[Beyond PlayStation] Morphite Review
Morphite sets players on an action platforming journey through procedurally generated planets. Learn more about this interesting game in our Morphite review!
The game places you in the shoes of Myrah Kale, an explorer who is sent on a peculiar mission to search for a valuable material: Morphite. You’ll end up traveling to the procedurally-generated planets the game throws at you as you find exotic and bizarre flora and fauna from a far distant future. You’ll need to make good use of the scanner you have since scanning said specimens is a must for you to be able to upgrade your weapon, suit, and ship so that you can continue to explore even further.
Morphite gets you started with a short tutorial on combat so that you can learn the basics of the game. You’ll move with the left analog stick and look around and aim with the right analog stick. The ZR button is used for shooting, while the ZL button is used to target enemies (it won’t allow you to lock-on to your enemy, but it gets the job done) – you’ll be able to see how much ammo you have left thanks to the counter on your gun. Jumping is done with the A button, while the X button calls up your menu so that you can review your current mission, your suit, weapons, items, scans, and resources. You’ll be able to upgrade your ship at the space stations in which you dock, but your suit and weapons need to be upgraded at a conversion chamber.
For example, your visor can be upgraded to include long-distance targeting or augmented clarity; your armor can be upgraded to be cold resistant, heat resistant or toxin resistant which, in turn, allows you to visit more planets; and your bots can be upgraded for added velocity, stealth or to allow you to hover. Your weapons can be updated to increase the fire rate, damage, accuracy and capacity, so that you can make the most of each piece of ammo. The resources section will list the materials you find during your adventure which you can use for upgrades – that is once you’ve scanned a flora or fauna specimen with the attribute you need to upgrade a piece of equipment.
Even though the game calls the tutorial your combat training, there isn’t as much combat to do in Morphite since the focus is placed heavily on the exploration side of the equation. By pressing the L button, you’ll be able to switch between your weapon and the scanner. Once you’ve equipped the scanner, you’ll need to press and hold the ZR button while pointing the device at a flora or fauna specimen in the planets you visit until the scan bar is full. Sure, you do run into hostiles every now and then, but it’s not as often as, say, in Metroid Prime. Hostiles tend to also show up in packs, so you’ll need to decide if you risk scanning all specimens to find rare ones (since their info is more valuable), or a special attribute that can help you improve your skills.
As you explore in space you will use up your fuel supply to travel between larger areas, so you’ll need to refuel at the stations you find by spending your chunks. Once you’ve refueled, you’ll be able to travel further into space. I suggest you upgrade your ship’s fuel capacity as soon as you can afford it so that you can travel further in one go, because you can also run into hazards and other ships during your travels which might make it harder for you to travel where you need to.
One complaint I do have is that the targeting mechanic, which you activate with the ZL button, is almost useless. It does not work like when you lock-on to a target in Metroid Prime, or as it does in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, by which once you’ve locked onto a target you can strafe around said target without losing sight. For Morphite, targeting something will only allow your scanner/gun to follow it for a bit before it basically “loses the connection” – this makes scanning anything that moves quite the ordeal.
Morphite is an interesting procedurally-generated release that you’re either going to love or hate. The premise, setting and minimalist graphics will draw you in, but the gameplay mechanics, particularly when trying to scan moving specimen, will probably get in your way. If you’re curious about the experience, you can definitely give this one a go! Even with the issues I mention I still ended up going back to the game to explore new worlds and see where the story took Myrah in her quest for morphite.
This Morphite review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Blowfish Studios.