A lone girl in a space station dreams of exploring. One day she gets the chance and finds something she’d only heard of in stories, the wondrous material known as Morphite.
Developer: Crescent Moon Games
Publisher: Crescent Moon Games
Release Date: November 2017
Played Single Player Campaign
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, PC
Purchase At: Nintendo E-Store
When I first saw Morphite, I thought it similar to No Man’s Sky, but the description and media showed a much more focused game, with a central storyline and much more exciting gameplay.
I was mistaken. By the end of my first playing session of Morphite, I was lost for reasons to even return to it. The reason for it is that even earlier in the game, you’re bumbling around planets looking for a massive list of independent resources to upgrade your ship and armour so you can go do that some more, and though there is a central story and goal, the bumbling part takes over extremely fast. To make it worse, the combat is profoundly dull, even after acquiring grenades.
From the exploration and scanning of wildlife to the combat there is no depth to the gameplay. Even when in the middle of a firefight, there’s no excitement or tension. Scanning things provides no apparent benefit, save for the ability to sell your scans for money, which is the one resource that I truly didn’t care for.
It started fine. I thought the low-res polygonal visuals were pretty neat, especially with the main cast, who look unique despite not really having any features. The planets you explore are also full of colour, something I’ve mentioned in the past I really like to see. But much like the lack of depth found in the gameplay, the audiovisual design is another half-assed job.
All planets are essentially identical, with a few minor palette swaps at best, but having the same overall features: rocks, grass and water. In a game where you could have created wondrous sights, the developers go for the bare minimum, the least amount of effort. It’s a wasted opportunity, especially since interesting exploration is what will inevitably drive the player.
Worse still is that all space stations are identical, with the same rooms and blank-faces NPCs. Even your enemies lack uniqueness and personality. It’s yet another opportunity to create a compelling universe completely wasted.
When Alien released it had the lovely tagline of “In space, no one can hear you scream.” With Morphite, the phrase should be “In Space, no one can hear you yawn.”
2/5 – Mediocre.