Review of the game Children of Morta - what in the family will not die
The best recommendation for Children of Morta - the newest game of a broader previously unknown studio Dead Mage, the release of which is Polish 11 bit - let it be the statement that the biggest disadvantage of this production for me is ... the family name of the protagonists. Bergsons. It didn't work for me from the very beginning, but after a while this subjective drawback stopped bothering me and I immersed myself completely in the fantastic universe of Children of Morta . I would have hurt the creators if I wrote that this is a September game - because it is most likely one of the best games I will play in 2019.
Family is the most important
The story in Children of Morta may, at least at first, seem surprisingly clichéd. The land of milk and honey is haunted by an ancient evil, known in the game as corruption. Evil, like evil, takes hold of you, disturbs the water in the well and disturbs it, so it should be pacified. Sounds familiar? We find similar themes very often in games that approach the plot in a conventional manner - offering little more than a trivial story that provides a poor background for fleshy entertainment. Fortunately, the creators of Children of Morta did not take the easy way. Because the outlined fate of the land of Rhea is only a starting point - and soon, instead of clichés, we get a deep and moving story that perfectly complements the gameplay.
The protagonist is not a chosen one clad in shining armor, but ... a whole family of heroes - the already mentioned Bergson - whose destiny for generations has been the defense of the aforementioned land. These characters do not say a single word - the dialogues have been replaced by the narration of Ed Kelly (phenomenal in his role), whose storytelling timbre enriches the fairy-tale character of the entire production .
The family members, although they remain mute, are extremely characteristic, which is due not only to fantastic animation, but also interesting biographies. Among them we can find, for example, a boy who is bathed in hot water, armed with daggers (Kevin), an old woman who devotes her life to science and research (Margaret), a young adept of the secret art of using the element of fire and a pencil (Lucy), or a prudent and wise warrior with a good heart , slashing enemies with a mighty sword (John). I will not reveal more, because it is a pleasure to get to know the characters thanks to their biographical notes - however, it is worth mentioning that throughout the story there are many more characters, although we will play "only" six of them.
Chop and chop
The gameplay in Children of Morta has been divided into two complementary segments. In the first one, the player lands in the Bergson residence - this house serves as a base where you can prepare for the next expeditions . This is where the protagonists can improve the statistics for the morva collected during the game (I would swear it's gold, but it turns out that not all that glitters is gold), review the notes found during the adventures or see the daily bustle around the house.
It quickly turns out that this is not the only important feature of the residence, because this is where the game's narrative speeds up. After each character dies (or less often - after passing several levels of a given dungeon without dying), we return to the privacy of our homes, and the game rewards us with a cutscene. It is in the vast domes of the Bergsons that we will watch the cutscenes - both those pushing the plot forward, and those seemingly insignificant, which show the everyday life of the characters - painting pictures, playing football, quarrels, romantic moments, fencing training or joint dinners. Some scenes can be activated by ourselves by pressing a special action button that appears at random moments in the game. It is worth doing this, because the plot becomes fuller and the characters much more expressive!
The second segment of the game is, in turn, dungeons, in which the gameplay resembles hack'n'slashe. The Bergsons (this or those, because the game allows for cooperation) go down to the dungeons called Sanctuary (association with the third installment of Fable is perfectly normal, for real) to use magical portals that teleport them to the surrounding lands attacked by corruption. The goal is to summon the three spirits of the goddess Rei to help open the door to the source of corruption. The relentless family travels the dungeons, unleashing a youth worthy of Michael Bay with hosts of monsters born in the dark - sometimes they are skeletons, other times snakes or goblins. Following the example of the other hack'n'slash games, we will also face stronger, elite types of enemies who will try to stop us with special skills and bosses ending the dungeon stages.
The combat itself is an extremely rewarding element of the game - each of the heroes really represents the archetype of well-known character classes . John is a brave knight who can cover himself with a shield, Linda has a bow like an amazon, and Lucy will burn enemies with her fire magic - the differences are not only in the change of weapons, but also in the character's abilities and the way of playing. The universal energy bar, depending on the selected warrior, is responsible for a different mechanic - for example, Lucy will consume this power, creating powerful tornadoes, and John's shield will be effective until its resource is exhausted.
The croissant you've been waiting for
Be careful with your habits. The game effectively makes it impossible to play as only one character, introducing the "Destruction with Corruption" mechanic. If we take a particular liking to a family member, their maximum health will eventually drop, forcing us to change characters. In this way, Children of Morta urges us to constantly juggle family members and learn their different fighting styles . It is also important to dodge and use the abilities of each hero tactically - even a few ill-considered moves can end in the hero's death.
I am also happy with the multitude of all kinds of improvements, boosters and bonuses that can be found in dungeons - and I omit the fact that, like every RPG, characters gain experience levels (and thus, we unlock passive and active individual bonuses and perks that affect the whole family - e.g. by increasing the movement speed of all members of the Bergson family).
Heroes can get special items every now and then, which significantly modify their attacks (although, as is often the case in roguelike games, they disappear after the hero's death). Their number includes, for example, blessings (passive enhancers that affect the hero throughout the entire stay in the dungeon), divine relics (temporary boosters limited by a cooldown of several dozen seconds), obelisks (places that temporarily raise the protagonist's statistics), talismans (one-time boosters that disappear after activation) and runes .
So there's a lot of it, right? Let's add randomly generated dungeons that we will have to search, a number of side quests that we will only come across if we carefully check all the legs of the generated corridors or even random events that will make the repetition of the same level more pleasant. So once we free the merchant, save the wolf or collect the raw materials someone needs. All this means that Children of Morta can be played without feeling bored with even hours of sessions, because the program skillfully introduces new mechanics, items and characters.