Forgive me Father - PC Preview

Forgive me Father
by developer Byte Barrel and publisher 1C entertainmentPC preview written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Having just launched into Early Access, Byte Barrel’s Forgive me Father is a Lovecraftian retro inspired first person shooter taking the idea of madness to a different level. Split into stages where you must shoot or slash your way through hordes of nightmare fueled beings, this priest, to quote a 1992 movie directed by Peter Jackson (Dead Alive), “kicks ass for the lord!!”.

Coming out at a great time, Forgive me Father is fitting right in with other retro inspired first person shooters such as Saibot Studio’s Hellbound that’s channeling some good old fashioned Doom over to Slipgate Ironworks’ Graven that’s brought Hexen into the modern day. Unlike these two titles though, Byte Barrel has gone in a different direction channeling some good old fashioned H.P. Lovecraft that allows them to just really do whatever they want to do. When it comes to Lovecraftian horrors, there’s no right or wrong way as it’s all maddening in the end.

What impressed me immediately, other than the smooth controls and the ability to use a controller if wanted, were the graphics. I was a bit unsure of how well the comic book style would work in motion but it felt smooth and fluid for a rather 2D medium which also helps sell the retro from a time where all we really had were 2D models to look at on a screen. The colors chosen also help create a smooth rolling experience while running through halls of closed doors or outside in the gardens and the city. There’s nothing harsh on the eyes unless you consider the crazy sights of “undead”, blood, guts and gore that’s flying around everywhere as you pull the trigger on your firearms.

Speaking of brilliant and potentially maddening was how long it took me to realize that any of these being rushing at you while holding heads in their hands could use those heads in order to slap it right atop of their shoulders and keep charging you. With the words “headshot” on screen you wonder why they keep charging, well, that would be why and it makes you re-evaluate your approach to how much ammo you’re willing to spend upfront. Thankfully as long as you’re not too trigger happy there tends to be plenty of explosive barrels kicking around in order to get them to do your work for you as long as you have a clean shot towards them.

Adding an extra layer of “scary” is the ability to use a lantern to see in the dark. Scary you say? Scary I say as like Doom 3 you can either use your light source or your weapon, not both. So in these moments while both underground in the darkness or at the rising sun when it’s still not entirely light out, you may need this light to show you what lies just beyond and be quick enough to put it away and pull the trigger on the weapon that you are currently using whether your trusty revolver, your shotgun or the knife if you’re good enough to not get hit while using it… I wasn’t so I stuck to my VERY trusty six-shooter.

Stages themselves are not overly long and also thankfully not overly “hard”. Playing on normal felt like a decent challenge but nothing that would make me want to run and cry. It was enjoyable and I was happy to have the option to play at an enjoyable difficulty scale. Along with the stages not being very long as are checkpoints in the shape of Cthulhu themselves chilling with the words “SAVE” over their head making you potentially wonder if it’s not a trick of the imagination, but no, thankfully you can either quick save or make a proper save as sometimes what’s just beyond is enough reason to use these checkpoints as you may not survive them the first time.

Now for the pièce de résistance is how Forgive me Father deals with the madness. Normally, the worse it gets, the harder things are to do such as within Red Hook Studios' Darkest Dungeon and Frogware's The Sinking City. Unlike these two and again making it its own, as you increase in madness within this fast paced shooter you'll be stronger and tougher instead of weaker and potentially seeing things that while not really there will kill you all the same. Adding in a bonus to this twist is that eventually you can even channel this madness into a cross in order to heal yourself. It's a different twist and a welcomed one at that.


So currently within Early Access and still more content to come, Byte Barrel’s Forgive me Father is a fun retro inspired first person shooter in the Lovecraftian vein of crazy. Great visuals, smooth gameplay and a charged soundtrack that can also make you wonder if you’re hearing things, I look forward to seeing the rest once it’s finished.

Score: N/A



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