Children of Morta analysis. Action-RPG and rogue-lite shake hands with expertise

Children of Morta
Written by Kamran Haider

The Bergson family lives peacefully in the forest at the foot of Morta Mountain, but their quiet life is disrupted when corruption invades the entire territory. In Children of Morta, there is no single hero, but the whole family must fight for survival. Analysis.

In the first games, while varying characters in Children of Morta, I thought I was having bad luck. He chose a long-range class and the enemies that appeared most were fast and potions were scarce. Changing to one specialized in rapid and close combat, the priests were abundant and the number of opponents attacking you from afar increased. It doesn’t take long to realize what is happening. Dead Mage has shaped his game so much that each game with him is unique and personalized. You will not be able to take more advantage of the account of the exclusive skills of the protagonists, because the game always counteracts them efficiently, creating in the process a balanced game, but that has no problem returning you to the exit box at the time you relax in the least.

Regardless of how many times you die, the energies to start over are always renewed. It is perhaps the fundamental difference between rogue-like and rogue-lite. While one has exclusive confidence in your abilities, the other gives you some progress in the game. Psychologically, each one has a very powerful effect on the player. In the case of rogue-lite, that you are not wasting your time, mainly. There is also the eternal doubt of whether the challenge is not unbalanced from the beginning, in order to have you and keep you repeating the level a few times. Always start with a very weak character to encourage that sense of progress. It is because of this gender condition that few really stand out in it, but I think Children of Morta does it precisely by adding a progression system that arouses curiosity and combat that never, or at least rarely, tires or bores.

There is something unique in the way you tell your fantasy story.

Take John, for example; The father of the family. It is who you start with and the first one I left aside because the mechanics of the firstborn Linda with her bow, her traps, and her dodges caught my attention much more than the classic sword and shield of the warrior. Or maybe, because it reminded me of the experience with the Demon Hunter III. In any case, managing the different members that you are unlocking in the first third of the adventure is a real joy. Whenever you feel some fatigue you can change fighter and try a different combat experience. This is because, unlike Diablo, Children of Morta wants you to play with all his characters in your first game.

You jump out of your experience driving the rogue son and his quick daggers to the pyromancy of the little daughter. Thanks to a classic skill system, but which allows all members to improve simultaneously, it is not difficult to vary in class, although it is true that there will be a few games that you have to die, yes or yes, while you go improving new incorporations. It is a tedious and necessary process, although once passed, discovering each of the Bergson’s is a delight. A good example are the clever fists inspired by the monk’s class with Mark. They destroy the enemies in a combination of blows in which the rhythm must be maintained to accumulate the rage; or cousin Joey and his powerful hammer. Slow as none, but once it starts to swing, it is the ruin of the one within its reach.fighting

Children of Morta, fighting corruption

The surprising thing about Children of Morta is that although its classic and generic fantasy story does not involve more than the nth revision of the typical evil that looms over a quiet people, there is something unique in the way of being told and in the relationships between family members. From a zenith perspective of the whole Bergson house, we live scenes that explain the motivations and past of the characters with a pretty attractive and well-crafted pen. The result is quickly noticed because if something bothers the structure of a rogue-lite is everything that is not intrinsically related to combat. And in Children of Morta, its history accompanies well and without nuisance.

Help and much a visual section. Pixel art continues to show each year the quality that it is capable of offering and although we may have seen others that exceed what Children of Morta achieves in design or animations here, work in general lines, especially in the scenarios, continues to impact. Even more when the game gives some panoramas on the stages or small scenes of careful elaboration. Yes, playable, the animations are perfectly executed so that we feel the necessary response to the controls of our actions, and the music accompanies perhaps without pretending to stand out too much but never disentangling.

Let’s go back to the skill tree because I think the trick of Children of Morta resides here. The game not only wants you to try all the classes and choose one, but it encourages you to vary as much as possible. When we get skill points, we raise a series of active skills to use and enhance in battle, while when we upgrade, other common passives are also activated for all family members. With this great idea, it seems more necessary than ever to improve the level of the Bergson’s in order to benefit from the skills that each share with the group. Inside the dungeons, in addition, there will be special objects and abilities that will only be available during that exploration, and that well combined and accumulated, are devastating. There are enough to not see them too repeated and many of them are exclusive to the family.exploration

It is noted that the study knows gender, its strengths and weaknesses well.

With these aspects, Children of Morta would already be a good rogue-lite. However, it also has very addictive combat. I think it is a mixture of the profile of his control and his response to waves of enemies. You can crush the button, like any RPG action, but also attack with precision with the second stick. And it is at this moment that combat flows much more. With long-distance classes, it is practically obligatory, of course, but in short-range classes it works really well. The game is capable of creating true harmony when, for example, you see the young Kevin’s fast blades piercing enemies directed with the right stick faster and faster, while with the left you are delaying your position to stay out of reach enemies. Discovering the most efficient way to play with all family members, or at least find your own, is another of the pleasures of Dead Mage’s work.

The three big dungeons and their respective areas, as well as some surprises that we find along the way,  leave us with very good feelings, but it is very difficult to avoid that repetition halo as the games accumulate and you get used to the systems of the Game and character classes. From the second great dungeon, the surprises are less and the skills less defining. The final enemies and their different patterns or the secrets that hide the levels, together with the fact that each visit to the dungeons is unique, manage to deal well with this sensation but does not disappear at all. Even so, it handles the rhythm better than other games of the genre and I think it is due to the great sacrifice he makes regarding replayability. Any other would have encouraged the player to repeat the adventure six times, once for each protagonist, so that he is not accused of a lack of replayability. But Children of Morta sacrifices this. Prefer that you have a truly unique and complete first game. One, in addition, that you can enrich with the addition of a second player in local mode and with the challenge well balanced. All this can only be the product of a study that knows gender well, knows its strengths and weaknesses and how to counteract them. As Bergson themselves do because that is precisely what it means to be a family.

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Children of Morta is a great rogue-lite because it manages to maintain a very good pace throughout the adventure. It is a delight to be able to handle in the same game the six classes of characters that form, among others, the Bergson family. Each with their own means for fighting and their unique abilities, while creating others that share with each other. The progression and the rhythm are magnificent and although that feeling of repetition that can lead to the best exponents of the genre does not disappear, it knows how to create enough additives to encourage you to move forward, with a sufficient variety of mechanics and challenges.

  • A great progression system to control the six characters
  • Intense, fun and balanced fighting
  • A great atmosphere and aesthetic care
  • The game allows us to play with all classes in the same game
  • When you unlock a new character, you have to play a few empty games with it until you level it up
  • It can be somewhat repetitive at advanced levels when you become familiar with their skills and progression system.

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Kamran Haider

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