Ask and you shall receive. Released on January 16 by Massive Monster and Devolver Digital Cult of the LambThe wildly popular Sins of the Flesh update for consoles and PC brings a form of in-game sex, among other things, to the cute but brutal world of anatomically incorrect animals and false prophets. It’s what some fans have been asking for, and since the announcement, everyone, including Massive Monster, has been clamoring for the “sex update” fun that’s really happening. But it turns out that calling it a sexual update was a huge understatement.
Warning: This article contains spoilers at this point.
In fact, there is much more to it – just take a look patch notes. As much as it is a gender update, Sins of the Flesh is also a poop update; fashion update; identity update; lore update; absolute chaos update. This is Sozo’s second chance at life.
You need to be deep enough into the game to access most of the new content. A new spiritual currency (Sin) and the experiences that come with it are unlocked after defeating your third bishop. If you’re at least that far along, Elements of Sin will appear after your first sermon or temple activity after the update is loaded. Otherwise, if you’re starting fresh with a new save file, it’ll be a while before you see most of the new material. Other than poop, that is. From the moment you start gaining followers, there will be poo everywhere – in all kinds of colors and in some cases in piles as big as an agricultural station.
Sins of the Flesh adds six new poo styles, each with their own strengths. I hate to say it, but I squealed with excitement as I discovered each new option. For example, gold comes with coins when you find poop, and if used as fertilizer, it can grow coins and gold bars next to your crops. Rainbow poop will make your plants ready to harvest at a moment’s notice, which is very useful if your followers are starving. As you clean up viewers’ poop, you’ll get fancy broom upgrades if you’re doing chores more efficiently.
Early on, all this poop was a sign of trouble yet to come. In the double-digit hours I’ve already spent with the new content, the diversion has repeatedly broken in my sect.
My Brog Brew wasted followers keep getting into fights I have to leave and sometimes follow me to confess their love or insult me. I watched a mushroom-headed eccentric eat one of his assistants whole After begging me to bring them to the cult, he had to throw him in jail for dissent. I drew out the obvious abominations, the consequences of allowing followers of different species and cosmic classifications to mingle in the Mating Tent.
Basically, we, my followers and I, have a great time sinning. As a new form of currency, Sin can be spent on follower experiences – yes, including sex – and temple decorations. Just like how Loyalty has always worked, each follower has a Loyalty meter, so your followers will accumulate Guilt through rituals and lewd activities like getting beaten up (sorry, “confused”) at the Drinkhouse. To further shape the cult’s dogma, there are new, Sin-based doctrines and rituals that go all in on the evil of your followers.
Perform a Rite of Rage and your followers will unleash the most adorable mayhem in the commune, destroying decorations and beating each other up. (Going hand in hand with this, your followers can now be injured, and the process of repairing items using the same mechanism as cooking has become more interactive.) Cannibals of Gluttony ritual and one of your followers will be eaten by the group. If you prefer to sin peacefully, perform the Rite of Lust, and your followers will dance naked around your flower-bedecked temple.
In some scenarios, you’ll need to assign specific followers to confess – but be careful not to overdo it. After a follower has taken on too much Sin, he will be damned and leave the religion.
These characters aren’t necessarily gone forever, which is good news if you, like me, Sin on your favorite follower (Webber <3) when they get cursed, you'll be sent into a spiraling panic. You'll encounter them again during the Crusades, and after killing them three times, you'll be able to bring them back with a resurrection ritual. Opponents also now appear as enemies that can be fought in dungeons, which I enjoyed, just getting revenge on them for stealing from the cult and jumping.
Many new structures are directly related to the arrival of Sinai. At the aforementioned Drinkhouse, your followers can consume drinks including Brog Brew, Juniper Drink, Grape Nectar, Eggnog and, sorry, Poop Juice. Resources such as hops and grapes can be found during crusades or purchased as seeds from Rakshasa.
You can set up a drum circle to play Guitar HeroA styled rhythm game to create Sin in a sequence of your choice. It’s a very short, very simple mini-game that does a nice job of bringing some variation to the daily cult game without feeling completely out of place. If you ‘Get Guilty Quick!’ a solution of sorts comes in the clutch. It works like a ritual, meaning it has a cooldown after you play it.
And of course, there’s the star of Sexual Renewal: The Mating Tent. Now not every character can participate in activities that descends into the mating tent, and not all of them are allowed to deny the opportunity to mate to those who can be given agency. Sorry, the Lamb (aka you, the player) cannot mate with followers, nor can relatives such as bishops mate with each other. Once you’ve chosen a matching pair, you can choose traits to pass down from each follower to their offspring. Then, they seal the deal with a big smooch and enter the tent they’re going to.
This is about as open as it gets; Cult of the Lamb it is no less useful with the introduction of sex. After the mating is done, your followers will come out exhausted and offer you eggs. The choice is then yours: either break that egg and feed it to one of your followers, or tend to the egg every day in the hatchery, which is unlocked at the same time as the Mating Tent. If you go the cannibalistic route, eating a yolk can be used as an elixir of youth to give an older follower more time among the living. Or you can prepare egg meat. If you decide to hatch an egg instead, you must feed the child until it reaches adulthood. As a Tamagotchi addict, I love it.
With the update, you’ll also be able to unlock the Tailor’s building and find cotton to use to make clothes during your crusades, and meet the silkworm NPC Berith. This will allow you to create new outfits for your followers. This includes a French maid outfit that appears after you earn it by cleaning up a ton of poop, and a bunch of different gowns and tunics. It’s great to have a way to customize the look of your followers and ultimately the overall aesthetic of the cult a bit more. Unfortunately, you can’t deck out your entire cult in French maid outfits, but unlike other clothing items, it can only be worn by one follower at a time.
Lore lore is now scattered throughout the dungeons, and you’ll be battling it out with your new weapon – the Blunderbuss. Admittedly, the Blunderbuss isn’t my favorite, but weapon choice is really personal and there are probably some who like it. It’s capable of somewhat rapid fire, but be aware that you’ll need to factor in reload time.
There are several new tracker forms, including a snake, a worm, and a hairy dog. That last jersey was made in honor of the Art Director’s deceased pet, which breaks my heart and warms it at the same time. Additional follower features also added a bit more depth to the cult members; some of my followers turned out to be downright cowards. Anyone who was disappointed to find Sozo dead after building the Mushroom Temple rejoice – he’s back with an extensive quest line. You need to visit the Spore Grotto to pick up his mushroom cap so you can plant it back into the cult and resurrect him. But don’t trust him for a second.
If you have played all the way through Cult of the Lamb and each achievement long since Sins of the Flesh adds a welcome freshness to a year and a half game. It doesn’t expand the map in any significant way to give you more space for your cult, which may be frustrating for some with overcrowded home bases, and will be a new cap hit that prevents followers from getting past level 10. Players trying to get Narinder to extreme levels of loyalty.
But the promise of new discoveries and achievements to make the completions work gives you more incentive to keep coming back to the dungeons. Cult life now feels more dynamic, requiring the player to engage with the home environment a bit more, and in turn, allowing you to deepen your connection with your followers by providing more ways to care about them.
Honestly, it’s hard to believe that all of this is free. I thank the team for that. Along with the update, the developers have released some cosmetic DLC in the $7 Sinful Pack, which adds a few more decorations and tracker shapes — including, appropriately enough, the Sphynx cat, a bare icon.