Moribund Preview

Moribund means almost dead and is set in an almost dead world, where an aggressive fungus has taken over all life. Moribund by Traptics is a two to four local multiplayer game, where players battle in gory battles to overcome their foes and live one more day. With levels full of deathtraps and unforgiving mechanics, Moribund surely isn’t for the faint hearted. Prepare to dismember your enemies and be dismembered a lot in battles that can turn around on a moment’s notice.

The game is in Early Access for the time being and it is currently offering eight unique heroes, each with his own taunting voice lines, which at best will destroy all of your self-esteem and faith in the world. You can spam the taunt key in match and continuously “launch” insults at your enemies. However, apart from their unique insults all the characters feature the same combat skills. These include an ability to knock enemies away or throw hazards at them, a shot that stuns them and the mighty harpoon launcher, which on hit ends your foe in a magnificent explosion of gore and limbs. So, it should be made clear that the steps to victory are stun first, harpoon second! Oh and keep an eye on the various traps.

Speaking of traps, you should be very, very careful around them as sometimes they can prove deadlier than your opponents. There are six maps in total and each of them offers a different set of traps and mechanics. There’s a map featuring explosive barrels, another that features spore hives and one with lasers. And there is the insane map with mines which can be moved around by hitting them with some “bouncing cluster”, but explode on contact with anything else. Each time you play the layout of the map is different, with a stunning total of 60 different levels, a very attractive feature which gives much more variety to the game. There are also two game modes, Team Battle for three to four players in two teams, where the team that survives each round gets one point until the point-goal is reached and Deathmatch where each kill awards a point.

Aesthetically-wise the game features an unusual art style. Everything looks hand drawn, from the characters to the backgrounds of the levels. The theme is of course post-apocalyptic with a touch of horror. We will see bloody spikes, automatic harpoon launchers and filthy, life-eating fungi. You could say that while some maps give out a Mad Max or a Fallout vibe, others look like more like a map out of Prototype and the Last of Us. There is something to please everyone’s post-apocalyptic needs I guess! What I did not find particularly pleasant are the characters’ animations. Their movement feels almost robot-like and while this is good enough for the robot characters, it feels way off for the human and the kind of human characters. We would like to see some improvements on the animations, because sometimes it feels like a Newgrounds flash-game and it is a shame for such a well designed game.

I have one last complaint though. Moribund is an excellent multiplayer game for two to four players, but I’d love it if there was a way to play solo, if online multiplayer is totally out of the question due to technical and financial difficulties. I am no game developer, but I believe it shouldn’t be that hard to include a solo mode, where you can face off against the A.I. This is not the first time I happen upon a decent multiplayer only game, which I would love to play solo and I am saddened each time I see this pattern being repeated. Anyway, apart from my complains, I genuinely believe Moribund has a potential to become a very solid multiplayer experience for players that like a big grain of challenge in their lives.

Moribund is currently in Early Access and can be found on Steam for 6,99€, on Windows, Mac and Linux.

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