Morphies Law gets an updated PC release, but its bright visuals and style can't quite overcome a lack of longevity and its odd clunky moment.
Multiplayer shooters can sometimes get a bit stale. The same old patterns of play come out here and there, which means that those who stick to the tried-and-tested formula either need to be exceptional or have a very strong brand behind them. For new shooters that lack the clout of the likes of Call of Duty, another option is to try and come up with something new - and this is where we find Morphies Law.
Originally released for the Nintendo Switch last year, Morphies Law is now back in a slightly tweaked form as Morphies Law: Remorphed. The game continues the original release's attempt to be unique, and not only through its colorful design that emulates Mexican calavera artwork. Although Morphies Law has its own versions of the likes of deathmatch and capture the flag, they're all done in a slightly different way.
That's because success isn't measured in the number of kills. Instead it comes down to stealing mass from the other robot combatants, chipping away at their stature until there's nothing left at all. This is best exemplified in its main deathmatch mode, where whoever ends the match with the most mass wins.
There's a great side effect to this mechanic too: the more a player shoots an area of an enemy, the more their own robot grows, and the more that appendage on the opposing robot shinks. Because of this, players will see tiny-armed robots zipping around the map, or those with legs a runner would dream of.
This hodge-podge of character models is fun and chaotic, creating a constantly shifting team on either side as matches ebb and flow. This choice is far from just a visual one, too, as it fits in extremely well to the overall competitive nature of Morphies Law. After all, a smaller enemy is naturally harder to shoot, meaning that the game has its own kind of rubber-banding built in.
There are other benefits to be found with success and failure alike. If a player is particularly successful at shooting opponents in the legs, for example, then they will be rewarded with a higher jump ability, meaning they can reach places other robots find hard to reach. Meanwhile, smaller fighters can make better use of some tight pathways that can be only used by petite warriors.
It can't be said that Morphies Law is entirely successful, however. There are some unfortunate issues here and there with graphical glitches and janky movement, which takes away from the overall fun of the game. It also means that it can feel as though Morphies Law lacks a little bit of the precision required to really create a strong multiplayer game - at least one that is starting without an existing fandom.
On top of this, Morphies Law does lack a bit of longevity. It comes packed with a relatively small number of game modes, and although the core concept has a uniqueness to it, none of its individual modes really feel different from one another. It may be unfair to compare it directly to Splatoon, but as another multiplayer-focused shooter that bucks existing trends, the Nintendo-exclusive offering does offer quite a bit more.
There are some attempts to build a bit of replayability into Morphies Law, such as some extensive customization options. However, despite the fact that there are a fair few options available to give your playable robot its own personality, unlocking these components naturally through gameplay is actually quite arduous. A little bit of tweaking to take away the grind and this may work substantially better, though.
Although there are some good moments in Morphies Law, particularly with its core concept and design, there are a fair few flaws that could put off potential players. It's made a solid enough transition to PC from its Nintendo Switch roots, but those main issues with the game, such as whether it truly has enough variety or moreish gameplay to keep players coming back, still weigh heavy overall. Even so, there's still something enjoyable about the disproportioned characters found at the end of each match.
Morphies Law is out now for PC and Nintendo Switch. Screen Rant was provided with a PC download code for the purposes of this review.