And yet another first-person rogue-lite prepares to enter the fray. Mortal Sin features many of the expected hallmarks of the genre, but it has several things setting it apart. The first difference that really pops out is its art style. Environments are muted and sullen, and enemies are solid bursts of blue in a somewhat monochrome world. But the game is also predominately fought with melee weapons. What’s more, enemies don’t take damage in the usual sense, but in a manner more akin to Eternal Darkness. As this game is first person, though, you obviously don’t have to lock on to slice your enemy’s extremities off — but it’s the only way to kill them.
Each run of Mortal Sin starts you off outside a dungeon, and you must fight to survive. Upon defeating enemies, currency is dropped which lasts after you die and begin a new run. Spending 2,000 currency creates three items, but you can only equip one. The other two are destroyed. There are also additional items to be found while exploring. Chests and destructible objects contain equippable armor pieces that all have their own attributes. Buffing defense, speed, health, you name it. I haven’t gotten very far in the game, but I’ve unlocked a crafting anvil.
Combat and survival are the leading elements of Mortal Sin. You start out with a simple sword, but there are other weapon types such as axes, cleavers, and magic staves. Two weapons can be carried at once. Both weapons and armor degrade over time, but they can be repaired using a blue potion. As for your health, that gets refilled by using a red potion.
The general game flow sees you descending further into the dungeon. A red hand icon points to switches that need to be pressed to open the way to staircases leading downward. Traps such as spikes and rotating spiked poles force a certain amount of caution while moving about the levels.
You can have my legs, just leave my head alone
Though the combat is interesting, it’s currently a bit clunky. The left mouse button swings your weapon; holding then releasing it creates a strong attack. You can also kick enemies and dash into them quickly, doing half weapon damage at the same time. Swinging your weapon after kicking results in a strong attack as well. You can also parry enemy attacks, which will also turn your next swing into a strong attack. You can typically stunlock an enemy simply by hitting them, but you do need to aim at the limbs and heads of foes. There’s something disturbing and a little silly about slicing an enemy’s legs off, only to see them hop around on the stumps before you administer the coup de grâce by slicing their noggin off.
I find Mortal Sin appealing, but it does have its balance issues. Once I hit the fourth level, I entered a room where a multitude of enemies spawned. This was fine, but my character kept going from full health to totally dead in the span of one second. I’m not even sure what happened. One second I’m fighting enemies, the next it’s game over. I’m assuming it’s multiple foes hitting me at once, but it feels awful. I don’t even have time to heal when this happens, which can make the potions feel useless. Still, with a bit of work, I think the game will shape up to be a fairly compelling rogue-lite that has more than enough unique charms to inspire a good degree of fondness.