Morphite – Brings Intergalactic Exploration Across the Stars and to PAX West
Some of the unique aspects of PAX WEST 2017 wasn’t just what was happening on the show floor, but also off the show floor. On September the 1st, deep in downtown Seattle, a special event was on-going, bringing forth the very best and brightest of Seattle’s Independent Gaming Scene. Titled SEATTLE MIX, the short but very special event brought food, drinks, and video games under one roof for players to interact and play the newest happening games. Among the special games, I had the opportunity to check out was Morphite, from Crescent Games Studios, creators of the cult-classic, The Deer God.
Morphite takes place far into the future, with a lone space explorer and her small crew. Deep in space, a young woman resides within a space station, lonely drifting through the cosmos. Her name is Myrah Kale, and all she has known is how to live and adapt in space with her surrogate father, Mister Mason. Her past is still very much unknown to her. Where she came from, who her parents were, is a mystery as vast as the galaxy itself. However, there may be a key to discovering more about herself and her importance in the universe around her through a rare, extremely powerful material, known as Morphite. What begins as a routine operation soon take Myrah across different worlds to discover more about herself and the Morphite.
I quickly began my demo, literally dropping to another planet. Of course, I was so quick in getting involved in the game that I wound up dropping onto the wrong planet. Through the very neatly designed visuals, I witnessed my entry onto the planet. As mentioned before, it was the incorrect planet, molten and bursting with heat. As soon as my drop-pod landed, I had to immediately evacuate the planet and head to the appropriate location. In the same solar system, there was a small, fertile planet. I was tasked with going to an abandoned base to locate supplies. Quickly, I dropped onto the planet, armed with a small blaster and a scanner.
While Morphite features some combat elements, Morphite is an exploration game at its heart, inspired by the science fiction greats in gaming, such as Metroid, as well as Ratched And Clank. I was encouraged to explore the environment, scanning planets, animals, and other objects. As I navigated through the thick jungle, I took note of the clear, crisp, hardened polygonal visuals. At the first glance, the game looks perhaps a bit too familiar to other space games, namely No Man’s Sky. However, the further you go into Morphite, the more distinctive it is. Morphite’s visual style lends to the immersion, by keeping things clear yet mysterious. Throughout my time in the jungle, I had no idea what I would discover. This immersion was further compounded by the mesmerizing music score as well.
Eventually, I found myself detecting the supplies and exploring the base. Then, small creatures came out of the walls and I proceed to dispense them with my blaster. The combat was lite but serviceable, keeping things interesting. Eventually, I came across the Morphite, obtaining it and achieving the goal of the planet. I ran back to my drop-pod, where I ascended from the surface and into the dropship.
As the demo concluded and the cutscene played, I asked the developer what set his game apart from No Man’s Sky, as I was certain that there would be obvious comparisons. He said that the biggest draw for Morphite is its focus on discovery, not of random worlds, but of self-discovery. Your character is connected to the space around her. What it is, the player has to find out. There isn’t a sense of deep isolation and loneliness, but of connecting to the hidden mysteries of the galaxy.
Morphite is out now on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with Nintendo Switch arriving shortly after.