Morphie's law in action on the tilting map
Source: Cosmocope GmbH

Game: Morphie’s Law
Developer:
Cosmocope GmbH
Publisher: Cosmocope GmbH

Available On: PC
[Reviewed] (Steam), Switch
MSRP: $19.99 USD
Review Code Provided By: Cosmocope GmbH

The Premise

Morphie’s Law is a complicated balance. On one hand, it’s a comedy slapstick generator with its absurd physics, joyous movement abilities, mass-stealing gunplay, and madcap custom weapons. Several maps dynamically respond to player actions, including growing buildings or teetering like a seesaw. On the other hand, it’s a fairly middling team-shooter that, despite boasting bots for offline play and a wealth of unlocks, doesn’t have a ton of legs beyond the novelty of its design.

Presentation – 3.5 out of 5

Day of the Drop Dead Gorgeous

To its credit, Morphie’s Law is undeniably beautiful and hilarious in equal measure. Classic Mexican art is blended with goofy robots butt-stomping and fart-rocket jumping across stylized villages, temples, and even a water park. Dynamic maps layer in all sorts of cartoonish antics that help enliven matches beyond gameplay, making the world feel just that much zanier.

Pre-match lobbies are packed with players’ characters belting out a musical performance to charm you during the wait. Players can even unlock new instruments to shake things up, as there’s an extensive amount of customization to make your morphie the machine man of your dreams. It’s all super pleasant and delightful, though the grind to unlock those customization options was disappointing. Not great that one of the only female customization options is a fairly high priced item as well.

The sound work is equally solid, offering festive tunes throughout the experience. The lobby musical numbers naturally blend all the various instruments, layering them effortlessly. Your rocket jumps, projectile launches, and rear-end collisions all have a great impact that makes you yell “I want to do that again!”

The only sound effect, and for that matter, visual effect that needs work is weirdly the hit detection indicator. It can be damn hard to tell if you’re actually dealing damage to an opponent, which is an odd oversight for a competitive shooter. Obviously, the mass-stealing is apparent (and hilarious), but that doesn’t always equal out to the damage done to enemies.

Source: Cosmocope GmbH

Gameplay – 3 out of 5

Butt-Stomping To Victory

There’s something truly profound about how Morphie’s Law manages to present some of the best fun I’ve had in a multiplayer game in ages… yet equally leaves me satisfied to the point I don’t want to play a ton more. Put simply, Morphie’s Law is a brilliantly executed physics sandbox packed full of creative ideas held back continually by the fact its a pretty bland shooter otherwise. So much attention to detail has gone into literally everything but the act of shooting, that when combat arises… you sorta wish it was a platformer or that shooting was handled automatically ala Guns of Boom.

Like, I can just list the number of things Morphie’s Law tosses into the mix that greatly shake up the traditional shooter landscape. You can steal mass from anyone, with unique navigational options opening whenever you’re a giant or super tiny. Rocketing around butt-stomping is a blast! Traversal elements are a blast to use, be they zip pipes or being fired out of a cannon. You’ve got a map that grows as you shoot it. Another that has spinning and tilting elements like you’re on a broken blackjack table. Weapons serve both a support and damage role, with the added bonus you can freely slap parts together for each role to suite your playstyle. This is all wonderful stuff! If only it weren’t built around a center that feels so hollow.

Feeling Gun Shy

Everything about the shooting feels at odds with itself. It’s a chaotic, Quake-y experience, yet your ammo runs out stupid fast and has to recharge rather than reload. Support items tend to last far longer than actual damage output, meaning it’s possible to waste all your shots and be curb-stomped by a cowering opponent. Certain weapon configurations are just terrible in terms if bullet spread, meaning small and medium opponents just basically spam at each other in vain.

This is confounding because playing Morphie’s Law is fun. I had a blast hopping around, stealing mass, and wreaking havoc on the crazier maps. Somehow, Morphie’s Law is great to play, in spite of itself. Everything that would be the icing on top is instead what makes the experience worth playing. I guess with a cake so dry underneath, they really had to nail that icing. The absence of any singleplayer content, besides bot matches, does Morphie’s Law no favors either, especially since bots can’t play on some of the more interesting maps. One can’t escape the feeling that Morphie’s Law is half-baked.

Source: Cosmocope GmbH

Polish – 3 out of 5

Tipped Scales

The final point of contention with Morphie’s Law is that it doesn’t feel like the progression or balancing has been fully tested. Certain loadouts proved highly favorable over others during my time playing, and the limited player count means if you’re on the team with just bots, the team with more human players wins, every time. Unlocking critical gear also takes over an hour of playing, when it should’ve been given to you by your second or third match. For a game all about a goofy yet competitive multiplayer, Morphie’s Law seems awfully wary of letting you dive into the deep end.

It wouldn’t hurt if more time were instead spent educating players on how to play specific modes and navigate levels. The disparity between an experienced Morphie’s Law player and beginner is how quickly they’ll get around every map and mode to the best vantage points and objectives. In a few cases, the mass-centric elements seemed to confuse almost every player I could come across. One mode requires standing on a button, shooting a giant mech to steal its mass, then running to one of three alternating goal-posts, then stand on the goal post to deposit your mass. The game does little to make this information clear and obvious to you.

The levels themselves are fantastic overall; it’s just that not everyone seems to grasp all you can do with them. It wouldn’t hurt if the map voting system between rounds didn’t continually push one particular map over and over, which consistently seemed to do with no real prompting given there’s a good number of maps available.

Source: Cosmocope GmbH

Final Score – 3 out of 5

Morphie’s Law is tons of fun, but can’t hit critical mass.

I want to say Morphie’s Law is a must-have multiplayer experience. In a market dominated by battle royales, Morphie’s Law‘s simple team-based brawls are a breath of fresh air. They’re delightful to experience in the moment, but there’s nothing to really keep you going. Yes, you can unlock more weapons and cosmetics, but the real fun has more to do with everything outside of that. It’s such a contradictory experience, that I highly recommend trying the free demo on Steam.

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