Mortal Sin review | PC Gamer

Need to know

What is it? A hand-to-hand combat-oriented action roguelike with a grunge visual style.

Expect payment: to be specified

Release date: 1 sq. 2022

Developer: Nikola Todorovich

Publisher: Nikola Todorovich

Review for: Intel Core i7-10750H 16GB RAM GeForce RTX 2060

Multiplayer? Not

Connection: Official site

Mortal Sin builds an exciting combat system with just a few elements. The most important of these is your melee weapon and a small set of moves at your disposal. You will slash, kick, bash and parry the demonic creatures that haunt you in every oppressive dungeon. The combat has a gripping beat that breaks the tense, cramped first-person dungeon crawl with sudden bursts of frantic mouse clicking. Just like in Dead Space, you need to completely dismember enemies in order to kill them. There are many Heads and limbs are scattered.

You will slash enemies mostly with powerful melee weapons, including swords, halberds, and axes. Moves can be combined into simple combos, such as kicking a monster back and then hitting it to get a free power attack. Pressing Shift does a kind of dash that brings you closer to the enemy, dealing a weaker blow. Whatever you do to keep the monsters away, thin out the crowds and eventually tear them apart.

I dive right into the fight because that’s the core of Mortal Sin: an action rogue-lite dressed up in a grungy visual style. This is not the kind of game that wastes time on things like story or fancy menu design. You start each run in the chapel ruins and then head towards one of the dungeon’s randomized gauntlets. This initially empty plot is gradually being expanded with useful features, including a workshop and a potion shop, but otherwise, there is little to keep you here, except for soulful music in the style of Diablo 1.

As you step into one of the gloves, the soothing music gives way to an evil buzz, and thumping footsteps echo ominously throughout the level. Pretty soon, you make first contact with the enemy, savagely slashing at their limbs before – for laughs – driving the decapitated creature into a death trap. This brings me to the next vital element of combat: the world.

There’s a level of interactivity here that reminds me of Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, which is still the dad when it comes to loading in the first person. Unfortunately, there are no orcs to throw off the cliff, but there is a smorgasbord of vicious traps that don’t know who they’re cutting down. While they may seem like terrible obstacles at first, they are actually one of the best tools in your arsenal and are easy to avoid by the careful player, thanks to their quick dash.

So, you have weapons, some great moves, and dungeons full of useful traps – let’s add some loot and skills and turn it into a real roguelike. Loot is found mostly in treasure chests, and grabbing it will leave you with your old gear – there’s no inventory management to slow down exploration. Likewise, you’re given the choice of three upgrades after every two floors: simple skills that can pair well with abilities built into selective loot.

Mortal Kombat

As with any decent roguelike, you’re trying to create killer synergies, such as combining a regeneration ability with a skill that reduces durability loss. The regeneration heals damage over time, while the skill means the item won’t wear out as quickly. Put on shoes that will improve your durability potion acquisition rate, and certainly, you will be set for the rest of the run.

Oh no. The synergy here is a careful balance that can be shattered with a single hit of a shoulder pad. Durability is an important factor as your weapons and armor degrade every time they are used. Fortitude potions will help you, but even with the best skills, they won’t last forever. When an item’s durability is depleted, it is permanently lost.

You can’t let your guard down, and you have to watch your stamina as well as your health, which is probably why it’s displayed so prominently on the screen. This is a clever take on roguelike synergy that does a lot to prevent the steamroll effect that can happen when you get too strong in these games.

Other than that, though, it’s a pretty half-baked rogue-lite. I’m torn on whether I like a bit of persistence or prefer a clean, blank slate in my roguelikes, but Mortal Sin has found an unsatisfactory middle ground. After each playthrough, the gold gained can be spent at the crafting station or the potion shop to give you an advantage for the next playthrough, but only if you don’t quit the game. Exit the game, and the next time you start the game with an empty wallet. Similarly, you can’t save the game while inside the dungeons, which is a bit of an inconvenience, though not the case. Too much egregious as runs tend to be quite short.

The only perseverance you can rely on is your Mortal Sin prowess, which I will steadily improve as you get into the rhythm of the game. More so than many action games, it really put me in a focused state as I hacked and weaved the traps that speared through each level. The art style actually helps with this, as background elements – walls, skybox, and dungeon props – are conveniently faded, while important elements like monsters and traps are highlighted with primary colors.

I started to think of Mortal Sin as a ghost train. Traps pop up from walls, and creatures lurk around corners, waiting to surprise you, but there is also literal jump scares that go off every now and then. Boxed features jump from the bars, and demonic puppets suddenly appear on the screen. A swarm of bats may swarm around you, blinding you. These harmless jokes may annoy someone, but in reality, they are just an annoyance designed to prick the ever-increasing tension. If you’re anything like me, you’ll swear, laugh, and shake your head at the game for being a bit of a jerk.

Combat is so exciting in Mortal Sin that you might overlook some of the less than perfect elements, such as an unfriendly save system, questionable persistence, or frequent travel between different dungeons. Where it counts – in loot, interactivity, and most of all, heartbreaking melee combat – Mortal Sin is a damn addictive roguelike.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *