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Mortal Shell

A love letter?

By Samuel MoorePublished 3 years ago 5 min read

‘Souls-like’ is a term that I really don’t like. All too often there are games thrown into this category that really shouldn’t be there.

These are tough games sure- but ‘Souls-like’ shouldn’t extend to just, ‘A hard game.’

Games like, ‘Star Wars: Jedi Fallen order’ are great games but because one or two mechanics of the games are similar, they are painted with this brush.

To me, a ‘Souls-like’ has to have a great story told in a very specific way with fair gameplay.

Enter Mortal Shell.

I’ve been excited to see this game for so long now- and the day I found it had been released, I bought it.

You could tell me that this game is set in the Dark Souls world and I would believe it.

There is a morbid beauty to the world that you are placed in.

You start as a husk of a person. While playing the game you will come across 4 ‘shells’.

These are corpses that you can possessed.

These shells determine a large part of how you play.

You won’t be able to grow your health, stamina or resolve - these are tied to your shell.

The only odd one there is resolve. This will be your ability to preform special moves with your weapon or a parrying.

I suck at parrying but if you are good at the timing, the parrying can be very rewarding. There are 3 upgrades to this feature. Each upgrade will allow you to preform a special actions that is truly wonderful to see.

So if you like that play style- you’ll wanna play as, Solomon.

I played almost my whole first run as Solomon purely because of how he looks.

The upgrades that you can unlock with your character will give you tell you a little more about your chosen Shell.

I really like this feature. It drives home the point that you are not the shell you have taken and that there was a life there long before you got there.

As you play you’ll get, ‘Tar’. This is like your money and you’ll need it to buy most things. You’ll be able to change character (as long as you have found the shell’s) and this Tar transfers regardless- though if you die, just like in Dark Souls, you loose it with 1 chance to get them back.

You will also pick up something called, ‘Glimpse’. You need this to upgrade your character. The adeptly named glimpse shows you a little more about the shell you are using. You can die a million times and never loose a glimpse but these will stay with the character that picked them up. My 15 glimpse I picked up as, Solomon will stay with Solomon.

This is a really enjoyable and interesting game-play.

The weapons however are something of a let down.

At this point I want to point out that this game was made by small team. Cold Symmetry is not a massive developer so I expected draw backs- and weapons are one of them.

You start with a long sword - the weapon I used throughout my first run.

There is a chunky pole arm, great sword and a hammer.

While I didn’t get on with these, I did love how you unlock them.

Unlike the shells in the world, you can’t just find them. Instead you have to defeat the enemy using the weapon before you can take it.

This by itself taught me the best way to play this game.

You have a unique ability in this game to ‘harden.’

Basically this is your shield. You essentially turn to stone and can take any hit without taking damage. It takes a few seconds to regain this ability- and in combat a second is a long time.

But getting this mechanic down and learning how to use this with your chosen shell is how you become a bad-ass in this game.

The weapon you chose to use also changes how you’ll play and while I didn’t get on with the 3 alternatives, they are very well balanced and my failings are just that- my failings.

A common trope in ‘Souls like’ games is that they are difficult for the sake of being difficult. But that simply isn’t what made those games great. The combat in those games is fair. When you fail it’s because you made a mistake and not because you were cheated.

That’s something that I have to say over and over for this game.

It’s fair.

Yes there was a couple of times I clipped into a wall and in 1 of the 4 main boss battles I clipped under their feet- but from a small team and a fairly cheap game- this just made me laugh more than anything. Everything else is fair and well balanced.

The map isn’t huge and the game isn’t that long- and I’m fine with that because what we got was really well made.

Cold Symmetry cared enough about there game to even add a loot! You can play the loot and if you are around friendly NPC’s you’ll even see them almost dancing in the background!

If you have that Dark Souls itch, this game will satisfy it.

There is so much potential for this game and this developer going forward and I am excited to see what they do next.

To finish this I want to say something very simple that I lot of developers and those connected to media often forget.

No one is entitled to a single penny you have. No one. So if they want you to buy their product, then they need to make something worth it.

Every single second you have is valuable, and if I want that- I need to earn it.

With this same line of though, is Mortal Shell worth your time and money?

Absolutely yes.

product review

About the Creator

Samuel Moore

Love to write and have more than a few opinions

Social media handle; Bamgibson30

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