Morphies Law - Switch Review
Morphies Law is an arena based third-person shooter. However, the crux of the game’s mechanics is that when you shoot an opponent’s body part, that part shrinks on them and grows on you, leaving with incredibly disproportionate bodies running around the place.
Disclaimer: Since the July 2019 Remorphed update, we have also updated this review to be more accurate. All of the updates will be in italics, so that you can still see our opinion of the original version as it was on the game’s release. However, the Final Score will be representative of the game post-update.
Morphies Law has thought of every possibility when it comes to their unique mechanic, as not only does this change your appearance but how your character can traverse the worlds. For example, if you have small legs, then you may not be able to jump onto a ledge higher up; but with bigger legs, you will (that or you can use your buttrocket, which is always funny to say). However, bigger doesn’t always mean better. When you are big, you may not be able to fit into certain areas and you’ll be a bigger target for your enemies to unleash hell upon. When you are being shot at and you are shrinking, it then makes it harder for your opponents to accurately aim at you. This mechanic has a world of various possibilities and scenarios, and that is what makes Morphies Law stands out amongst the overly-saturated shooter genre.
The new update had made body part mechanic even better with the addition of an automatic aiming feature that allows you to much more quickly hone in on a specific body part of your choosing… not that your will make it easy.
Each weapon has its main firing weapon and a secondary weapon. Secondary weapons are generally more explosive (better for hitting smaller targets), but it takes a short while for them to reload, so you’ll need to use them wisely.
There are upgrades on each body part that take the forms of Specs and Plugins. Specs provide bonuses (whether they be minorly stat related or improvement to maneuverability) and Plugins give you different abilities. You can choose your Specs and Plugins at the start of each match, but you cannot change them during. This is the extent of your customisation options which provide neat little bonuses. The fact that your upgrading is capped at your abilities and you cannot drastically change your stats manually provides an even level playing ground for everyone to play on.
As soon as you reach level 3, you will be able to enter Loadout, making a variety of weapons for you to choose from at your base… this is where the game gets interesting! When creating a weapon, you can choose a Base and a Beef It Up upgrade. These upgrades are usually either focussed on damage or utility/support, but it’ll get deeper the more you level up. You can eventually choose from up to four weapons when you’re at your base during a game, but you won’t be able to unlock more weapon slots until levels 6, 12 and 18.
The added gyro controls are a perfect addition to the Nintendo Switch version, feeling almost identical to Splatoon 2’s gyro aiming. You are able to adjust the sensitivity (or even turn it off) quickly and conveniently in the pause menu. Another nice feature is the HD Rumble, which can feel very responsive at times. Our favorite way of experiencing this was when running on sand; you can feel the crunch in the left Joy-Con, then the right, then the left as each of the character’s feet touches the ground.
I would just like to reiterate on the HD Rumble in Morphies Law; it feels incredible!
You can either choose to play online (with friends, players around the world, or with a few AI characters), offline against AI or local multiplayer. Within these games, there are a few modes that can all go on from 1-10 minutes:
- Morph Match displays an Avatar for your entire team and its total mass. The team with the most mass at the end of the match wins.
- Head Hunt involves you and your team trying to recover your Avatar’s head. But be careful, the other team also needs to recover their Avatar’s head, and there is only one head to go around.
- Mass Height has you and your team activating shield-switches in order to disable your opponent Avatar’s shield so that you can steal some of its mass and give it to your own.
Unfortunately, Morphies Law’s biggest downfall is its lack of a campaign mode. Including this would have fleshed out the characters and environments, and would have provided a nice break from constant multiplayer action. We know that this game was developed by an indie studio, so we can understand Morphies Law’s current state, however future DLC would really bulster what this game has to offer and give it some more staying power.
In the most recent major update, Cosmoscope chose to go for a more quality of life improvement. Whilst definitely needed, Morphies Law stunk feels a little bare boned.
Morphies Law also tends to suffer from frequent frame rate drops and doesn’t feel as smooth as you would hope. Playing online is a rough experience and can be very frustrating. We are hoping that all of this gets patched in a future update, but at the time of this review it certainly puts a dampener on the experience.
As mentioned above, performance has been greatly improved, making this game a much more pleasant experience overall. Whilst there are still some technical difficulties, and getting stuck in places can be a recurring struggle, the game as a whole feels vastly improved.
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However when playing offline, computer AI can also be quite frustrating and unresponsive. When working as a team in Head Hunt, we ran into a few instances where our teammate would consistently get in our way, preventing us from making our way back to our base.
Computer AI seems to have also improved, but not dramatically. I did feel like like they stayed out of the player’s way more, with your allies and enemies actually making somewhat clever decisions every now and then.
Morphies Law now also features cross-network play, allowing players to play online with both Nintendo Switch and PC players. With the initial hype of this game having died down due to its lacklustre launch, this feature certainly helps the online matchmaking.
In Morphies Law, there are four different maps to choose from:
- Fan Antonio is a mazelike map with many hiding spots and tight corridors. However, you can also get high up and try to spot someone moving down below. But watch out for those fans, because some of them can send you flying into some spikes. We learned that the hard way.
- Maztec Temple is a circular map with different layers that can rotate independently from one another. There are also some tight spots that you can fit into, which is nice and handy in a pinch.
- Morphies Saloon is another circular map that takes place in an old fashioned Mexican city. If you’re small enough, use the cannon at the spawn point to propel yourself forward and get the jump on your team.
- Tanker Town is a relatively long map that features trap fans that can have devastating effects on players depending on their sizes. There also appears to be some sticky oil in the middle that can make it difficult for your character to traverse on if its legs are too big.
- And if you are struggling to decide, you can always choose random.
With the most recent update, Morphies Law now has eight maps, four modes and 77 weapon combinations to choose from, making the game have double the amount of variety! This has certainly helped its overall staying power and the game no longer feels as repetitive.
While these maps get the job done, they feel quite lackluster in the grand scheme of things. There also isn’t as much variety as you would think, so let’s hope that Cosmoscope gives Morphies Law the Splatoon treatment and continuously adds more maps.
Graphics / Art Direction
Morphies Law’s art direction is clearly inspired by Mexico’s history, with beautiful artwork and scenic Mexican towns to wage all out war in. The graphics however are a little rough around the edges at times and could do with some slight touching up in some future updates.
You can customise your character by creating a custom look from the options you’ve unlocked or from premade bodies that you’ll unlock as you level up. There are also some fun Emotes that allows you to dance on introduction, on victory or on defeat.
Music / Sound Design
The music follows the trend of Mexican history and culture with the use of a variety of instruments, most notably the trumpet and the acoustic guitar. It sets the scene perfectly and doesn’t hold back in the slightest.
The weapons and sound effects sound just as you’d expect and there is nothing to fault (or praise) on that front. You may often hear little sounds coming from characters, providing funny and endearing personalities. All in all, the music and sound design is very well done and plays its part perfectly.
Before each load out, your character can also have an instrument of your choice (as long as you can afford it or are rewarded it via the piñatas), which creates some more cool customisation options and changes depending on which instruments your new teammates has.
Final Score: 78%
Morphies Law has an incredibly unique premise and easily sells itself. However, it doesn’t quite meet its potential with consistent frame rate issues, online struggles and an unfortunate lack of content. We’ll keeping our eyes and ears out for a performance and content updates but in its current state, it certainly isn’t a must buy for your Switch.
While the update doesn’t touch upon its content issue, the dedicated servers has allowed it to be a MUCH more enjoyable experience. I no longer feel like banging my comically-enlarged head against the wall anymore!