Children of Morta Makes Me Believe In Roguelikes Again

Children Of Morta E3 2018 Preview

I’m pretty sick of roguelikes, in all honesty. Most entries into the genre are an unforgiving grind, an experiment in patience requiring countless hours of investment before any serious results can be seen. Children of Morta is a truly pleasant change of pace. Based on my short time with the game at E3, this is a roguelike that rewards your work in a more meaningful way.

You control a whole family of fighters who are working to repair the damaged land with an appeal to the god of the mountain. The controls are pretty fluid, with combat built around runic upgrades and slowly accumulated experience. A combination of a fatigue system and the family’s interconnected skills mean that you’re encouraged to use each member of the family in your quest. There’s also a wide variety of side missions and events that can change the face of your family home. If you take the time to complete these quests, you can end up with a fundamentally different home base then when you started.

Children of Morta

Unlike other roguelikes, your accumulated experience isn’t lost when you lose your life in the course of a mission. Dungeons are divided into three stages and a boss battle. Completion of these dungeons isn’t progress that can be undone by death, either. Between this and the permanent experience and skill system, Children of Morta feels like just enough of a roguelike for me. I’ll take procedurally generated stages, random upgrades and spontaneous events. We can easily leave behind the lost progress and other punishing nonsense.

Aside from the pleasant shift in conventional roguelike mechanics, Children of Morta is a gorgeous game. I’m almost jaded by the sight of pixel art most of the time, yet good work will still catch me off guard. The animation was fluid and the family dynamic is somehow what I’m still thinking of hours later. Yes, the combat is well-crafted and the lack of roguelike nonsense warms me inside. But there’s a weird little heart to this title, I can tell already. Thankfully this one looks like it’s coming out sometime this year, which is a damn sight better than the ‘2019 or later’ that so many games are getting this E3 season. I’m excited to see more of the story, the sweet combat and the heartwarming family dynamic.