In the myriad of conversations I’ve had with friends over the internet, one thing is unanimous that the soul-esque genre has become heavily saturated in recent years, right from the start with the “Masocore” original, Demon’s Souls.
Now many producers have made their attempts at this genre (we even talk about some of them here on the site, like Mortal Shell and Chronos, in addition to the preview of Nioh 2) and launched their own brand, which goes through a huge variety of themes (there’s even a “Safadinha” that I happened to spot) and with varying results, some have been highlighted, others not so much.
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Finnish developer Still Running had previously developed two relatively successful games, Zombie Kill of the Week (PC), which to be clear is a 2D Killing Floor, a fast and brutal but very entertaining game, and The Walking Vegetables ( Multi), a top-down shooter that’s also fast-paced but feels different than Zombie Kill of the Week.
For some reason they decided to try the Souls-like genre with Morbid: The Seven Acolytes. Did you succeed in this mission?
Chasing time to save the world… or something like that.
You are the last surviving Striver, a fierce warrior on a mission to defeat the seven Acolytes, powerful monsters possessed by ancient deities known as the Gahars.
Bound to the bodies of the Acolytes, the Gahars conquered Mornia through them, enslaving the populace and cursing the realm.
Today Mornia lies in ruins, the Gahars are worshiped as gods, while the Seven Acolytes and their damned servants rule all. There is still hope that one day a worthy Striver will emerge to destroy the Acolytes, banish the Gahars and redeem Mornia.
A simple premise, very much hidden behind the pretty pixels you see on the screen if you ask me what I think.
Kill, die, learn and evolve… And die some more because that’s soul-like.
As I may have said in some reviews, Souls-like isn’t my cup of tea. I am very bad. The same thing. I dont lie. While Morbid doesn’t have a choice of difficulty levels like Chronos, it’s one of the simplest experiences in the genre as its controls are easy to assimilate.
Firstly because he doesn’t use the damn shoulder buttons to attack, but the face buttons like any decent game. And secondly, they are not very complicated to learn. You learn how to play in a “tutorial” (big quotes because it’s not a tutorial) scattered around the map in little books.
They have weak attacks, strong attacks, dodges (essential in boss fights), shortcuts to items on the controller’s digital stick, a defense button (which serves as a parry function), and the possibility of having a firearm (with working aim). on the second analog stick on consoles and the mouse on PC) adds a layer of strategy to the game.
Like any self-respecting soul-like, obviously different people will favor different types of weapons, but of course for that you need to find them in your journey. And if you’re proficient with more than one weapon, fear not because you have two sets of different weapons to have even more fun (or fail, as in my case since I didn’t have a weapon equipped initially in the second set and left a lot to be desired killing an enemy in the swipe, with questionable results).
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Okay, enough with the generic ramblings, short and sweet, Morbid’s combat is quite enjoyable, perhaps because the game is 2D, like an action role-playing game, the sense of connection of attack and dodge right after is very satisfying.
The game has a health system that I… I don’t know how it works, not because of my stupidity but because sanity restoration items are easy to find and with the option to always revive things when I meditate on Bonfire, I mine anyway. You can respawn things and farm items to stay sane in later stages.
And maybe I’m just dumb, but guns feel clunky at times, but then again, maybe I’m dumb… Which is likely.
But what’s not stupid of me is that the game has a slight tendency to crash. I’ve had at least three or four crashes in my games, luckily without any negative consequences.
Terribly beautiful and sonically fabulous
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is graphically very beautiful… and gory. The scenarios have many small or large details, objects that when destroyed leave behind particles that disappear. And each scenario differs from one another in different parts of the game, suggesting that this is a complex world and not a bunch of the same things that look the same and bore you.
The enemies and NPCs were also very careful when they were made, from animation to design, showing that they had a certain amount of affection from those who produced them when making things. But that also has a negative. Not in terms of animations, enemies and NPC’s, but in terms of the scenarios.
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There are times when it’s difficult to distinguish what you can bypass and what will only block you. It’s just a minor annoyance, but one worth noting. BTW, another thing I forgot to mention, the game has blood… Lots of blood and gore. But none of this brutality is wasted or to shock you, everything is done in just measure to overcome the terror that is sweeping the land of Mornia.
Morbid’s score is very good, as is the sound design. The design is simple but to pass on the idea of the game and the track… Well, Simo Talasranta has done a nice job, with the scenarios with soft and sober themes, and in the boss battles things change with more themes of the battle footprint and each song is better than that of the previous boss.
My favorite is certainly the fight against Maestro Bibe, which is a very lively subject.
A rough gem that might need a little more polishing
I recommend the game here, but… Depending on your currency situation and platform, I would recommend waiting for a promotion.
It’s a lightweight game in its PC version, so it’ll probably run on your potato (at least according to the PC specs, it would run on mine). So if you don’t have a good enough PC to run Life Souls, Morbid is a good alternative. And since the game is also available for PS4, Switch and Xbox One, everyone can enjoy this beautiful game.
If they gave the game a little more time it would be a wonderful experience, but as it is it’s pretty good.
The analysis of the game was made with a copy kindly provided by the manufacturer.