11 Bit Studios made a name for itself with such critically acclaimed games as Frostpunk and Moonlighter. Now the talented studio is ready to bring its newest creation to your favorite console. Children of Morta is a 2D pixel art powered hack-and-slash rogue-like where you explore the dangerous biomes of a fictional world called Rea, slashing monsters and stuffing your digital pockets with loot. Who you play as, though, is largely what makes Children of Morta unique. A space marine? Nah. A plumber? Nope. Instead, you control dad and his kids.
Yup, you play as a family. Specifically, the Bergsons, each of which possess unique abilities in combat. John, the dad, is a strong tank-like character who brutalizes enemies with his sword but is much slower than the rest of his brood. Meanwhile, daughter Linda hits enemies with arrows from range, and is a bit faster than her papa, but also weaker. The game even controls differently depending on who you play. Players attack with John by mashing buttons, but they shoot Linda’s arrows by tilting the right analog stick.
In all, you’ll play as six family members. As you explore the world of Rea you’ll be able to level up each character, and gain access to active and passive abilities. What’s interesting is the fact that the more you play with one family member, the more corrupted (presumably by the world) he or she becomes. This means you’ll need to leave your preferred character at the Bergson home for a while to rest up while you play with someone else. As 11 Bit informed us, some family members are best for different situations, so experimenting with all of the characters is key to mastering the game.
That said, both Mary (the mom) and Margaret (the grandmother) are NPCs, and therefore unplayable, but they’ll still play significant roles in the game. Margaret, for instance, is an alchemist who brews potions at home. While everyone has a purpose, even if they are not playable, we think it’s a little odd that players can’t kick butt as the mom. Perhaps there’s a reason she isn’t playable that we’ll learn through the narrative.
When you need a break from battling monsters, you can spend plenty of time at home. While at the house, you’ll be able to upgrade skills and equipment, accept quests, and interact with family members. In addition, you’ll also unlock new areas of the Bergsons’ home over time, like the basement and alchemy lab.
All of the game’s dungeons are procedurally generated. Not only do the layouts change, but you’ll also find new items by replaying areas repeatedly; by that same token, some quests and story elements will only appear at specific times.
On that note, and from what we’ve seen, Children of Morta is yet another potential winner from 11 Bit Studios. The attention to detail with the 2D retro-inspired graphics and the intriguing family dynamic make this unlike most action RPGs that we’ve seen. With that in mind, look for it later this year on the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch.