Church in the Darkness a lasting, worthwhile experience.
SummaryAn action/infiltration game in which the story changes every time you play. In the 1970s, extremist religious sect the Collective Justice Mission moves to South America to isolate themselves. You infiltrate the compound to check on a relative but soon learn that things may not be what they seem.