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The Forest Cathedral - Review - Xbox Series X/S


The Forest Cathedral is a first-person puzzle game developed by Whitethorn Games and published by Dear Villagers. It was released on March 23, 2023 for Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The game is based on the work of Rachel Carson, the author of the seminal environmental book Silent Spring. In The Forest Cathedral, players take on the role of Rachel Carson as she investigates the use of DDT on a remote island. The game is divided into two parts: a walking simulator section where players explore the island and a puzzle platformer section where players control a small creature called Little Man.

The game begins with Rachel Carson arriving on a remote island to investigate the use of DDT. She is accompanied by her research assistant, Little Man, a small creature that can move through both the 2D and 3D worlds of the island.


Carson soon discovers that the island has been heavily sprayed with DDT. The effects of the pesticide are devastating. The birds have stopped singing, the fish have disappeared, and the insects are dying. Carson also begins to experience strange symptoms, such as headaches and nausea. As Carson investigates, she uncovers a dark secret. The island is owned by a powerful corporation that has been using DDT to kill pests. The corporation is also responsible for silencing anyone who speaks out against DDT.


Carson is determined to expose the truth about DDT. She knows that it is a dangerous pesticide that is poisoning the environment and harming people. However, she also knows that she is in danger. The corporation will stop at nothing to protect its secrets. Carson and Little Man must use all of their skills to survive on the island and expose the truth about DDT. They must solve puzzles, navigate dangerous environments, and fight off enemies. Along the way, Carson must also come to terms with the fact that she may not be able to save the island, but she can still make a difference in the world.


The story of The Forest Cathedral is a cautionary tale about the dangers of environmental pollution. It is also a story about the power of one person to make a difference. Carson's story is an inspiration to us all. She showed us that even in the face of great danger, we can still fight for what we believe in.

The game is divided into two main parts: a walking simulator section where players explore the island and a puzzle platformer section where players control a small creature called Little Man.


The walking simulator section is relatively straightforward. Players simply need to explore the island and collect items to progress. The island is lush and vibrant, and there are plenty of things to see and do. Players can collect plants, insects, and other objects to learn more about the island's ecosystem. They can also find hidden objects and solve environmental puzzles.


The puzzle platformer section is more challenging. Players need to use Little Man's abilities to navigate the levels and solve puzzles. Little Man can jump, climb, and swim. He can also use his tongue to grab objects and pull himself across gaps. Players need to use Little Man's abilities to reach the end of each level and solve the puzzles.


In addition to the puzzles, players will also need to fight off enemies in The Forest Cathedral. The enemies are mostly small creatures, but they can be dangerous if they catch you off guard. Players can use a variety of weapons to fight off the enemies, including a slingshot, a net, and a flamethrower.

Overall, The Forest Cathedral is a solid game with a unique premise and beautiful visuals. However, the clunky platforming controls and short length hold it back from being a truly great game. I would recommend The Forest Cathedral to fans of first-person puzzle games and environmental storytelling.


Pros:

  • Beautiful visuals

  • Creative and challenging puzzles

  • Interesting premise

  • Well-researched historical content

  • Relaxing and atmospheric soundtrack

Cons:

  • Clunky platforming controls

  • Short length (can easily be completed in less than 5 hours)

  • Some technical issues (e.g., occasional frame rate drops)

TOTAL SCORE: 6.5/10

The Forest Cathedral released onto the Xbox store on the 14th March 2023. The game is playable on Xbox Series X/S consoles and is priced at £12.49. You can buy the game HERE.


A copy of the game was provided for this review. A big thanks for that.

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