[Nintendo Switch] Cathedral Review
Explore the mysterious cathedral and its surrounding areas as you try to figure out what is really going on! Are you ready? Then check out our Cathedral review!
Make your way through a vast world to unravel the secrets of your past in this fast-paced action adventure game!
Wake up in a world with no recollection of how you got there. A world full of secrets, hidden rooms, dungeons and towns; Cathedral features a vast world, meant for exploring!
Control a nameless protagonist from a different world and team up with the spirit known as Soul and set out to demolish the demi-god known only as Ardur.
An action adventure game ready to challenge you!
– Just like the days of the past, this is not a game that will hold your hand. Set out adventuring to dungeons where enemies roam every corner and treacherous bosses guard every treasure.
A world meant for exploring
– A massive hand-crafted world filled to the brim with exciting new areas, upgrades, collectibles and many secrets to be found. Use the handy in-game map so you’ll always find your way forward.
Just like the good old days
– Cathedral is an homage to games of the past, built using modern technology. With a retro aesthetics color palette, sound capabilities and a chipping’ good soundtrack it’ll take you on a beautiful pixelated journey.
Cathedral is the latest in what, at this point, seems to be a never-ending series of retro throwback Metroidvania games on Nintendo Switch. Mind you, I love Metroidvanias, but it’s 2021, and it takes something special to set a new game apart in the genre. Does Cathedral have what it takes to do that?
Cathedral is very light on story. Your character doesn’t have a name, and you start in the cathedral with really no backstory. After exploring a bit, you’ll actually leave the cathedral and begin adventuring in the surrounding areas on a quest to find four orbs. It’s very familiar territory for those who played NES games as a kid, and Cathedral on Nintendo’s console certainly does this right.
Once you get going, you can travel in a few different directions as you explore and start to find power-ups that will allow you to move from one area to the next one. My initial impression was that the experience seemed tough but fun. Platforming feels good, and enemies are of the “learn their movement and attack patterns” variety. Sure, I died here and there, but I was able to learn from my mistakes to carry on with my adventure. I was able to look at the map and see the completion percentage as I progressed from room to room.
Given the game’s name, I thought I’d spend all of my time inside of the cathedral, so I was honestly surprised when I ended up in a town with shops and quests all around it. The adventure also opened up the world in a way I didn’t expect, as there were many other areas I could choose to explore right away. I think this is where I started to see the cracks in the experience. The game opened up massively with different areas to explore, and I started to feel some anxiety about which direction to go. It was interesting since it’s a feeling I don’t often get when playing. This is also where I felt the combat got significantly more difficult, especially with enemies respawning upon leaving and reentering rooms. The exploration felt good, and all of the areas of this world felt unique in design with good platforming, but something felt missing.
This will change from person to person, but I like my Metroidvania’s to be shorter experiences, with the sweet spot usually being between 6-12 hours. Cathedral is significantly longer, with over 20 hours needed to at least beat the main campaign. For me, that sometimes can feel like a Metroidvania game overstaying its welcome, but you might feel different about it.
Visually, I loved the retro NES throwback design to the title, making it feel like it’s right from that era. I will say that it does feel as if Cathedral struggles to find a unique visual identity to make it stand out in your mind. I did love the chiptune soundtrack of the game, with each new song becoming my new favorite. It’s a very pleasing soundtrack that will delight your ears!
I had a good time with Cathedral. I loved the retro visual aesthetic of the world, even if, at times, it feels as if it lacks its own identity. I think my biggest issues are the difficulty and the length, but these can certainly be something that you find more appealing. In the end, Cathedral is still a fun Metroidvania and good option for fans of the genre on Nintendo Switch.
This Cathedral review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Elden Pixels.