I always enjoy when an indie studio has an idea for a game, and they just do it. Morbid: The Seven Acolytes manages to combine lovecraftian visuals, early isometric fantasy and single player soulslike elements into a game both familiar and unique.
Combat is strategic and can be as slow or fast paced as you like, with you dictating the flow of combat using a mix of fast and slow attacks, parrying, stealth and dodge rolls. If you play smart the game is a fairly steady, decent challenge that never gets overly hard but definitely punishes you for arrogance or not learning the attack patterns of bosses or tougher foes.
Everything, including chests, respawn at shrines and each level has a fairly maze like, set layout full of varied foes, making it both possible to get through an area in one try or go farm skill points and consumables. There are items for recovery, adding temporary effects to weapons and runes to permanently empower them, and a good variety of fast and slow melee weapons. There’s a smaller selection of guns, but with bullets being limited per rest and not too many bullet consumables it is more of a supplement than a system for actually completing the game, not unlike bows in the Souls games, and I could see a gun only play through being quite the challenge.
The game is easy to play, not too difficult to master, and with patience I feel this is one of the most accessible in the genre. The story and lore is obtained in pieces from books and killing monsters, and you can easily ignore it and still enjoy the game, or slow down to immerse yourself. Good gameplay is the bar in this genre and Morbid meets it.
Where it stands out is the visuals. With graphics that are more reminiscent of the first Diablo, I generally would not praise PSX era design, but I think the game looks at its best in this style. There is fantastic detail in this grim, disgusting world full of rotting beasts, diseased men and gore stained locales. If this had today’s realism the abundance of putrid filth could be a pretty big turn off to a lot of players, but with moderate pixilation it manages to be charmingly gross. Mortal Kombat’s evolution from goofy but brutal finishers to painfully unpleasant anatomy lessons comes to mind.
At a decent length, with solid controls and its unpretty setting, I believe this is a fairly easy recommendation for anyone who enjoys Diablo or Dark Souls.