Review by KFHEWUI

"MorphX is a flawed but decent game"

It is a nice winter day in Russia, when the sky turns dark, and as aliens fall from the sky. This incident is the start of an alien invasion, and sometime later, a squad of soldiers is sent on a mission however it goes south quick. The squad is wiped out, and the lone survivor has been infected. Slowly he is morphing into an alien, and he must make his way to the hospital to find a cure before it is too late.

MorphX start up with a beautiful CGI cut scene that looks stunning and gorgeous, and the cut scene shows the start of the invasion of the aliens, after this scene, the game starts with a big dip in the graphics. MorphX looks like a PS2 quality graphics, but I think it actually helps the game some. Most of the levels take place in destroyed cities, and it helps give the look of a ruined city.

The first level helps serves as a tutorial level, and the control scheme for the most part is decent. Controls are responsive, but the only gripe I have with the controls is the switching between weapons. To swap between melee and firearm, the attack button for the firearm ("RT")/melee ("X") has to be hit, and it would have been better if there was a way to just hit a button designated to switch between weapons. Also hitting UP on D-Pad (reload) or “LT” (aim) will also swap over to the firearm if the melee weapon is equipped. It would have been a lot better if they could have mapped a swap weapon on the A/B/X/Y along with reload since UP is the only button used on D-Pad.

Combat includes kick, melee, grenades, and firearm, but there is also some alien abilities that player will learn as they progress that can be used in combat. For the most part, the combat is decent, but it can be frustrating at first. The weapons feel weak however at level 3, the player gains a blade for arm that permanently replaces the melee weapons, and this weapon is extremely powerful. The gun will also get replaced later in the game, and this is a part of the game that I feel was done right. There is a true sense of power gained as the powers are upgraded which makes slicing and dicing the enemies like clockwork. Thanks to the mutation, the player can also absorb energy from enemies that will restore some health and energy plus there are a few enemies that can be killed with a fatality which restores more health.

There are several bosses along the course of the game, and they have a few problems. The final boss is a repeat of the first boss with a slight difference, and one of the bosses puts up very little resistance and can be beaten on the first try with no damage taken. The enemies are interesting with a nice variety that the player will encounter from terminator (humanoid alien that wields a chaingun), praying mantis alien, dog like alien, human enemies, etc. The enemies look nice, and they are animated well.

The levels are straight forward for the most part with checkpoints at predetermined points, and most of the levels are going from point A to point B. Some of the levels have puzzles, and most of the puzzles involve hitting a switch. There is one notable puzzle that hurt the game for me, and it involves a large circular room with three electric force fields. Next to each force field are two buttons with a symbol, and the combination used to open the force field is on the ground in front of the force field (can only be seen with alien view). Hitting the three correct switches seems to do nothing, and it does not mention or is known in what order the switches have to be hit. The only saving grace about this puzzle is that there are enemies that walk through the force field and disable it so I ran through it when it was shut down by the enemy. If it were not for this, I most likely would have never beaten the game. This puzzle is way too complicated for its own good.

The player will slowly gain new powers over the course of the game, and the first ability gained is alien view which is very helpful. MorphX is a very dark game with no option to change the brightness, and alien view allows the player to see in the dark. At first this ability does not last for too long however upgrading it will allow the player to use for longer spans of time. Other abilities include mind control, shield (reflects bullets/shoots), rage, and a few others.

Scattered throughout the levels are pods, and these pods mainly hold health and energy however there are two different pods that are called gene and special pods. Gene pods hold usually one to three genes that can be used to upgrade the player's powers while the special pods unlock bonus content like concept art.

Music in the game is not bad, and it gets the job the done although the sound track is not that memorable. There is voice acting in the game, and the voice acting is decent and passable.

MorphX's story is interesting and passable, but it does leave the game hanging for a sequel which will sadly probably never happen. This is a shame because MorphX has potential and with a little more polish it could have been a hit game instead it will most likely be a cult classic.

The replay value is low thanks to their only being one difficulty so the achievements will most likely be the only reason some will replay it. Overall the achievements are not too difficult with the exception of one which can be made easy thanks to a cheap trick.

MorphX is rough around the edges, but despite the flaws, I found the game to be enjoyable and had fun with it.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/27/12

Game Release: MorphX (US, 09/28/10)

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