Review – Mortal Blitz
Mortal Blitz is everything I should love in a FPS VR game: Rock music, demon slaying, flashy kills, dual wielding rocket launchers and a story that doesn’t slow you down. Unfortunately, Mortal Blitz falls flat with levels that feel very similar, small enemy variety and an extremely short campaign with little replay value. While you will get familiar gameplay tones from other arcade shooters like Time Crisis and House of the Dead, the overall feel and atmosphere is lacking to really pull you into its world.
In Mortal Blitz you play as a ‘Yuhei’ ex- F.O.R.C.E. (governmental elite soldier) who joins in the mission to thwart the evil plans of the Dominion’s Teratoma Destruction Plan. The only way I know that is because I had to look it up. Mortal Blitz doesn’t have a focus on its story, which is fine, but it also doesn’t have an ending since apparently this is just part 1 despite no where in the game description does it tell you that it will be episodic. Part 1 only offers 5 levels with about 10 minutes or less of gameplay which offer a few different difficulty levels and a ranking system based on your score performance. It also offers a training simulator mode that goes from level 1-50 while unlocking some customization items and weapon skins to use in the campaign. All of the content can be beaten within 3 hours which makes the $20 price tag a tough pill to swallow.
Gameplay is where Mortal Blitz shines the best. It’s flashy, intense, fast paced, rock ‘n roll, demon slaying fun that at times can be too repetitive with its level and enemy design. Your base weapons are a pair of automatic pistols with unlimited ammo; equipped with laser sites these pistols are accurate as well as deadly. While your trusty dual pistols are well enough for the majority of the game, especially during the first playthrough, you are granted an array of weapons to pick up. Unlike the pistols these power weapons do not have unlimited ammo however. There isn’t a huge selection, nor is it anything out of the norm, but Mortal Blitz offers a shotgun, chain gun and rocket launcher to go along with your pistols and they all can be dual-wielded together. Movement is locked to specific positions, but since this is a full area VR game that means you can take cover and duck behind objects while blind-firing at enemies. Once that section’s enemy wave is over, you aim at the next highlighted area and hold the reload button to progress to the next point. The first playthrough forces you to play on novice so taking cover and dodging attacks isn’t really needed, which can make the game less interactive and a little more static which I think kills the appeal.
One of the major gameplay mechanics that I believe sets Mortal Blitz apart from other arcade shooters of the similar nature is having the ability of a telekinesis. While not traditional telekinesis, essentially your power gloves have the ability to shoot out these whips that grab on to items and manipulate them. With weapons the whips will automatically bring them to you and equip them in whichever hand you used to bring it to you. Grenades can be grabbed and thrown at enemies -or thrown back at enemies- and objects around the map can be picked up for cover or thrown at enemies. Another gameplay feature that plays very well to the arcade shooter style is the ‘Groggy System’. When an enemy gets near death they will become stunned and be highlighted, if you use your telekinesis gloves you can then launch them into the air which activates a slow motion effect to pull off some fancy kills. Pulling off these kills grants you extra health and point bonuses, and looks awesome in VR.
Mortal Blitz isn’t really a graphical powerhouse, the overall look reminds me of an early last gen Unreal Engine game. It looks okay from a distance – besides the inevitable jaggies from the PSVR headset – but up close textures are low-res and muddy. Sound design is very hit and miss when it comes to sound effects and weapon sounds. The sound track, however, is fun with the rock ‘n roll/heavy metal tunes that fit the overall action nicely. But having the guns lack powerful sound effects kills the extra punch that could have been there for the gunplay.
Overall Mortal Blitz is a fun game that is perfect for VR and really brings to life the fun of an arcade shooter like TimeCrisis and House of the Dead, but the very short gameplay, lack of replay value, and an incomplete story makes it a tougher decision to pick up at $20. While the gameplay can be repetitive (especially on easier difficulties) and the levels and enemies design lack variety, the gunplay and ‘Groggy System’ hook leave you wanting more and waiting on part 2.
Mortal Blitz is available now exclusively on PSVR.