Review – The Procession to Calvary

I’ve been a long time fan of Monty Python, so discovering a game that looks like one of Terry Gilliam’s animations immediately piqued my interest. Developer Joe Richardson has graced the world with The Procession to Calvary, a follow up to his well received game, Four Last Things. Admittedly, I have not played that one yet, but after enjoying The Procession to Calvary as much as I did, I’ll put that on my list of must-plays. If you are familiar with that game, then playing The Procession to Calvary should be a no-brainer.

From what I understand, The Procession to Calvary picks up right after the events of Four Last Things. However, you don’t need to have played the first to understand what’s going on here. Victory is yours as the holy war is over and cities lay in ruin. Unfortunately, Heavenly Peter has escaped your grasp and you have been allowed one last murder to see him brought to justice. Whether or not you actually follow that one last murder rule is entirely up to you.

The Procession to Calvary

Are you talking to the ferryman or the naked wrestlers?

The Procession to Calvary is a point-and-click adventure game. Like any of these types of games, the way forward can only be achieved by finding solutions to the various obstacles in your path. Discovering the answers to the puzzles laid before you range from logically obvious to head-scratchingly perplex. Luckily, most of them fall into the former category. However, our hero does have the option to murder nearly everyone she encounters. So if you’re looking to release some pent up aggression against the uppity villagers, or just get too annoyed with a puzzle, you can always opt for the path of brutality. You may come to regret it though.

In all fairness, you will be warned not to kill anyone when you first start the game. Some of you might heed this warning, while I’m sure plenty others will throw caution to the wind and undergo a murder spree. Luckily for me, I did my initial playthrough with a pacifist run, so I was able to enjoy this game to its fullest. Upon learning that there are multiple endings, I started another playthrough and pretty much butchered most people I came across. I quickly learned that doing this will permanently remove some characters from the game, making it impossible to complete certain objectives. Your runtime will be drastically shortened as well. I’m happy I learned this after experiencing the game in its entirety first.

The Procession to Calvary

She’s surprisingly calm considering what’s going on around her.

What makes The Procession to Calvary and Four Last Things standout is the art style and humor. Like I said, they are clearly inspired by Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam’s animations. Famous paintings from the Renaissance era have been cut up and pasted back together alongside famous classical melodies to create hilarious scenes. The animations are purposely stilted and this just adds to its charm. Watching the protagonist run around with her legs and body flailing about never gets old, neither does the slight jiggle when you slap someone. Highbrow comedy at its finest right there.

That’s not to say all of the humor in here is juvenile. Joe Richardson’s comedic writing is often brilliant. He frequently pokes fun of styles and cultural behaviors from that time with a refreshing air of flippancy. There are snippets of present day references and language woven within, but that only adds another layer of uproarious punch to the overarching ridiculousness of it. There’s even some brief moments of fourth wall-breaking meta humor which is used primarily to poke fun of a few of its own short comings.

The Procession to Calvary

Who wants to die first?

My only issue with this game is how short it is. I got through it in about four hours without using a guide or killing anyone to get past a challenge easily. Yes, there are multiple endings, but since they involve annihilating anyone who stands in your way, those playthroughs will be significantly shorter. I guess it’s better to keep us wanting more, rather than having us pray for it to end though, right?

If my one gripe says anything about The Procession to Calvary, it’s that it’s amazing. Anyone who is a fan of Monty Python, or sarcastic British humor in general, needs to play it. This game had me cracking up all the way through. It’s a breath of fresh air in an otherwise quagmire of mediocrity that is the current point-and-click scene. Now I’m definitely eager to check out Four Last Things to see if it’s just as spectacular.

 

Graphics: 9.0

Iconic paintings from the Renaissance era have been cut up and pasted back together to make a variety of hilarious scenes.

Gameplay: 9.0

A classic point-and-click style adventure game with some puzzles that range from simple to perplexing.

Sound: 10

No voice acting, but the collection of classical tunes pair perfectly with the setting and the sound effects can be hysterical.

Fun Factor: 9.0

The humor alone is enough to warrant buying this game. You have the option to kill anyone who stands in your way (or if you’re just tired of a puzzle), but that can have dire consequences. Multiple endings add to the replayability factor.

Final Verdict: 9.0

The Procession to Calvary is available now on Steam.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of The Procession to Calvary was provided by the publisher.