GDC 2019 Spotlight: Children of Morta

GDC 2019 Spotlight: Children of Morta
Children of Morta is an upcoming hack and slash roguelite being developed by Dead Mage Inc. and published by 11 bit studios. A summary of the game has been provided by the publisher:

“The Bergson family has watched over Mount Morta for generations as the guardians of the mystical mountain. They now face their most dangerous trial as a family. Corruption has spread, morphing the once peaceful mountain into a violent and monster infested nightmare. Experience what it means to be in a family of heroes. Take part in their journey, their struggles, and their victories!

Witness the love for each other unmatched by even the Gods themselves. Fight through hordes of unfathomable beasts as you explore the darkest depths of this ever-changing mountain. Gorgeous and breathtaking procedurally generated dungeons guarantee a unique experience every time you leave the safety of the Bergson’s house in pursuit of the truth behind the Corruption.”

As Children of Morta features a family, a handful of different characters will be playable in both single player and co-op modes both locally and online, and all have their own play styles with different weapons, abilities, and personalities. For example, the father, John, is protective and use a shield in addition to his sword and lightning abilities, while the daughter, Lucy, is more aggressive and uses her magic fireballs to burn down everything in her path. Characters also have different types of dodging speeds, with some being slower and others being more agile. While players will have a few characters available at the start, others must be unlocked through progression.

You could try going through the game with only one character, but this will make things more difficult due to the Corruption system. If you spend too much time in a dungeon with one character, they’ll have less overall health on the next run, which is meant to encourage you to switch between characters when possible. Additionally, as characters level up, they’ll be able to give certain boosts to the whole family, so switching between characters often will help give players an advantage.

When not exploring dungeons, players will be able to craft items and upgrade gear by using the materials gained while exploring. There’s no inventory system, so unlike other roguelites players won’t have to worry about what they’ve collected since it’s sent home as soon as it’s picked up. Children of Morta has been said to not be a grindy experience, instead putting more a focus on the story and characters, and will also not feature permadeath — at least through gameplay — because of this.

Although it will still be a while until we see Children of Morta in its fully fledged form, learning about how it separates itself from other roguelites has me more excited for it than I was before. I think it could even be able to start inspiring other games in the genre to start going a different direction with more putting a heavier focus on story without losing the core gameplay elements we’ve come to know and love.

Children of Morta is expected to launch in late Summer 2019 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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