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tyraarane reviews Larva Mortus (PC)

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tyraarane said...

Poor Larva Mortus. Somewhere in here there's a decent indie game lurking, but it's just been buried under all the bugs and mind-numbing repetitive maps and gameplay.

The premise is simple: there are monsters. You kill them for mad XP and loot. There's a (limited) trait system and a "main quest" to follow, but it's a rather thin storyline, possibly bowing to the fact that Larva Mortus' main audience is going to ignore it anyway. Fair enough.

That all is good. Monster variety is decent, and the weapons can be just plain fun. I like the Tesla lightning arc gun especially. I'm not sure if the game was meant to be taken as campy fun, but it certainly plays that way to me.

Now for the mediocre-to-bad: the game offers an infinite number of missions, which means it relies on semi-randomly generated maps and missions. The trouble here is that there's not quite enough maps or mission types (there's five: rescue people; kill all the monsters; kill all the mini-bosses; kill the boss; destroy cursed altars), so you'll be doing and seeing a lot of the same thing if you play the game for long stretches.

Second, there's the bizarre choice of having random "scary" faces (or a horde of bats) pop up and obscure the screen at random intervals. I've heard some say this "adds to the atmosphere." While it certainly adds to the camp charm, speaking as someone who got killed more than once due to the faces/bats making it impossible to see the boss aiming the one-hit kill strike at me, an option to turn the things off would've been welcome.

Oh, and the bugs. By far the most prevalent (and obnoxious) was that a monster or two would spawn outside the boundaries of the room, making it impossible to clear a room. When you're on one of the "kill all monsters" missions, well...that gets old. Sometimes exiting and re-entering a room fixes it, but prepare for the bug to reoccur frequently until you quit and re-launch the game.

And finally...a note on achievements. On Steam, the game has 25 "achievements"--quotation marks because they don't actually require achieving anything. Each one corresponds to a randomly dropped item in-game that provides various benefits: find the item randomly spawned somewhere? Achievement get! Note to game developers: don't do that. Seriously, just don't.

Conclusion: it's all right for a rainy day, "I really need to shoot some monsters arcade style" buy, though maybe not more than a couple bucks USD worth of one. And the "achievements" will never not be dumb.

Game Traits applied to Larva Mortus (PC) by tyraarane

  • The Setting:
    19th century
  • Playing As:
  • Playing Against:
  • How it's Played:
    Top down Shooter
  • General Tone:
Larva Mortus

Larva Mortus (PC)

Release Date: 19/MAR/09
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