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Cathedral review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Elden Pixels
Developer: Decemberborn
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

I have no idea why you’d play Cathedral when Shovel Knight exists. Or Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Or Carrion. Or Owlboy. Or…you get the picture. Cathedral is a metroidvania-style platformer at a time when variations on the genre exist in abundance, and it doesn’t do anything to make itself stand out against the crowd.

Mind you, it would still have this problem even if the competition was only Shovel Knight. While the nameless hero of Cathedral doesn’t carry a shovel, in most other respects the game is awfully similar. Retro graphics? Check. Chiptunes music? Check. Knight as a main character? Of course. And, as I said, the gameplay is pretty much the same, right down to being able to hold your sword down to bounce off things.

To be sure, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of theft. I mean, Shovel Knight itself was an homage to plenty of older games, so it’s not like that game invented the genre.

What’s more, Cathedral isn’t a bad game. It works as it’s supposed to, and it imitates its source material pretty faithfully.

But again, given how many other games aren’t just being inspired by metroidvania platformers of the past but also taking them in interesting new directions, it makes it difficult to recommend Cathedral. It’s fine to play if you’ve already played all those other games, but if you’re into the genre and you haven’t, then the best Cathedral can do is sit at the very end of your backlog.

Elden Pixels provided us with a Cathedral Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-