With so many smaller titles hitting Xbox One every week, it’s difficult to cover them all. While they may not be blockbuster experiences with the marketing to boot, these games should pique the interest of people looking for short, unique titles. This week we’re discussing Morphite, Raiders of the Broken Planet and Ruiner.
Morphite is a procedurally-generated game which looks like a work of art. After you get past the extensive tutorial missions, you truly uncover the beauty behind it by visiting exotic planets and encountering bizarre creatures. Think of it as No Man’s Sky with a good story. While it may not be as expansive, it’s still captivating and rather cute. The voice acting is good but the real draw of the title has to be the exploration. Morphite is set in a distant future where humanity has colonized the far reaches of space. The title follows the story of Myrah Kale, a young woman whose life takes a sudden turn when a simple mission develops into an epic interstellar journey revealing her mysterious past and relation to a coveted substance called…you guessed it…Morphite. The main mechanic has to be the Scanner. With the help of the Scanner, Myrah sells biological information for ship, suit and weapon upgrades. However, it’s not just about jumping from planet to planet because there’s also real-time space combat and trading with other travelers. My only issue with Morphite, like many games, has to be the loose shooting mechanics because it seems like in order to activate switches—and survive—you have to fire bullets at everything. This can become tricky because they just aren’t precise. Had the game featured solid shooting, it would’ve been a truly remarkable experience because I enjoyed exploring the various systems and never felt overwhelmed. I would definitely recommend Morphite if you’re patient and enjoy exploration-based titles. Just try to not get frustrated when shooting enemies.
Raiders of the Broken Planet is an episodic third-person shooter which feels incomplete at the moment. And by “incomplete” I don’t mean in terms of story, I mean in terms of overall polish. The title just feels dated and maybe should’ve launched in the Xbox Game Preview program. For those who don’t know, Raiders of the Broken Planet is an asymmetrical online adventure where you experience both sides of the story. It’s similar to Evolve where you can either play as the heroes or the monster. You can team up with other Raiders, or change sides and foil their missions. You can also fight as the antagonists with the enemy on your side. While the shooting mechanics are great, the issues are the movement controls and the often-claustrophobic environments which deceptively take place outside. It feels like you’re stuck in corridors most of the time and don’t have a chance to explore much. The movement, particularly jumping, is odd because you feel like you’ll always miss the jump due to the amount of lift you generate when crossing over gaps. Allowing gamers to jump higher is an easy fix that would make players feel like they have more control and precision. Despite being basic, the story is intriguing and I want to know more going forward. I also enjoyed the good voice acting. I was also able to play the Alien Myths chapter and really enjoyed it. Hopefully the developers can polish the movement controls so it feels better to play. Raiders of the Broken Planet has a lot of potential but needs some more work right now. It’s not like Dead Alliance or any other travesty like that but it still needs just a little more work. Hopefully the developers will continue to make it better in the months to come because I want to learn more about this world and the people in it.
Ruiner is an incredibly brutal action shooter set in the year 2091 in the metropolis of Rengkok. You play as a wired sociopath who lashes out against a corrupt system to retrieve his kidnapped brother and uncover the truth under the guidance of a secretive friend. Cryptic, isn’t it? Yes, it really is. The story is passable but the gameplay isn’t. Have you played titles like Hotline Miami or Phantom Trigger? Well, Ruiner is somewhat like that except it looks better and is completely out there! There are a plethora of abilities and gadgets to acquire which make you a true force of destruction. Ruiner takes place in a cyberpunk setting so all of the environments and weaponry are inspired by that artistic style. However, there are some issues with the game on Xbox One. The game is quite fast paced so it requires precise timing especially when dodging fire and mines. The fact that is runs at 30 FPS and has frame rate fluctuations doesn’t help. This has to be the biggest detriment to such a unique experience because the controls are quite challenging to master. Ruiner isn’t a particularly graphically-advanced title so it’s unclear why the developers adopted a 30 FPS limit. Better controls and a faster frame rate would’ve really elevated the game by tightening everything and making it more responsive. It doesn’t matter how great your title is, it has to be technically sound and a joy to play due to great controls. It’s a shame that Ruiner succeeds at the former but falters in the latter.
Out of all of these games, Ruiner is the one we would recommend the most. Still, each of them has their own unique appeal and could be the perfect game for the right audience depending on what you are looking for. Give them all a chance if you have the means and time.