It feels like a while ago since the original base game of Children of Morta was released, but even back then we quite liked the roguelite design along with the interesting storyline progression which focused on growth and dynamics of a colourful yet dysfunctional family unit. Between the release of the original game and that of its latest DLC – Ancient Spirits – the game has grown and expanded in size; not just via paid content, but through free updates and revisions, including a new game mode even.
Clearly Children of Morta has done well to maintain player interest and momentum with regular content updates, especially in an age where gamers have the attention span and interest of a goldfish when it comes to committing to single player experiences – the addiction of Fortnite, Among Us, etc. are a whole other ball game. And so for the game to persist even when faced with competition from numerous other roguelikes and roguelites, deserves a tip of the hat.
Ancient Spirits as a DLC certainly presents itself as a major upgrade, but it’s hard to not see it as an incremental improvement over the base experience. It’s being sold as something substantial, and while it’s not offensively expensive, it’s not exactly a small sum either, at least not when considering what you’re getting.
In the end it comes down to whether you want to invest in additional paid content, and whether this content does enough to add to what is already a pretty tried and tested roguelite game design. For Xbox owners, the decision is a little more interesting given how the base game is on Game Pass, and so it’s a matter of deciding whether it’s worth paying the incremental premium. Furthermore, there is an additional option of purchasing the Complete Edition, which comes with the base game for players to fully own, the Ancient Spirits DLC, as well as all prior content including the Paws and Claws DLC (which was to raise funds for an animal charity by the way). The value proposition mileage will vary, but give the game a go on Game Pass first if you have it.
So, what exactly does Ancient Spirits add then? Well, it throws in a bunch of new skins of existing characters, and adds several new relics, charms, graces, and the like. Nothing terribly exciting here, but the real treat is an all-new playable character by the name of Yajouj’Majouj. This character is essentially the titular Ancient Spirit, where Yajouj and Majouj represent two distinct fighting forms of the same character.
Those of you who are familiar with your biblical lore, these names, when translated back from a few Semitic languages, are essentially Gog and Magog. Of course, in Children of Morta the use and context of these terms is completely different, as here it’s to do with some forbidden romance between a human and a goblin or some nonsense like that. Anyway, onto the actual character gameplay.
Yajouj’Majouj is only playable in the Family Trials mode, which is where players jump right into the action without any of the story fodder, as they complete a run until they hit the game over screen and have to start over again; typical roguelite stuff really. Yajouj’Majouj plays quite differently to the other characters as their style involves long-range projectiles and spells, making the experience feel more like a top-down shooter rather than a hack and slash action RPG affair.
That’s all there is to the new content honestly, and so the real challenge is determining who this is meant for. If you’re one of those players who especially loved Children of Morta or have only recently been smitten, then there may be some value in this additional content. But if you’re among those who played the game quite some time ago and have moved on since, then there is really nothing here to pull you back into the fold once more. Children of Morta: Ancient Spirits as a DLC is only mildly worthwhile if the base game just so happens to be on your active play rotation presently.
You can pick up Children Of Morta: Ancient Spirits on Xbox by visiting the Xbox Store