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This is not what I expected from the game called ‘Priest Simulator.’

What the hell has happened?

I’m unsure what I expected from a headline such as Priest Simulator. Maybe you’d listen to someone’s confession and assign penances to the sinner from a drop-down restaurant? But would you officiate a wedding thru a minigame where you’d have to pick the proper verses and properly proclaim the bride and groom’s names? Possibly rotating a thumbstick to swing… that brass thing, whatever it is, on a chain, that emanates smoke, steam, or incense?

Sorry, I was just not raised in a religious household, haven’t pursued it as an adult, and the last time I was in a church was with Father Grigori in Half-Life 2. But, despite my obliviousness, when I imagine a simulation game wherein you play as a priest, it’s not what I see in the Priest Simulator trailer. It begins with a frightening voice yelling, “Hell is my playground!”

More highlights have included a bus of been picked up and thrown through the roof of a building, but I’m not certain if the priest is to keep blaming or merely a witness. There’s more punching, this time from the demon or someone attired as a demon mascot. Throughout, metal music blasts.

Or at the very least, we see a confession. At lengthy last! It’s all very priestly. “I don’t see any point in my family,” a wide-eyed (perhaps eyelidless) woman says, no doubt echoing a belief held by a lot of us. “Honor thy father and mother,” the priest selects from many options before receiving what appears to be a total of 7 Priest Points (?) for making the correct choice.

When we next see the priest, he is brutally killing several people or monsters, first in the woods and then in a graveyard, with the blade fastened to the back. He drives a car, gets drunk, and purchases a sack of holy communion concentrate. A lot is going on, and not all of it coincides with my admittedly minimal understanding of what a priest does.

Priest Simulator, according to the developer Asmodev, is an “action mockumentary” that will introduce you to “the fantastic world of modern Poland.” I cannot even begin to speculate on the veracity of that allegation, though one reviewer claims, “I’m Polish and can confirm this is 100% realistic Polish priest simulator.” I, as well, cannot verify that statement and will make no effort to do so.

The game (which is accessible on Steam) stars a “Vampire priest seeking to reclaim his baton and return to Hell. To that end, you must fight demonic hordes, beef up, renovate the church, and accrue splendor.” You can also dual-wield the game’s 8 weapons, which doesn’t feel like enough weapons but is also 8 weapons too many for a priest.

Priest Simulator is presently in instant access, with more subject matter scheduled to be introduced over the next 4-8 months, including new quests and music. On Steam, there are currently 27 positive reviews. Amen.

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