Welcome, congregation, to the first installment of Game Pass game reviews. Where we take one or two of the best, newly added Game Pass games and let you know if they’re worth checking out. First game to be covered (and already not from the latest batch, since Indivisible, Plague Tale, fishing something, and Sea Salt have just been added) is Children of Morta. Diablo fans will find a lot to love. Rogue-like fans will appreciate some of the elements. And 2D fans will fall in love…
Children of Morta generates the dungeons randomly for each run, adding some variety for when you’re grinding — get ready for some grinding — to level up your character and upgrade your family’s gear. How upgrades and power ups are handled is one of the things I loved in this gem. The family blacksmith, Ben, will upgrade stats that affect all family members (ranger, assassin, knight, etc.) like health, stamina, agility, etc. Grandma is the head witch that will uncover new runes that help upgrade other, less tangible stats (i.e. luck, rune durability, XP gain percentage).
You’re likely to never have a run with the same power ups twice. They only last throughout that one run and don’t carry over, but whatever money you make you get to keep to purchase upgrades (thank God they didn’t adopt the “lose all your currency” B.S. that everyone’s taking from Dark Souls).
The 2D graphics are a sight to behold. You’ll find great little details and animations in the environments and characters. One of my favorites is Kevin — assassin, youngest boy of the family — practicing like a ninja in his room.
The story is nothing astoundingly original, but it’s very nicely told thanks to the great voice work by the narrator. How characters are unlocked is also intertwined with the story. While I loved this, I can see many having a problem with it. You start off with only two playable characters: The father (knight), and Lucy, his daughter (ranger). As the story goes on, the assassin joins in (Kevin, young son eager to prove he can help), and the oldest son comes back, Mark (monk/hand to hand fighter)… So, you can’t just pick anyone right off the bat.
Oh, and if you use someone too many times in a row, they’ll get corruption fatigue (start off with less health) and you’ll have to give them a break. Each member has their own skill tree and a certain skill that will benefit everyone (one will boost everyone’s speed, another their rage gain, etc), which adds a good amount of incentive to juggle your characters around.
Cons: That grind can be a drag, but it’s also fun figuring out which character is better suited for the given area and boss. The occasional freeze and the start. GHG are huge fans of GP. And personally, I’ve gotten to the point where I care a lot more about the Game Pass additions than I do the free Gold games. That shirt looks great on you. 4/5 Rune Scrolls.