Review: Morphite (PS4)

Review: Morphite (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC, Mac
  • iOS

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Morphite
Format: PSN (1.03 GB)
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Crescent Moon Games
Developer: We’re Five Games
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
There is something very special and unique about Morphite and I sincerely hope that this little gem doesn’t go unnoticed. I started playing the game on my iPhone and probably enjoyed it more than any other smartphone game I’ve ever played.

When we received the PlayStation 4 version I immediately jumped on it. While I wish there had been a way for my phone’s save to transfer over, I was just happy to play it on the big screen with a controller.

The truth of it is that this game has been compared to No Man’s Sky and with good reason. There are a large number of planets to explore and there’s a randomly generated nature to them. You scan animals and plants and solve mysteries of the universe.

So the comparisons are fair but there’s something that Morphite does that the former game does not, making it more akin to something like the GameCube versions of Metroid than anything else.

For one, you play a named character – Myrah. Furthermore, she has a actual voice and travels with a little robotic companion who constantly berates her impetuous nature. There is a narrative here that is entirely voiced and takes your to various exotic locations around the galaxy.

There are space stations to visit, and you can actually meet other races, sell scans and loot, take on side quests and upgrade your weapons and armor.

While the comparisons between the two games will be warranted, I found myself enjoying the universe of Morphite because it felt more alive. This is not a jab at No Man’s Sky, I still play it quite often. This is more of a recommendation to fans of that game. This is a lighter experience with a stronger focus on narrative and exploration of planets with populations of aliens and small villages.

Controls and combat feel fine with a first-person shooter scheme that works well, but for those familiar with the GameCube series of Metroid games, holding the left trigger on the controller locks onto the enemy, allowing for easier aim.

The one area where it fell a little short was the space combat. I was hoping for a simple, yet free roaming, combat system. Instead, it’s based on random encounters where you can steer your ship and press a button to dodge.

You still aim and shoot at the enemy in real time, but you can’t really execute maneuvers. With so much going for it, I was a little disappointed with the space combat.

Visuals:
The game is simplistic but smooth as hell. The developers did not shy from the low polygonal style, but this look is consistent throughout and helps free up some of the processor to give the game a silky smooth framerate.

Whereas Morphite is comprised entirely of basic polygons, the color usage aids in creating otherworldly atmospheres. Every time I landed on a new planet, I felt like I was somewhere completely new and different. This is a fantastic example of simplicity managing to create better visuals than some jam-packed AAA games.

Audio:
The game is fully voiced and Myrah evokes a little of that Lara Croft vibe. The supporting cast also does a great job filling the shoes of these characters, particularly your robot buddy KitKat. The sound effects, which are evocative of classic sci-fi sound effects, are complemented by some great music.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
I seriously found myself surprised by this little game. As a huge fan of No Man’s Sky, I had heard the comparisons. I was very happy to learn that Morphite offered something that separated it from the former space odyssey.

It has charming characters and a pretty awesome story. It has planets with actual intelligent life and space stations where you can play minigames and upgrade your armor and weapons. You can scan creatures and explore hundreds of planets, all with unique looks and weather.

At the price point, there are seriously very few indie games that can give you this much value. Morphite is definitely a game I will be playing for a while.

I do home there is a Vita port someday, with Cross-Save of course.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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