13/02/2021

⚔️๐Ÿฒ Morbid: Seven Acolytes | Review | Nintendo Switch | "A Lovecraftian Hack n' Slasher ARPG That is Really Punishing" ⚔️๐Ÿฒ @MorbidTheGame #IndieGames #GameDev

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A Lovecraftian hack n' slasher ARPG that is really punishing at first? 

That, reader, is the sound of my boxes being ticked.

Morbid: Seven Acolytes packs a ton of lore and gore into a very nice-looking package. The pixel-art graphics are really lovely and detailed, letting you see the frankly disgusting range of enemies and characters that populate the world of Mornia.

The story is revealed slowly at first, with you waking up on a beach without any weapons or items to your name. You are a Striver, a religious warrior whose goal is to defeat the Seven Acolytes of the title, mutated champions who take great pleasure in smashing you into the ground as soon as you encounter them.

You start with a basic sword, but pretty soon you find a range of weapons, both melee and, er, ranged. The main weapons encompass things you can swing, like bigger swords, daggers and staves, as well as gloves and knuckledusters, if you're the sort of person who likes to punch their way through life. 

You can also find runes to add elemental damage, life steal and other effects. Careful though, as runes are permanent, at first anyway. As the game progresses you find more and more weapons and armour, and one thing that feels like a real missed opportunity is a shop or merchant to enable you to sell or upgrade your gear. As things stand, you just end up leaving piles of stuff on the ground behind you like discarded McDonald's wrappers.

The combat is governed by your weapons but bounded by your stamina. You have a stamina bar that is depleted by sprinting and swinging your weapons, meaning if you're taking on a fast enemy with a broadsword then you'll end up tired (and likely dead) sooner rather than later. 

You learn extremely quickly to conserve your energy, and once you start learning attack patterns and taking your time then things get a little easier. Until you get to the Acolytes themselves, of course, some of whom are TOUGH.

There's another mechanic called Sanity, which drains the more you are exposed to the hellish unpleasantness of the world. A nice touch (well, until it happens to you) is that once it drops below a certain level, you start encountering Spectres, ghosts of enemies you kill, which adds an extra element of annoyance. Of course, there are items to replace lost sanity, stamina and health but these do feel in short supply sometimes.

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