HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewMorbid: The Lords of Ire Review

Morbid: The Lords of Ire Review

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You have to admire the self belief and confidence of some developers, don’t you? In the run-up to the long awaited expansion to Elden Ring, Still Running and Merge Games decide to release a game in a similar kind of vein – that game being Morbid: The Lords of Ire.

Putting aside the fact that it is going up against Shadow of the Erdtree, is there anything that can recommend this particular game to us? Well, I picked up my trusty sword and set off into the wilderness. 

Morbid The Lords of Ire review 1
The Morbid saga continues

The story of Morbid: The Lords of Ire apparently works as a follow on from a previous game, Morbid: The Seven Acolytes, however, I haven’t personally played that game so cannot possibly comment. What I will say is that I haven’t felt at any disadvantage after not playing the prequel, so don’t fret it!

We play as a heroic Striver, striving (see what I did there?) to rid the world of the five Lords of Ire. Our enemies seem to be the Gahars, and we are charged with “rending the evil Gahars of their flesh bound forms”. So, kill everything that moves, and progress through the game leaving a pile of corpses in your wake? Can do!

The presentation has seemingly moved on since the original game, as that was an isometric Souls-like game. Morbid: The Lords of Ire is now fully 3D, allowing us to wander around wherever we fancy, fighting new and interesting monsters. This introduces new issues, but I’ll cover those later on. 

The five different worlds that we have to traverse to kill the five Lords of Ire are all very different, filled with various creatures, so this is a plus point. However, the look of the game is hard to describe – the art style and design are both great, but the actual realisation of the artistic vision is pretty poor, to be honest. You can see what Morbid: The Lords of Ire should look like, but it doesn’t live up to the hype. 

Morbid The Lords of Ire review 2
Blood. Splattered.

The same can be said of the voice acting – saying that the voice talent phoned in their performances is about the only way I can describe how the dialogue sounds. The combat sounds are fine, and work well, as does the music and the rest of the ambient details, but the main parts are poor. There is quality here, but it is buried under a layer of poor graphics and sound, and this saddens me. I’m tempted to pull out the D word – disappointed. 

And while I am on the subject of the presentation, I have to take a moment to give a special shout out to the camera. This is always an issue in these Soulslike pretenders, but this one is worse than most. If you are fighting close up, with swords and axes, then the camera is okay, just. However, get crowded into a corner or up against the wall (and this happens all the time, as you’d expect) and the camera has a melt down, showing you the inside of your foe, or worse still, the inside of a wall. This never ends well. The number of times the camera has killed me is beyond a joke, and there is literally nothing I can do about it – and if anything, locking onto foes makes the issue worse! That is a big problem with Morbid: The Lords of Ire. 

Other than this, what about the rest of the gameplay? Well, the combat is clunky, and the wind up on enemy attacks is very difficult to read. This is an issue in one respect as the parry window is tight; so tight that being even a millisecond late will see you getting hit. However, once you learn to riposte, the game then becomes pretty trivial – hold block, wait for an enemy to hit you, then hit attack for an instant riposte, and just like that a lot of the challenge is removed – riposte, occasionally dodge an unblockable attack, rinse and repeat!

Morbid The Lords of Ire review 3
Morbid The Lords of Ire is a weird one

There is a good degree of customisation in your character to be had, with a skill tree to unlock and a wide variety of weapons to try out. Finding a weapon you like the look of is about as far as it goes, however, as I haven’t really noticed too much of a difference between the different classes – certainly not enough to warrant their inclusion.

There are various blessings that can be upgraded is a nice touch, as is a sanity system – going bonkers in the game makes you stronger and able to do more damage, but it twists the way you see the game world and so can have a detrimental effect. This is an interesting mechanic and I would have liked to have seen more made of it. And while I’m on it, why can’t I jump?

Overall, Morbid: The Lords of Ire is an odd duck. It looks poor but good at the same time, the combat is clunky and yet still a decent amount of fun to partake in, and there are interesting facets to get to grips with. It isn’t fit to wipe Elden Ring’s boots, but that is kind of not the point. Morbid: The Lords of Ire is an indie game that has ideas above its station, and while they don’t all work, there is fun to be had here. At least if they can sort the camera out!

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Combat works well enough
  • Interesting mechanics
  • Has a draw that keeps you coming back
Cons:
  • That camera
  • Why no jump?
  • Objectively, looks poor
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Merge Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 17 May 2024 | £24.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Combat works well enough</li> <li>Interesting mechanics</li> <li>Has a draw that keeps you coming back</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>That camera</li> <li>Why no jump?</li> <li>Objectively, looks poor</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Merge Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 17 May 2024 | £24.99</li> </ul>Morbid: The Lords of Ire Review
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