The Padre is retro-stylised, old-school gameplay-wise, horror game that does just about enough right to make it a decent play. Flawed and slow a lot of the time, it takes some time to really get into. Beginning by introducing the main character you play as, The Padre.
A man of cloth who has spent his life hunting and destroying demons, he is summoned to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a high-ranking cardinal. An investigation that leads him to a mansion and sees him facing off against demonic forces yet again.
It’s not the most inspired of stories but does have some interesting elements, like the titular character being weary of his battles. His faith is unwavering but constantly tested. He might be faceless thanks to the visuals but he has some personality. Helped a ton by his gravelly, smoked for too many years, voice.
Once inside the mansion, The Padre has a familiar ‘Resident Evil’ feel as you explore at a sluggish pace. All while solving a myriad of puzzles, some easy, some quite difficult and dealing with the monstrous denizens of the mansion. Overly familiar stuff, aside from the blocky visuals (voxel). Which are cool looking but take some adjustments to appreciate at first. Don’t expect an immersive horror experience though with visuals like this.
The fixed cameras, horror-themed music and cues, and the puzzle solving really make it more of Resident Evil call-back. However, where they massively differentiate (aside from the voxel visuals) is with combat. Resident Evil had its issues but The Padre’s combat system is just… bad.
Predominantly melee based, the few guns that you can find have very limited ammo and aiming with them is painful. Using melee weapons makes for an easier experience but there’s no fun to be had when it comes to engaging with enemies. With no health bars, you simply hitting zombies, bats, demons and more until they eventually fall over and die. There’s very little impact and even less satisfaction to be had.
Strangely, combat overall is the easiest part of the game. While there are some enemies that can destroy in an instant, those can always be overcome by puzzle solving.
Overall, what stops The Padre from being a good game rather than just an average game though are the more nagging issues. Frame-rate drops, dated tank controls, occasional punishing puzzles, hit & miss interaction prompts and a flat final boss. Worth playing through once though few will find the drive to go back and play through it a second time.
The Final Score - 5/10