Multiplayer games that are purely multiplayer can have flaws. If you play solo, you could be stuck with bad AI. If you have four people, it will probably with with those of varying skill levels with no way to compensate. But if you're going off the player, you need to orchestrate a mix of design, gameplay, and sensory wonder to draw people in. Moribund does...well...some of that.
Moribund is purely a multiplayer game, so there's not much story to it. It's the post-apocalypse, and two-to-four players are duking it out with a wide variety of weapons in hellish landscapes, some that look right out of The Road Warrior. Since it's purely a multiplayer, and there's no real campaign mode, there's not much store here. As a setting, it's interesting, but has been done. A lot. Cool to see, but we've seen it before.
Controls are fine. Playing on the computer, it's relatively simple to run around, shoot and beat your opponent. Controls are pretty intuitive, but from other past games, I found myself hitting the wrong button at times, and instead of finishing my opponent off, I missed and got killed myself. That one was on me though. Controls aren't perfect -- they can be sticky sometimes -- but in the end, they're pretty good.
I was really disappointed with the graphics. It's a 2D single area shooty battle place, so you're not expecting that much to begin with. But even then it falls with those expectations. Platforms look copy paste. Elemental things, such as wind and dust, is reserved for the background. Things like banners flutter, but it's so uniform and timed when it happens. Even the main characters are extremely wooden and barely move – and that includes when you're actively moving them. Things like platforms and walls are detailed, but again, it's copy and pasted, doesn't move and feels like it's not even part of the environment. Say you shoot a wall – all you see is a puff of smoke or a ting and that's it. No damage, no changes, it's just how it always was. I understand the limits that can be in many games, but something felt really off here.
Gameplay is when it gets a little better. Every time you complete a map, it changes how it's platformed. There could be moving platforms, or Pac-Man style drops to the opposite side. And playing is fun – you have guns and harpoons and lot's of upgrades to destroy your opponent. But, at the same times, it takes little skill. A big draw is the ragdoll physics of being killed, but many end the same way – you're strung up with strings after getting hit, and the other player explodes you. Or you get stuck another way, and they finish you off. It feels almost repetitive, and there's not a lot of skill when you die that way. It's fun to try and beat your opponent, but it seems like you get killed the exact same way almost every time.
The multiplayer, and the mechanics of it, are pretty good in Moribund. You can tell it was made purely for multiplayer. With these graphics, it looks like something you would find in a classic mall arcade. However, there is an option with AI players, and it just doesn't work. They're all over the place, and while some easily miss, some kill you out of nowhere. Some also just go after you no matter what. For multiplayer, stick with human characters if you want an actual good game.
Music and sounds were mixed. Music was pretty standard action/excitement music. Like, hear the chase music from any action movie ever. You have that over and over again. Other sounds were just not that great. I could go more into detail, but the part I'll pick out are the characters voices. Big throaty voices, or computerized voices come up as taunts, and it was incredibly annoying. Not a type of annoying where it makes you want to fight more, but the type where you want to stop playing because of it. It was that off-putting.
I played for awhile and I didn't come across any glitches, and the frame rate was great. Some of the controls seemed to be sticky and a little non-responsive at times, but that was about it for issues.
Moribund is a difficult game to fully describe. It's multiplayer that is both a big challenge and not a big challenge. It has lots of variety, but everything feels the same. Things are very detailed, but also copy and pasted everywhere. Moribund is fun, but it's also frustrating. If a little bit more had gone into graphics, gameplay, and the environment, this would be a pretty decent multiplayer of the future. But as it stands, it's a decent game, but with a lot of flaws that detract from the experience.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.