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This game is free. If you're a fan of Sonic and the Sonic universe, that's all you need to know. It's a train murder mystery adventure including Sonic and the gang, and you (a new employee for Mirage Express) work alongside detective Tails to unravel the mystery of who murdered Sonic. It's a unique setting for all these characters to find themselves in, and for what it is, it provides a fun two to three hours for Sonic fans.
If you're not a Sonic fan, and especially someone who (almost) never plays Sonic games, there won't be a point to playing this, as you won't know the characters and most of the charm of this game will probably be lost on you. I myself have played the first few Sonic games ever released within the past 12 months, so I know many, but not all of the characters that feature here, and I did feel like I'd get more enjoyment out of it if I were a more avid Sonic gamer.
That said, I did enjoy the game. The game plays itself for the most part a la visual novel, but interrogations include mini games in which you control Sonic from an isometric perspective as he collects enough rings to beat a level, which allows you to formulate an argument. Simple, but challenging enough. Just don't expect more from this game than it is, since it is free like I mentioned. If a gaming franchise I really like made a similar project like this, I'd definitely be really excited about it, and I think it's really nice that this exists.
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did because I enjoy the immersive sim genre (though I'd say System Shock isn't the most accurate representation of the genre) and all of the well-known games that were inspired by the original System Shock to this day.
Unfortunately, System Shock has something that regularly makes me fall off of similar games, which is a big reliance on quick-saving and reloading. Enemies that kill you with a few shots, health items being very scarce compared to how easily and how much damage you take, multiple areas that you just aren't supposed to be at yet (keyword 'radiation') that will empty your health items before you eventually realize that you shouldn't have been here in the first place and more. It's something that makes me hesitant to say I'd recommend it to everyone, and I think that's more than acceptable among gamers. It's a niche game made for a certain audience who will love it, popularized and refined in games like Bioshock, Prey, Deus Ex, heck even Dead Space and more. And even beyond that, System Shock has done things that I have not previously seen in the 100 other games I had previously played as this retro challenge I'm doing (see bottom of the review), especially in terms of its storytelling, which has caught on in the years to come.
Yet, despite the fact that I can acknowledge and respect what this game has accomplished at its time, it unfortunately never managed to grab me. Both because of the first issue I mentioned, but also because of some other issues. For one thing, the progression in this game truly shows its age. That's a good thing for those who want the remake to be faithful to the original. But to start the game and have a general idea that you're meant to stop SHODAN, but other than that rather aimlessly walk through 9 or so separate areas to just progress further and further to the end, didn't feel all that engaging. It can't be helped that in each area, you look for keycards to unlock progression, a pretty common thing back in the day, and do the same few puzzles and shoot the same few enemies throughout. Enemies that either felt too weak or too overpowered to me. Another thing is the recycling system in the game. To get currency, you grab junk items and vaporize them in your inventory, which turns them into scrap to recycle for the currency. That becomes pretty tedious after a while, and it's not as optional as I anticipated it being because items will be very useful in this game (healing items in particular) and you get very little currency outside of recycling.
The storytelling is pretty good to this day, as it's told through voice recordings for the most part, which gives you an idea of how it was for the people working at the space station this game is set in while SHODAN went rogue. Some of the voice acting is less good than most of it, but I enjoy this style of storytelling and that's true for this game too. The atmosphere grabbed me as well, and the threat of SHODAN was portrayed really well throughout.
Unfortunately, as a package, the gameplay loop itself did not grab me as much as I would have hoped. There is a demo for the game on Steam, so I'd urge you to try it and decide based on that whether you want to buy the full game. It has its many fans, but it's worth mentioning that the game is definitely not for everyone. And I'd definitely say that has more to do with the taste of the player then with the quality of the game, though the game does have its flaws.
(This is the 101st game in my challenge to go through many known games in chronological order starting in 1990. The spreadsheet/blog is in my bio.)
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is an isometric soulslike with a Lovecraftian Horror theme. If you enjoy the lovecraftian genre, there is plenty to like here visually and in terms of the game's lore. The setting, the characters and the items are described in great detail within dozens of entries for those interested in that. The soundtrack is also quite good.
Unfortunately, I didn't quite enjoy the gameplay in this one. It's pretty simple and repetitive but relatively enjoyable when you're fighting normal enemies, but falls apart whenever you are facing bosses. A big issue for bosses is that hitboxes (for both you and the bosses to be fair) are quite unfair. A boss might just slash to its side, but will still hit you even though you are below or above the boss, making it unpredictable at times whether you are within reach of the boss or not. In addition, bosses can have charge attacks, in that they just rush towards you. If you don't know that they will do this and don't preemptively run away far enough, there is nothing you can do and you will get hit. There is no way to dodge, parry or block, you can only be far away from the enemy before they charge up.
As a soulslike, Morbid: The Seven Acolytes unfortunately does lots of things wrong, or at least in ways that I wouldn't dare to do them in this genre. For example, the game has to separate its seven or so areas with loading screens. So if you accidentally walk to the edge of a map and enter a different world, getting back to the previous world will not only take 30+ seconds, but it will also reset all the enemies on the map. While doing so, your health and item charges DO NOT refill, which is quite unfair. It's not gonna happen a lot, but it happened multiple times to me, so worth a mention.
Worse offenses are that resting at "bonfires" triggers a loading screen, maps don't show you where you are exactly (which is an issue because so many areas look the same due to the game's low budget and some areas are pretty big) and bossfights always play the boss entrance cutscene, no matter how many times you attempt it, so you spend 10+ seconds on the first boss for every attempt for example. Some take less time, some probably longer, though I didn't finish the game.
I'd say it's worth checking it out, if you already own it, and perhaps worth it on sale, if the positives about this game sound appealing to you, but it's not a soulslike I would recommend.