LifeisXbox’s Sanity of Morris Review | Welcome to an all-new psychological horror adventure game in Sanity of Morris. You will take on the character of John, a twenty-seven-year-old who dropped out of university to pursue becoming a cop. He is surprised to be contacted by his estranged dad in unexpected circumstances that then leads John in search of his dad in the small town of Greenlake. However, nothing is as it seems or appears to make sense. Multiple revelations are uncovered as you stumble across unnatural events and unusual behaviour surrounding everything you encounter from the very beginning of your search for answers. With both the possibility of aliens and mysterious findings coming to light, you will find yourself in dangerous situations on your journey while you sneakily attempt to uncover the truth and hunt for possible proof of Alien lifeforms. Developed by Alterego Games and published by StickyLock, Sanity of Morris will test your stealth skills along with elements of detective work which will allow you to discover your own version of the truth. Could aliens be real? The answer and conclusion are yours to make.
VicciVulpix played Sanity of Morris for seven hours on Xbox One S. Sanity of Morris is available on Xbox One S/X, Xbox Series S/X, Playstation 4/5, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
What we liked!
- Eerie horror atmosphere | There is darkness everywhere and even when I found myself in areas with some form of light, the atmosphere still successfully managed to make me feel on edge at all times. There is no doubt that Sanity of Morris has portrayed a tense feeling throughout the entire game that made me wary of my surroundings constantly. Whether it be the general vicinity being gloomy and quiet or having to manoeuvre past enemies walking around, I find there aren’t many moments when you can relax and just when I thought I could, I found myself caught off guard. In my opinion, this is exactly how horror games should feel as you should never feel safe. Not even for a second.
- Intense music and sound effects | I would be lying if I said there weren’t multiple times when I felt my heart jump in fear and yes, I loved every second of that feeling. When I was being chased, the music intensified to indicate that I was in danger, and knowing I couldn’t outrun or escape made me panic even more. There are sound effects that I thought were rather random and with that succeeded with the intended fear effect. You can’t really have a good horror game without feeling scared. I mean, that is the whole point and Sanity of Morris did this very well.
- Great stealth element | Creeping around obstacles in multiple areas to avoid being spotted while completing objectives is imperative in Sanity of Morris. If you are seen at any point, you cannot defend yourself or escape being caught. The majority of Sanity of Morris is spent in stealth as you find clues your dad has left you along the way. You can use your flashlight to help you inspect your surroundings but if an enemy sees the light, they will become suspicious and alerted to the area which is indicated by an amber colour coming from the enemy. I only used my flashlight when necessary and for as little time as possible before carefully progressing through hostile territory.
- An Interesting plot overall | I wasn’t sure what to expect regarding the story when I read through the Sanity of Morris game description but I knew it would involve the uncertainty of aliens and whether they were real. I did find the game rather interesting because when I felt I had come to my own conclusion on where the game was heading, Sanity of Morris made me question whether I was correct or not and that grabbed my attention back to what may or may not happen. Sanity of Morris was pretty straightforward as game plots go but believe it or not, I wish more questionable events and factors had been included that would have made me question my conclusion even more by the end of the game.
- Confusing controls | Everyone has controls they tend to associate with various in-game mechanics such as A to jump or RT to shoot. Sanity of Morris has some unconventional button selections for the controls and although I understand there aren’t a mass amount of complicated controls to think about, I think the small amount that do get used could have been optimised for a more casual layout. I’m not saying there is anything necessarily wrong with the controls in Sanity of Morris but on the other hand, I genuinely think I would have enjoyed the game more if these were more of the usual layout I’d expect.
- Rough camera | Horror games generally tend to give you a sense of worry everywhere you go and I try to survey my surroundings often, especially if I hear something that immediately creates a sense of fear in me. Sanity of Morris is no different as I was wary of everything around me constantly. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the camera angles when navigating through the environment felt somewhat clunky, which ended up being a little frustrating at times. It’s certainly not a huge problem. I just think this feature would have benefitted from being smoothed out further.
- Flashlight mechanic | It is imperative to use your flashlight throughout the game to access areas and find possible clues which was a mechanic I really enjoyed using. You will find early on in the game that John is scared of the dark and I was a little disappointed that more was not done to enhance this particular fear in Sanity of Morris. When in dark areas with no light, the edges of your screen will gradually become red as John’s heart rate increases but that is all it does. I would have liked to see possible limited time where you could be in darkness before perhaps you passed out but instead, it only turned out to be a distressing visual.
What we disliked
- Game-breaking autosaves | Now, this has to be the first critical point I unfortunately have to bring up and discuss. I have found that the autosave feature in Sanity of Morris could possibly break your game. When travelling through dangerous tunnel-like structures, I wanted to fully explore the tunnels in case I’d missed any hidden areas or collectibles. When in direct danger, my game decided to autosave which meant every time I went to reload my game, I would almost instantly die. As the game has no chapter select or manual save feature, this meant I had to restart my entire game which I’m sure many of you will agree is anything but a fun experience.
- Graphically disappointing | After seeing in-game screenshots of Sanity of Morris, I expected the graphics to appear detailed and realistic but soon after starting the game, I felt the graphics did not live up to my expectations. Although fairly colourful, the detail was dissatisfying. From the outdoors/indoors environments to the enemies, everything was displeasing and the further I progressed into the game, the more let down I felt with what I think is a pretty important part of any video game.
- Poor animations | This may sound strange for some but I really want to address this. When I die in the majority of games, there is a little scene of your character dying in one way or another. In Sanity of Morris, when I got caught and killed by enemies, it was literally like my camera just moved down the screen. Now, it isn’t just this that was poor. It felt like the enemy literally poked me to death that made me laugh more than anything. Without going into detail for spoiler reasons, I would have liked some elaborate scenes when fearing for my life other than my character just falling over with little in expression also.
- Enemies actions were very conflicting | The best way to summarise this point would be to say all the enemies I encountered in Sanity of Morris were not consistent in how they acted. Sometimes at a distance, I was attacked, other times I was safe. I would be hiding completely out of plain sight of an enemy and get attacked or be in their field of view and they wouldn’t notice me at all. Line of sight was not always a deciding factor as it would appear enemies could see through walls or could be almost completely blind. It did turn out to be confusing and somewhat infuriating to guess what the enemies would do to the point of just guessing and hoping for the best in some instances.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!