The Padre is a point and click style adventure where a priest sets out on a supernatural adventure to find missing members of his church congregation. He’s also a slayer of demons and all things unholy, sounds like a pretty great story set up, right?

The Padre was designed as a retro-styled love letter to old school horror games. That is apparent both in the feel of the game and the locked camera angles it has, but is The Padre a true homage to those classics or is it better described as a fan letter with little to bring to the genre?

The Beginning Of The Sermon

The Padre started off interesting enough to keep me wanting to play. The atmosphere was great. The main character pulls up outside of a creepy, eerie mansion reminiscent of Resident Evil. The first room in that place and the area surrounding that were arguably the enjoyable part of my time with The Padre.

There was a small puzzle where players needed to move a box that shook and growled when you interacted with it, a zombie woman who didn’t attack for some reason but was part of a puzzle. There was even a nod to the Half-Life series and with it an introduction to the game’s combat system.

However, combat is a mess. With the exception of opening the inventory, everything is done via the mouse, including movement and combat. Which, of course, means the two trip over each other like a blind wombat trying to climb a hill.

Weapons are not automatically equipped so in the haste filled precious seconds before (or sometimes after) combat starts players have to re-equip a weapon. It would be a nice change going forward to have the weapon either always equipped or auto-equip when near an enemy. I mean even the games The Padre pays homage to have that. It seemed rather asinine and mostly frustrating to have to equip it every single time, especially when all the player has at the beginning is melee based weaponry.

Now I’m Just Puzzled

The puzzles in the game tried to be intelligent. Be that as it may, I had a few that, to me, seemed to be just there to be there. For example, in one room I needed to press tiles down on the ground in a certain order. This was to grab a candle snuff device. Now, this would have been fine if it wasn’t literally laying on the ground next to it. It wasn’t in a case. The tiles weren’t inhibiting it in any way, whatsoever, but the game still had me press tiles down until they were all flat before I could pick it up. It struck as a complete waste of the players time.

Designing a sequence to force players to have to think outside the box is something totally different than placing something in the game and then giving them no indication of what the hell to do to get past it. I’m not saying hold the player’s hand at all. There are many clever ways to draw players eyes where you want them to go. Games like Legend of Zelda and God of War did it splendidly with the architecture of the game. It naturally pulled players eyes toward a great number of places, indicating anything from secrets to the main objective. It just depended on how much players were paying attention.

In The Padre, however, it is more likely you will be handed a mirror and a lantern and have a monster placed in front of you that is chained to a different mirror and nothing seems to correlate to each other. Oh, also if you go near the enemy it’s an instant, one hit death.

I couldn’t even hit it with the crowbar, the only weapon I had been given at that point.

Going through the only other unlocked door in the area didn’t seem to do much either. I just ended up wandering the same set of hallways until at one point I triggered a moment where I was locked in a room with a ghost that took no damage so I died.

Trying To Move From Perma-Meh

Permadeath seemed to be apparent in the game. The first time death was experienced the game presented a vial called Angel Tears. Each time the player dies, the game fills the vial a little more. Once it fills the game supposedly resets your progress back to the beginning of the game.

I’m sure that was meant to be a fun addition to crank up the challenge of the game and make players a little smarter about how they approach the game. However, due to horrendously constructed combat/walking mechanics coupled with the lack of explanation to most enemies outside of zombies that happens pretty frequently outside of the first area of the mansion.

The camera work in the game was mostly tolerable. I tend to not like fixed camera angles but they actually didn’t get in the way of what was happening too often. Thankfully, it also doesn’t mess with aiming much. There were also many rooms that allowed players to change the camera angle simply by pressing the space bar. That was super helpful for those rare instances where you weren’t sure if you could interact with an object in the room.

The best part of this game is the references it has to other media. They were subtle in some instances and not so subtle in others. The protagonist picks up a crowbar at one point named The Gordon. Obviously a reference to The Half-Life series silent hero Gordon Freeman.

What makes this moment even more amusing is two spider/ crab looking monsters crawl out and after they are killed the main character says, “Now to wait an eternity for number three.” It was an amusing moment in an otherwise dull adventure.

There’s a cheeky reference to Alone in The Dark early on in the game as well as an Evil Dead reference when the character says “Groovy” after a monster kill.

Overall

The Padre started off promising but fell into a dull and often unsatisfying experience. It had unnecessary puzzles that just felt like they were there to fill time in the game. While the main character had a level of intrigue to him at first the voice acting became a little suspect and repetitive. There are only so many times you can hear a grizzled voice say the same two phrases about a locked door before you start considering turning the voice volume to zero in game. It’s sad to say, the charm in its references and the atmosphere of its’ world is not enough to bring salvation to The Padre.

The Padre Review
Seeing The Light
  • Atmosphere was great for a while
  • References made the game seem charming for a bit
Blind Faith
  • Horrendous combat controls are the same as movement controls
  • Dull puzzles
  • The game lost it's charm and dissolved really quickly into a mess
4Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
8.1

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel