- The Last Faith successfully captures the visual atmosphere of Bloodborne with its Gothic horror aesthetic, shadowy visuals, and muted color palette.
- Gameplay in The Last Faith combines elements of Bloodborne and the Metroidvania genre, encouraging players to be aggressive while still relying on dodge-rolling and memorization of enemy attack patterns.
- The Last Faith features a central narrative that involves a mysterious affliction and a quest for answers, similar to the storytelling style of FromSoftware’s games, while also drawing inspiration from the successful 2D Soulslike game, Blasphemous.
Plenty of Soulslike fans still hold out hope that developer FromSoftware will one day either remaster Bloodborne for PC and modern consoles or provide players with a genuine sequel. Meanwhile, other studios have decided to boldly step in and deliver their own takes on a spiritual successor or follow-up. This year alone has already seen the release of two games with more than their fair share of obvious Bloodborne inspiration, and both titles happen to bring FromSoftware’s PS4-exclusive to mind in different ways. Lies of P may have players covered as far as a 3D Bloodborne-like, but it’s Kumi Souls’ The Last Faith that does an impressive job of imagining Bloodborne as a 2D Soulsvania.
After a successful Kickstarter and several years spent in development, The Last Faith finally launched a closed beta period earlier this summer and then quickly followed it up with a more polished open demo on Steam. The game finally saw its launch on November 15 following a last minute period of addressing player feedback before the 1.0 release, leading to a final product that does its Bloodborne and Castlevania inspirations justice. The Last Faith is most definitely a Metroidvania, but its Bloodborne DNA shines through in nearly every aspect of its gameplay and atmosphere.
Bloodborne’s Shadow Looms Large Over The Last Faith
Before even getting into the similarities between the narratives and gameplay shared across both titles, The Last Faith‘s visuals are immediately recognizable as taking influence from Bloodborne thanks to extensive use of shadow, muted color palette, and a Gothic horror atmosphere. Environmental design is one area in which The Last Faith shines; protagonist Eryk will initially find himself traipsing through ruined Victorian cities before eventually descending into the dilapidated ruins lying beneath that house unforeseen horrors. The Last Faith showcases a peculiar beauty in darkness and decay, and its visual stylings err much more on the side of homage than imitation.
In terms of gameplay, although The Last Faith is a Metroidvania, it is decidedly one of a new subgenre of titles deserving of the Soulsvania moniker. Much like Bloodborne, players are incentivized to push forward and approach encounters aggressively, and a generous parry window (combined with the ability to restore some lost health on a successful parry) rewards the player for not tiptoeing around enemies. Despite the value of a well-timed parry, dodge-rolling is still a player’s best means of quickly escaping danger, and failing to observe enemies and memorize their attack patterns quickly leads to death.
With a setting that so readily calls to mind the dour and deserted locales of Bloodborne, it makes sense that The Last Faith would also feature a central narrative that is reminiscent of its FromSoftware inspirations. Eryk is seeking answers regarding a mysterious affliction that both he and most of the world’s populace seem to suffer from. The origins of this plague are unknown and only spoken of in whispers, and engaging in conversations with NPCs scattered throughout the world will reveal threads that players can chase and eventually unravel throughout the course of their adventure.
In addition to its very obvious Bloodborne inspiration, The Last Faith also features a throughline to another excellent Soulsvania: Blasphemous. Both Blasphemous and its sequel are unique and captivating Metroidvanias that owe quite a bit to FromSoftware’s Soulsborne formula, yet both games manage to stand on their own right by having a visual identity and flow of gameplay that make them some of the best 2D games in the Soulslike genre. Similarly, The Last Faith is practically tantamount to having a 2D Bloodborne, but its tasteful implementation of some of that game’s most definitive elements makes it feel like a worthwhile entry to the genre rather than just an imitation.
The Last Faith
- PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC
- November 15, 2023
- Kumi Souls Games