Well, I know we learned our lesson when it comes to planet exploration games with randomly generated universes. We approach this subject with caution, yet it is not a bit less charming than it was before. It is 2017, guys. We should be doing much more than that.
I believe when it comes to this genre, we tried to run before we can even walk. We expected too much and we are hard to satisfy when it comes to the games. But, Morphite is here to prove us that it can be done at a small scale yet in a glorious way. Morphite is not a huge AAA game, it is a beautifully crafted, ambitious, compelling, low budget indie game.
I wasn’t expecting that!
Morphite is a casual atmospheric FPS set in a ‘low poly’ stylized environment. The game is featuring a procedurally generated universe which is the most important thing in the game. Morphite offers much more, but before going any deeper, I must say that this procedurally generated universe feature is working perfectly smooth and I ashamed here for thinking otherwise before playing the game. So, here goes my confession.
While playing the game we step into the shoes of Myrah Kale. Myrah runs into a substance called Morphite while visiting some planet in order to scan some life forms for her old science partner, Mr. Mason. Morphite is a rare material and of course, an extremely important one since it is some kind of a myth to the people. Myrah remembers them from her childhood. This material is one of the most important things for Myrah in this universe and her life is to change starting from the moment she sees it.
After we find Morphite, we figure out that it is actually an intelligent being which follows us everywhere, unlocks doors to temples and starts a journey for both of us.
Morphite is actually not just a FPS and a planet exploration game. It also features platform elements and space combat. It is getting better and better, isn’t it? Yes, it is! Forgive me when I dare to say that Morphite perfectly fits to the phrase “A jack of all trades is a master of none.” But, it continues as “but oftentimes better than a master of one.” Morphite focuses on multiple gameplay mechanics, not just on space exploration and surely this is the main idea behind this beautiful title.
Our main goal is, of course, to follow the main story-line about finding Morphite and the story behind it. Yet, there are lots and lots of side missions you can take from here and there. After all, there are tons of generated planets to discover and people to meet. These side missions usually can be handled while following the main story and will not distract you from it. On the contrary, they are the cherries on the cake and they surely will spice things up for you. Well, don’t you want to kill some space zombies while searching for Morphite. I do and I did.
Feels, smells and looks like Arcturus
If you are familiar with David Lindsay’s science fiction novel A Voyage to Arcturus, you will remember the purple grass, red sand and other weird colored things. It can be imagined, it can be dreamed of and with some effort, it can be done. But, how it will feel like while all of your senses are in denial? Well, welcome to the world of Myrah.
Every planet we visit with Myrah breaks the rules of nature as we know it. Weird creatures? You will meet them as soon as you land on a planet. Strange flora? Bring it on! Unfamiliar architecture? What else were you waiting for? Every planet we visit is a carnival for our eyes with splendid and smooth artwork. All of them, all of the creatures and plants of these planets are out of dreams.
These plants, animals or creatures and minerals which can be found on the planets can be scanned with your scanner. Doing so will provide you scans which can be sold for chunks, and you can use these chunks to upgrade your suit, ship, weapons, shields etc. You can also purchase fuel and repair your ship. Fuel is necessary since you can not make it with one jump to where you need to go mostly and just one full tank will not be enough for multiple jumps.
Along the way, you will find space stations which also can be explored and these space stations are where you will do the upgrades and buy fuel. Also, you will need to repair your ship from time to time since you will encounter with hostile ships and fight them. You can retreat or pay them, but who does that? Space fight is fun –not that hard, not that easy. Just how we like it.
Some of the creatures on these planets will be hostile and won’t hesitate to act accordingly right away. Some are the cutest things I’ve ever seen in my life. But do not worry since they are easy to kill. Also, you will find boxes scattered all around the planets which are filled with health, ammo, grenades etc. First, you will be equipped with a scanner and a pistol. Later, you will extend your inventory with a grenade launcher, a beacon and such.
I love how this game promises a wide variety of flora and fauna and I admire how it keeps this promise. I saw a rabbit-like creature jumping under the water. This can be a bug, yet it was cute as hell. I even saw a fox-like creature with a handlebar mustache! Of course, you can see it below amongst other screenshots. I must say that AI gets confused sometimes and creatures get stuck easily. When it comes to bosses, even they look cute with neon colors, yet they are harder to kill and I must say, I find their lack of intelligence disturbing.
Looks good, sounds good
Morphite is created with ‘low poly’ art style which makes everything look like they are out of a fantasy book. This good-looking environment is always in harmony with the music.
This low poly style may look incomplete to some, but I assure you that with neon art, they look fantastic. With no doubt, I can tell you that these procedurally-generated worlds of Morphite look amazing and each one of them tells a different story.
Soundtracks are rather calming except when there is a boss on the screen. They are tough guys, so they are accompanied with more lively music, just like they deserve.
Again, I must say that this art style maybe for not everyone, but Morphite presents this vibrant colors with low poly style, which means they are not eye-popping. I can say that the colors are warm even when everything is purple.
They say I can not fly ‘effectively’, but I was good at jumping
Well, you know, nobody is perfect. I am not perfect. They say when I must fly while playing a game, I can not do it effectively. What does that even mean? I am doing what I am supposed to do here! (easy, champion ^^ -E)
Maybe I am not perfect at flying, but I believe I can jump flawlessly, yet Morphite does not allow me to. Like I’ve mentioned previously, Morphite also features platformer elements and when this is the case, I expect control mechanism to be perfect. Morphite has that, I’ve encountered no problems while playing the game, except jumping. I’ve died again and again because I couldn’t jump on a platform in a pool filled with acid.
Apart from that, I’ve enjoyed Morphite at full. I wasn’t expecting Mophite to be filled with entertaining, charming, challenging and interesting content and now I am more than glad that I’ve spent hours on this game. Morphite can be an independent title, but it keeps every promise and even offers more.
Being an action/adventure FPS with a procedurally generated universe and platform elements, taking the risk of using the low poly style and laying a non-superficial story under all of it, and even shouldering the burden of creating a game whose possible fans are quite doubtful when it comes to generated universes? And keeping it all at a small scale, which is oddly satisfying? Well, I call that nothing but a success story and I highly recommend Morphite if you want to see how enjoyable it can be.
The game is now available on Steam with 15% discount. If you want to give Morphite a go and I think you should, visit here.
- Procedurally generated universe feature works smoothly
- Interesting story
- Charming visuals & art design
- Lots to discover, scan, see and admire
- Lots of side quests
- Lovely soundtrack
- AI gets confused from time to time
- Jumping feels weird
Morphite was reviewed using the Steam key provided by the publisher.