With major publishers seemingly reluctant to take punts on original games, we look to indies to give us something different to play. In that respect, The Church In The Darkness sounds promising, at least on paper. It’s a small but intriguingly realised stealth game enacted in a ’70s setting that makes use of procedural generation.
Story-wise, it mines territory located way off the beaten track. It’s 1976, and you have been dispatched to a South American jungle, to a compound occupied by the Collective Justice Mission, a cult-like church run by a couple called Rebecca and Isaac Walker. Your mission is to locate your nephew, Alex, and bring him back home to the United States.
You’re dropped off in the jungle with a couple of preselected items (which could include a gun, and the more you play the game, the more options you get). The gameplay initially resembles that of an early Metal Gear game: the Collective Justice Mission is sufficiently paranoid to be liberally studded with armed guards, each of whom has a familiar vision cone.
You can sneak up behind guards to subdue or kill them and then hide their bodies, Hitman-style, in cupboards. As you rifle through desks and trunks in houses, you uncover clippings and letters that gradually reveal the storyline behind the Collective Justice Mission, and loudspeaker announcements from Rebecca and Isaac reveal the general mood around the compound.
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