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Have You Played… Mortal Online?

It's only Mortal

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

When I first played Mortal Online [official site] in the dim February of 2013, I described it as “a free-to-play MMO about living in a fantasy world and not being very good at anything”. I stick by that assessment, not because I have gone back to that online otherworld and found it just the same, but because I am afraid to.

This is an MMO that embraced the Elder Scrolls philosophy of leveling-up-while-doing. And when I say “embraced” I mean “became obsessive about it to the point of psychological distress”. You can lie down to sleep on the city streets and a prompt will tell you “Skill: Resting increased to 2”. It is also a brutal world in which player-on-player violence can occur almost anywhere outside the capital. Players can kill you, loot your stuff and saunter off, happy to have achieved another day’s homicide.

It is also a world of shonky MMO mechanics, buying and selling, obtuse crafting systems and funky AI enemies. But I have rarely visited a stranger online kingdom. It is a land where players stand on narrow fishing racks and autorun to increase their stats, where horses release huge torrents of piss as you talk to their human riders. A place you can tame rabbits, or write in books (but cannot delete what you’ve written). A land where all sorts of animals who do not belong in water slowly emerge from the sea and form long, dangerous columns of fauna across the land. I don't know if any of these oddities still exist in Mortal Online. But I'm not the man to find out.

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About the Author
Brendan Caldwell avatar

Brendan Caldwell


Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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