Review – Morbid: The Seven Acolytes – The world is slowly going under. Insanity slowly reigns supreme as the inhabitants of the land of Mornia lose hope and trust and thereby gradually yield to the power of the Gahars. The personification of these depraved forces manifests as scary hordes of enemies led by the seven servants of Gahar. As the last survivor of Striver, you must stop the ever-expanding evil, but with the ever-expanding influences of evil, it’s not an easy job.
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes Bio
|Release date||December 3, 2020|
|Platforms||Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows|
In the midst of all the chaos you wake up on a – in the first sense – quiet, deserted beach of the Haven of Solya. Surrounded by blood and corpses you make your way to the first living being that does not attack you. We are sent to track down and defeat the Acolytes, and we don’t have to count on help. The tyranny of the Gahars already has too tight a grip on everything that is still alive and even on what looks like it shouldn’t live anymore. The world that developer Still Running has created is gray and gives you a sense of hopelessness, but this also gives you motivation to restore the world to its original glory; although you have never known that glory yourself.
In the first instance, everything that the game offers you speaks for itself. The gameplay and user interface are very recognizable if you’ve played games in the Souls genre, Diablo or Castlevania, but some things aren’t explained very well. For example, there is a Sanity system, which you can keep an eye on through the purple vertical bar on your screen. The fuller the better. But some things deflate this bar, and the less of your common sense that remains, the more of your true environment becomes visible. This way, more and stronger enemies will come towards you, until you use items to get back to your senses. It is very important to keep track of this, because Morbid does not have a shop system. When the items are gone, you are trapped in this dire situation until you find new stock.
Why can’t I hold all these things ?!
And here we also immediately run into a problem, especially for the hoarders among us. You only have a limited number of slots in your inventory. Depending on the size of something you found, this will take up a number of slots. So sometimes you have to throw away things that you would like to keep. Eternal sin, you would think. There are over 25 different weapons, from swords to tridents, as well as crossbows. However, not all weapons are profitable. Unless you like to switch weapons, you can easily finish the entire game with one weapon. You can also equip weapons with Runes you have in different values to add Fire, Frost or Poison damage to each hit, for example. A real distinction was not noticeable to us, so apart from extra speed or maximum damage per hit, we kept it pretty simple.
Morbid adheres to many well-known systems, and the upgrade system also takes the familiar path – but with a twist. This is also one that was not explained properly and so we wondered for a while how we could spend our 15 accumulated levels. After some research we found where the first Acolyte was hiding and after defeating him, we were allowed to upgrade at a Shrine, which is similar to a Bonfire. In the form of Blessings you first get 2 slots in which you can choose what you like. Such as more health, more stamina or faster stamina regeneration. As the game progresses you will get more slots, but you will have to find the Blessings in the world. This promotes the cause for exploration and since good gear and upgrades were regularly given for it,
I just run in circles
For games that encourage exploration, we find it unpleasant that there is no map or better waypoints available. There are some side quests that we did complete, but where we couldn’t find the one who gave us the quest. Some places in Mornia look formidable and are beautifully designed down to the pixel, but despair is nigh when we have walked another circle in the dark woods of Grimwald Grove where we just defeated a mini-boss. Also, the questlog is only available at a Shrine and even the descriptions leave something to be desired. In the end, we skipped a number of missions, even though we met all the conditions to complete them.
But, in between all the getting lost, we had a lot of fun with Morbid. It was exactly a game up our alley. We describe it as the “Isometric Pixel Bloodborne” and it feels good. Although the gameplay feels a bit stiff compared to what it takes inspiration from, it is something that might suit the retro style with which the game is dressed up. This is especially evident when a hitbox does not correspond well with what is visible on our screen, especially when avoiding enemies. The bosses offer (except one) a fun, but not too difficult challenge and the soundtrack during the battles is to die for. Not bad at all to die sometime and do it again.
The closer we got to the end, the faster everything seemed to pass us by. In any case, the story is a bit obscure and during the course of the game we did not get much more explanation about the few facts that we have learned about the decline and possible reconstruction of Mornia. After beating the last boss we missed some sort of closure, it all seemed to end very abruptly. We will forever wonder what exactly happened after the credits and what is the fate of our Striver. As a surprise we did get the Platinum trophy at the end of the game, for which we had no trouble. An easy to obtain trophy, so. Windfall!
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes – Conclusion
You can finish a game like Morbid in under seven hours if you go straight for your target and don’t indulge in exploration for upgrades. However, we have been able to enjoy ourselves with the game for at least double the number of hours and for € 24.99 that is not a bad deal. The developer has managed to create an interesting game, where the inspiration was clearly noticeable. Complications such as inconsistent hitboxes and a somewhat slow control work against it a bit, however. The game starts a bit slowly, but after you defeat the first three bosses it takes you into a momentum and before you know it you have the game.
Positives of Morbid: The Seven Acolytes
- Retro / pixel style
- Soulsborne inspiration
- Interesting boss fights
- Mega good soundtrack
- Easy Platinum Trophy
Negatives of Morbid: The Seven Acolytes
- How stiff gameplay
- Inventory management
- No folder
- Unclear sidequests
- Very abrupt ending