The universe has deemed it necessary to gift me another Souls-like game to review with Morbid: The Seven Acolytes, and I must say that the premise of this one was incredibly exciting and promising. While it is a two dimensional game, it still manages to bring a similar level of eeriness and intensity to the experience that Dark Souls and Bloodborne do. If anything though the gameplay and plotline are much more like Bloodborne, with fast paced action and a multitude of disturbing Lovecraftian elements. The biggest problem that Morbid: The Seven Acolytes struggles with is that it is very difficult to navigate and I spent much of my time confused about what I should do next.
Like the majority of games in the Souls-like genre, the plotline of Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is obtuse and not straightforward whatsoever. The setup is that you are a warrior who has spent their entire life training to bring down seven deadly monsters called The Seven Acolytes. Each of these creatures have been possessed by dark deities called Gahars, which in turn grant them a multitude of dark powers. The Gahars are incapable of surviving without a host, so their time inside the Acolytes has twisted them beyond recognition. You must kill each of these beasts and free the world from their evil grasp.
Bring Down The Seven Acolytes
Of course you can't just walk straight up to these Acolytes and kill them as there is hundreds of enemies blocking your path of various types and difficulties. Combat works beautifully in Morbid: The Seven Acolytes as it is reminiscent of Bloodborne in many different ways. Rather than using a shield to block attacks, the game prioritizes dodging enemies and counterattacking while they recuperate. Also like Bloodborne you are given a firearm that can be used to either stun or severely damage enemies depending on which weapon is used. All fights throughout Morbid: The Seven Acolytes are intense and fast-paced, but luckily the controls are well-designed and incredibly responsive.
Like all games of this genre though the biggest thing that most people are concerned with are the boss battles, and Morbid: The Seven Acolytes provides many challenging and engaging bosses for players to throw themselves at. Once again I really could see the Bloodborne inspirations here as well because of lot of bosses are gross masses of tentacles and gore that vaguely resemble humanoid or beast-like shapes. These fights are loads of fun as well as you will be dodging huge attacks, memorizing patterns, and coming up with a plan of attack on the spot.
Collecting Weapons and Lore is Too Much Fun
One of my favorite parts of Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is that there is a wide array of different weapons, items, and pieces of lore to discover throughout its world. The weapons in particular are fun because each of them have their own unique movesets and are suited for specific styles of play. The lore is interesting as well though because it gives a lot of insight into the world that these characters reside in, especially since the story itself is nearly nonexistent. The lore is arranged in such a way as well that those who are interested can pick up every piece they wish, or it can be completely ignored without facing any negative consequences.
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes gets much of the Souls-like formula right, but its world design puts a big damper on the overall experience.
While Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is a lot of fun, it does suffer from some pretty big downsides. While I do appreciate games that don't hold their player's hands and encourage exploration, Morbid takes things almost a little too far. Several of the areas that you explore are arranged in odd ways and the path forward isn't always made clear, so I felt like I spent a lot of my time walking in circles trying to find the exit. One section in particular had me exploring some docks, and I probably walked around for more than an hour before I realized that the path forward was blocked by a set of barrels that could be destroyed. I don't mind secret areas or shortcuts being obscured, but it is a little frustrating when the only way to progress in a game is unnecessarily hidden in this way.
Several Issues Impact The Overall Fun
Some of the mechanics in Morbid: The Seven Acolytes are not explained very well either, which can lead to quite a few issues for the player. It took me quite a long time with the game to figure out how to level up my character. I actually powered my way through a couple of very difficult boss battles before realizing how leveling up worked. On one hand this made me better at Morbid overall, but on the other I was forced to struggle much harder than I would have had to if I had been able to use some of my skill points.
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is the kind of game that players will want to have a walkthrough open for while they are playing, just to get a few hints on where they are supposed to be going or what they should be doing. Morbid doesn't have a dedicated fan base yet to build walkthroughs or tip guides, so most players will find themselves struggling with it for quite awhile. At the end of the day Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is a fun entry in the Souls-like genre with great controls, but it really suffers from poor world design and a lack of mechanical explanations.
TechRaptor reviewed Morbid: The Seven Acolytes on PC. A Steam code was provided by developer Still Running for the purposes of this review.
- Varied Enemy Designs
- Great Boss Battles
- Wide Array of Weapons
- Well-Designed Controls
- Poor World Design
- Lack of Mechanical Explanation