Xbox One Review: The Church in the Darkness

Can you rescue your nephew from a cult?

Your nephew has joined a religious cult and moved with them to the South American jungle to found Freedom Town. It’s up to you to sneak into the commune, find out what’s really going on, and decide if you need to get your nephew out. The scenario changes each time you play, and every time you must determine just how dangerous the leaders Rebecca and Isaac are.

The Church in the Darkness is a top-down stealth game in which you try and infiltrate a cult commune to rescue your nephew who recently joined. The game gives you the option to subdue or kill cult members and gives you other choices that impact the overall story, leading to multiple endings and so on. As a concept it works, but the gameplay itself is divisive as it lacks the polish and detail that you’d expect from a game that’s main component is stealth.

It’s actually quite clunky, the controls are imprecise and there are a number of bugs that hold it back. It’s a missed opportunity from Paranoid Productions since like I said, the concept is solid and with a bit more polish and care to detail, this would have been a sleeper hit.

Visually, the game’s art style is simplistic but it works well. The soundtrack is a big plus with a moody atmosphere as you go through the open world of the commune gathering evidence and avoiding detection.

The Verdict

The Church in the Darkness is a nice idea but it’s held back by buggy gameplay and imprecise controls, resulting in a frustrating experience all round. Maybe with a few patches to improve these issues and also to add more detail to the overall open-world itself, TCITD would be worth recommending. As it stands however, it doesn’t have that level of polish that you’d expect.

Score: 6.0