The You Testament (MDickie, PC)

The You Testament is a interesting but flawed game that is deceptive, confusing, and possibly heretical.

The premise is you are a person who follows Jesus through the history of the New Testament, from His time with John the Baptist to His crucifixion and resurrection. Along the way, Jesus teaches you His wisdom and you see His works first-hand, creating a testament from your point of view.

See the Passion of Jesus first-hand!

You play in third person, moving your customizable character between areas in the Middle East (Jerusalem, Golgotha, the River Jordan, etc.) and interacting with characters. Sometimes you even play a role in moving the story forward, like when you have to find some money to get Jesus out of jail. You can even get crucified along side Jesus, but that didn't happen on my play through, so it might be optional.

You can help Jesus help you by carrying His cross for Him up Calvary.

This is a good idea for a game, but things started getting weird.

First of all, it's built on an engine created for wrestling games and is very violent and bloody. The game is unrated, but I'm sure it would get a "M" for violence. It even includes a setting for "gore" that has the option "extreme". Because of this wrestling engine foundation, it lets you beat up any character -- women, children, and even Jesus!

I had to test attacking Jesus as part of my job as a reviewer.
I am so sorry, Jesus! Please forgive me!

Early in the game I was holding a metal spike and I was going to hug Jesus but I pressed the wrong button and poked the spike in His face! His face remained scarred and His eyes were all bloody for most of the game after that. Why would it let me do this horrible thing?

Even though I stabbed Him in the face with a spike, Jesus still forgave me!
This part of the game is a very accurate Jesus simulation.

People in the game will remember how you treated them and will act towards you accordingly. If you attack them, they'll attack you back if they see you again. Violence also affects your stats. You have three health gauges: physical, mental, and spiritual. The physical gauge decreases when you are attacked or if you don't rest. If it hits zero, you die. The mental gauge decreases over time and can be replenished by eating food found lying around. When it hits zero, you fall to you knees and sob inconsolably, then get up and go on a violent rampage attacking anyone nearby -- again including Jesus. The spirit gauge decreases when you commit acts of violence or engage in worldly things like eating or carrying around money.

Satan is in the game in the form of a guy in a black cloak. Just standing around Satan makes your spiritual gauge decrease. He approaches you after you talk to Jesus and twists Jesus' teachings to try to get you to do bad things, but this aspect wasn't explored in more depth.

And then there's the teachings that Jesus gives. While most of it is taken straight out of the Bible, complete with references so you can read the unabridged version, there was all sorts of weird stuff that was tacked on, like how He kept talking about meditation, "gurus", and "karma", or how I should concentrate on my spine to generate spiritual energy called "prana" and focus it on the right branch of the central chamber of the 3rd "chakra" to be able to levitate or transform matter at the molecular level or whatever. That stuff isn't in the Bible... I checked. Also, numerous times Jesus referred to God as a woman! What's up with that?

Jesus explains how to walk on water (huh!?)

Even less Biblical, Jesus kept promising that I would be able to gain powers to perform miracles like He does. It was like He was saying we can all become God. I'm pretty sure that's some sort of heresy. In the game, you can meditate and use these powers to float around, change your appearance, raise the sea level, hypnotize people, or even possess other people. According to the Satan character you can also shoot fireballs out of your hand, but I couldn't figure out how to do that, which is probably for the best since it's unholy.

You can levitate by meditating. I'm pretty sure this is witchcraft.

At one point in the game when you are on a mountain top, Jesus reveals to you the true nature of reality and the game goes all wireframey. It was freaky!

Jesus reveals the true nature of reality (wha?!)

There were also weird quotes on the loading screens from people like Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Osama Bin Ladin, Barack Obama, Bruce Lee, Kanye West, and Jay-Z. Those made no sense in a Biblical game at all. It's like some sort of mashup of Christianity with all sorts of false religions. I think Mat Dickie, the game's sole creator, is a very confused person. At least I hope it is confusion and not intentional deception.

I would give this game five crosses for the way it lets you live through the Bible and witness Jesus first-hand, but I must subtract crosses for being able to beat up Jesus and getting Jesus' teachings mixed up with things like Hinduism and the Matrix. I would not recommend this game for new Christians as it will only confuse them and possibly turn them into New Age wrestling fanatics. However, for its innovative ideas and gameplay, I will still give it

(The full game is available for free download, but you can only play it three times.)

Review copyright ©2009 Kyle Goldman & Zounds Christian Gaming Zone