And There Was Much Rejoicing
Joe Richardson’s The Procession to Calvary arrived on Xbox Games Pass on October 7th. A profoundly silly and unique point and click title aesthetically based on Bruegel’s 1564 oil-on-oil masterpiece of the same name, it sees players stepping into the armour of our protagonist who, after fighting on the winning side of a civil war, is deeply upset that there’s no one left to kill. In order to satisfy her blood lust she decides to set off on a journey south to kill Heavenly Peter, the leader of the uprising who fled back to his Basilica after being defeated.
The simple control scheme grafts from mouse and keyboard to gamepad smoothly. You point, then you click to interact with people and the environment a la Monkey Island, Blade Runner etc. Along the way you’ll steal a one legged man’s crutch to use as an oar, ‘rescue’ jewelry from a room full of angry family members (and extremely happy lawyers) fighting over a large inheritance, sing in a talent contest, and of course summon Beelzebub. There’s a fair amount of back tracking so make sure you keep tabs on what you’re doing and where or you’ll be running around in confused circles fairly quickly.
The game environments are built using pieces of assorted renaissance masterpieces stitched together using photoshop, its best seen to be understood – take a look at the maestro at work below:
Its got Bach, its got Vivaldi, its got John Philip de Sousa and Richard Wagner. All classical, all several hundred years out of copyright, and all collected in this handy Spotify playlist by Arthur Perault-Buckley.
A self deprecating triumph of madcap wit that clocks in around the 5 hour mark and compensates for some fiddly backtracking with buckets of character. It’s as close as we’re ever going to get to being able to climb inside one of Terry Gilliam’s stop motion animations that he created for Monty Python. If you have Game Pass what are you waiting for – get it downloaded and go get Heavenly Peter, he’s been a very naughty boy.
P.S. Don’t forget to visit the room filled with portraits of the game’s financial backers: