Fist of Jesus: The Bloody Gospel of Judas

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 5th, 2015


Now, I’m going to start this off with something of a disclaimer: if you are easily offended by religious humour, or are a devout Christian (who is easily offended by religious humour) you might not want to read this review at all; in fact, you might not even want to know that this game exists! For the rest of you, though, know that Mutant Games’ Fist of Jesus for the PC is a 2D beat-’em-up action game in which the humour is so tongue-in-cheek that you’ll be able to lick the outside of your face while your mouth is closed. First impressions are that the game is fun – but playing for a little while longer reveals a few bugs, as well as a repetitive concept. Still, if you are a fan of mindless combat…

Fist of Jesus is based on the short film of the same name (created by Adrian Cardona and David Munoz) in which Jesus’ attempts to raise Lazarus from the dead with flesh-eating results. Lazarus wakes up with a desire to help himself to his fellow man (and woman). Of course, it turns out that Lazarus’ affliction spreads, leaving Jesus and Judas little time to fix the issue before it spirals out of control. Right off the bat the tone of the game, like the film, is typical of B-movie shlock – taking a well-known tale and turning it on its ear.

The main premise of the game is to basically lay waste to all of the zombies that you can, using a combination of melee and ranged weapons – as well as Holy powers. You will walk in the sandals of Jesus and Judas (you can switch between the two), each of whom have unique powers. While Jesus has his fair share of special abilities, the fact that Judas can actually perform a Kameha (think Dragonball Z, folks) is pretty hilarious. Aside from fists, feet, and special powers (which take time to charge and have different cool-down periods), weapons and power-ups litter the landscape, allowing you to throw stones at zombies (who aren’t in glass houses), prove that the swordfish is mightier than the sword (it really is), or even get a helping hand (in the form of a hand attached to a detached limb). Sadly, weapons have limited uses, so you’ll have to make the best of them when you find them!

Walking on water sure comes in handy!

The game starts off alternating between tutorial exercises and actual game-play levels, giving players a generous helping of help in their quest to eject the undead from the land, gaining valuable experience as they do so. There are plenty of undead – and a few different types (including some hilarious boses), so you will have some pattern-learning to do. Finishing levels results in a star rating – but it’s collecting money (Denarii) and reliquiae during each stage that will get you ahead in your new-found occupation of doling out justice, as they will allow for the purchase upgrades and equipment. To top it all off, as progress is made, “Diving Punishments” will be unlocked. These finishers are like the “Fatalities” from Mortal Kombat: while the opponent is stunned, a fluctuating meter appears over their head – hit the attack button at the right moment to deliver the fatal blow to the enemy (which is accompanied by an animation).

Unfortunately, controls are very weird. I play using an Xbox-style controller and I find that there is the slightest amount of lag. It’s not game-breaking, but I find it a little disconcerting. Also, when I began, the button mappings were not necessarily where I wanted them. Selecting levels with RB was an odd choice, considering that A worked well enough to spur on dialogue. Sure, you can exit the game to reconfigure them, but it’s a bit of an unnecessary hassle. There are also some odd spots of dialogue in the game that may cause you to question your knowledge of English – but, again: not game-breaking.

Visually the game is very cartoon-ish and cutesy. Make no mistake: the graphics are far from cutting-edge (though the graphical depiction of cutting edges happens a-plenty). Even though the game looks like a children’s animated special, it is the farthest thing from family friendly as blood and guts will litter the screen after a few seconds in almost any level. Sound effects match the visuals, oddly enough – with a wild west theme playing in the background. All of these facets end up becoming somewhat repetitive in a very short time span, which leads to boredom fairly quickly.

How Judas knows how to do this is beyond me.

The game, while clunky at times, can fast and fun in small doses, if you are into beat-’em-ups. Around 60 levels of zombie-stomping await, so there is enough to keep you busy for a while (even if each level doesn’t take more than a few minutes to complete). While the concept is sound, the implementation feels a little lacking – sloppy, even – which is why I’m not particularly fond of it myself. While this game may not be for everyone (especially given the theme), it doesn’t take itself very seriously and is relatively inexpensive – making it worth a glance, at least. If you’re looking for a way to kill time (and zombies), then this one might fit the bill. Just don’t blame me if you end up with a pass to a fiery eternity. You can enjoy your damnation here.

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