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[PlayStation 5] The Forest Cathedral Review

[PlayStation 5] The Forest Cathedral Review
  • On December 4, 2023

The Forest Cathedral from Whitethorn Games and Brian Wilson is a first-person psychological thriller on PlayStation 5. Check our The Forest Cathedral review!


The Forest Cathedral from Whitethorn Games and Brian Wilson is a first-person psychological thriller on PlayStation 5. It’s a dramatic reimagining of the events surrounding real-life scientist Rachel Carson’s investigation of the harmful pesticide known as DDT. But, for some reason, your journey begins as a ladybug who is flying towards a wooden beam. After landing, you’ll take control of the ladybug… as it slowly crawls to its death!

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The perspective will then change to a human who is spraying the aforementioned pesticide. Your task will be to walk around and spray the DDT – Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane – over five different swamps. It’s a pesticide that was synthesized to be a colorless, odorless, and tasteless chemical compound that is a wonderful tool to use against the mosquitoes that have infested the swamps with no potential side effects… at least that was thought back then. You’ll once again change perspective as you take on the role of Rachel Carson.


You’ll be playing this one from a first-person perspective, so you’ll control your character with the left analog stick as you use the right one to look around. To interact, press the Square button. You can use your scanner with the Circle button. The scanner is useful for seeing what you can’t immediately see with your own eyes. It will detect animals, fish, and insects. By pressing the Square button while using the scanner, you’ll be able to capture an image. Press the Triangle button to open your notebook to check what you need to do next.

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After completing the short tutorial segment, you’ll be introduced to a new individual who will aid you on your journey: The Little Man. He’s a tiny character that you’ll be able to control while accessing a terminal as you take on 2D platforming sections, during which You’ll control The Little Man with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping and wall jumping with the X button, dashing with the R1 button, and attacking with the Square button.


If you’re having trouble with the platforming segments – and some of the other elements in The Forest Cathedral, you can go into the Settings menu to customize your experience. This includes enabling or disabling the subtitles, activating a dyslexic font, adjusting the game volume, turning off the deadly spikes for the 2D platforming segments, disabling flashing static effects on terminals, and even activating float mode so that The Little Man floats during 2D platforming segments, making them a cakewalk.

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The game features a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. The list is a short one, with 11 Gold trophies leading up to you adding this Platinum trophy to your collection. There are trophies tied to completing the different mini-games in the terminals you’ll run into. The other trophies will pop as you progress through the game. I do have to mention that the last handful of trophies glitched out and didn’t pop, so I had to select Continue from the main menu and redo the last 20 minutes or so of the game. If you need some extra help, you can check out this The Forest Cathedral Trophy Guide.


The Forest Cathedral is a first-person psychological thriller with a dash of 2D platforming segments in which you’ll control an individual known as The Little Man. As you take on the role of Rachel Carson, a real-life scientist who investigated the dangerous effects of DDT being used as a pesticide, you’ll go through an adventure you should be able to complete in an hour and change, combining what could be described as a walking sim with a red and black 2D mini-game sprinkled here and there. While the game’s message is certainly important, it’s an experience that is not going to be for everyone. The Forest Cathedral is out on PlayStation 5 with a $14.99 price tag.

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This The Forest Cathedral review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Whitethorn Games.

Review Overview

First-person walking sim crossed with a minimalist 2D platformer that is a bit of an odd one