First Impressions

The Last Faith

DeveloperKumi Souls Games

Release Date:  16 November, 2023

Platform: Windows, Switch, PS4/5, Linux, Xbox One/S/X, MacOS

Genre: Metroidvania

By Chris Picone, 3 November 2023


I've been drooling over grim metroidvania The Last Faith since I first saw screenshots of it on Twitter... I don't know how long ago now but a couple of years, at least.  That also means it's had a couple of years to build itself up in my mind - I try to walk into each review with an open mind but it just looks so damn impressive that I walked into this one with big expectations.  So, does it deliver?

Yes - mostly.  It's been out for a week or so now, and while some areas of the game are superbly polished, others feel like it might have benefitted from some (more?) time in Early Access.  The background artwork, for example, is absolutely immaculate.  Dark, moody, sinister, and nails the gothic ambience the developers were obviously striving for.  The character and enemies too feature smooth animations and fit seamlessly into the environment.  Controls are precise too, always important for a combat-based vania game where nailing telegraphing and timing is crucial.  Character development needs more work though; there are multiple classes to select from at the start but the level-up and weapon acquisition systems make this seemingly redundant.  The Last Faith also feels a little more linear than I would normally expect from the genre; sure, there are lots of branching rooms that you have to come back to when you've acquired particular equipment, but for the most part the game seems to only really push you in the one direction.  Exploration's still worth it though - there are definitely still rooms you can miss, especially once you have the right tools to move around freely, and there are secret weapons and equipment stashed away that genuinely take searching to find.  Combat starts easily enough - most early game monsters simply require dashing away from when they telegraph their attack - but as you progress you face greater variety, and the synergy you encounter when facing multiple enemy types in the same battle can be pretty challenging. In the snowy area in the ruins, for example, I had a hard time dodging the blood spitters and stalagmite-launching bats while also trying to fight dogs that rush at you.  There are some minor balancing issues present, particularly with regard to healing, but nothing to lose sleep over.  And the boss battles have been fantastic.  The bosses are huge and look absolutely gnarly, I've found them quite tough to beat, at least until I mastered their attack patterns - and there's an excellent variety of those.  

The verdict?  Although some aspects of the game need a little more tweaking, the game is only freshly released and the developers appear to be taking feedback onboard; I have a feeling an update that'll fix most concerns isn't far away.  In the meantime, the game looks and sounds great, plays great, and has tons to offer:  Dark, moody storyline, amazing gritty gothic graphics, tons of exploration, weapons, and skills, and some absolutely brilliant boss battles.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it.