Forgive Me Father 2 – Unforgiven too?

That's a lot of blood

Fight ancient gods of madness with a shotgun in Forgive Me Father 2.

Forgive Me Father came out last year and was a really rather good boomer shooter with a tremendous art style. I felt it wasn’t widely noticed, sadly, but it seems to have done well enough to warrant a sequel in the creatively named Forgive Me Father 2. Currently available in Early Access on Steam, the launch contains around ten levels of shooty action over the course of a couple of hours, with a full release expected by the end of 2024.

The story is rather unclear in this follow-up. I’m told that you’re playing as the priest character from the previous game, with no mention of the journalist, but quite what’s happening is not explained in the slightest. You start in a cell in an asylum and fight your way out to reach the end of the level, only to wake up in the same asylum except now it’s a hub to visit between levels. You’ll then go through towns, churches, and WW1 era trenches, battling your way to the end of each stage before fighting a boss to round out the current slew of levels. There are letters that pop up between each stage that imply that you’re fighting through your memories, but really nothing is cleared up by the time you reach the demo’s conclusion.

Forgive Me Father 2
The shotgun is absolutely your best friend. Even more so once you’ve upgraded it.

As before though, I’m not all that interested in the story, as the combat is absolutely the focus. I’m happy to say that the combat is just as much fun as ever! Fast-paced, brutal, and plentiful, shooting your way through your foes is thoroughly enjoyable thanks to an array of enemies and powerful weapons to fell them with. Even your basic pistol is a wonderful piece of kit, absolutely exploding most targets’ heads with a single blow, accompanied by squelchy sound effects and a comic book “HEADSHOT” exclamation appearing where their noggin used to be. Your shotgun is vicious up close and sounds about as powerful as you could hope, and whilst the assault rifle is a little underwhelming, your grenade launcher causes a disgusting amount of carnage.

It’s tremendous, visceral fun, but you’ll actually want to think rather carefully about how to fight. Most of the enemies I saw in this demo are returning from the previous game, such as the zombies and Cthulhu-looking troopers, and they seem to share similar attributes to the previous instalment. Headshots on zombies are great, but they’re carrying a spare head to replace their previous one should you blast it off, so a body shot may be better. The same is true of the troopers, who suddenly charge at you with greater resilience if you shoot off their mask. I like this feature as it forces you to think more carefully about your targets. Unless you’re blowing them up with a grenade though. That’s always effective.

I’m hoping with the later release there will be a greater variety of opponents, as many that you face here are really just more from the first game, and late in the episode there does seem to be a huge reliance on grenade launcher enemies who simply spam explosives at you. The boss of this chapter is also a bit disappointing. Interesting to look at, but not sun to fight as you’re stuck in a tiny arena shooting at a flying monster in the air that shoots heaps of shots at you. It’s not super difficult on the normal difficulty setting, but it’s also not much of a final battle to round out the demo.

Forgive Me Father 2
I really liked the design of this mansion. Initially it looks quite convoluted but you find there’s actually quite a linear paths once you’ve popped into a few rooms.

Between stages you can upgrade your character in a few ways, but gone are the skill trees of the previous game. You can spend upgrade tokens to unlock weapon variations, such as a faster firing pistol or turning your grenade launcher into a rocket launcher. Some of these upgrades do lead to significant differences, and I’m looking forward to seeing what alternatives are available. You’ll also earn points during your play that you can use to unlock pages for your Dark Tome, which provides short-term power-ups when you use a charge of your madness metre, filled up by killing enemies. There aren’t many different pages right now, and I went for lifesteal, resilience, and fire rate as my choices, but I’m hoping for some really interesting combinations in the full release.

The presentation is as strong as ever, with that wonderful comic book style highlighting brightly coloured enemies against a more muted backdrop. That isn’t to say the environments aren’t great to look at though, as they’re varied and well presented. The fog-filled town looks great, and the mansion later in the demo is well laid out and interesting to explore. Sound too is well done thanks to those powerful sounding weapons and screeching enemies rushing at you. The music was a bit more underwhelming, with the same, admittedly good, metal track playing for pretty much every combat encounter. 

Forgive Me Father 2 is in a strong starting point for early access, with an enjoyable couple of hours present at the moment. Greater variety is going to be the key moving forward, offering new and interesting twists on the previous game, as well as a more coherent story. I’ll be checking in periodically to see what’s been added, and I’m expecting to be pleasantly surprised.

Forgive Me Father 2
The grenade launcher is an absolute monster when you have the space to use it.

Forgive Me Father 2 is available in Early Access on Steam now.

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