Mortal Shell Review – Dark Souls For The Rest Of Us

It’s hard to separate talking about Mortal Shell from discussing the Souls games–Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice–because developer Cold Symmetry has obviously created a love letter to From Software’s work. But Mortal Shell isn’t a simple retread. It adds ideas and mechanics that shift your way of thinking about its duelist-style combat. Mortal Shell is a small-scale Souls-like game, demanding less of an investment of time and frustration. It feels tuned for more casual players–people who have been interested in this brand of experience, but who maybe struggled in the twitch reactions department–while still striking all the same essential nerves.

You play a faceless, voiceless being dubbed “The Foundling,” more akin to a spirit than a person, who leaves what seems to be a sort of astral plane in order to venture into a decaying, poisonous world known as Fallgrim. There, you meet various characters who give typically spooky, cryptic speeches about the gradual degradation of the world and the religious zealots who populate it. Practically, just about anyone you come across wants to murder you, and in your white spirit-ish form, you’re little match for them–one hit will destroy you.

To survive, you need a better body, which is where the name Mortal Shell comes from. You’re able to inhabit the corpses, or shells, of some tough warriors you find along the way, which make you a little less prone to instant death. The four shells in the game each play a little differently from one another, providing a set of different character builds you can swap between as you play. Each also has unique special perks you can unlock in a typically Souls-like way by spending currencies you earn from killing enemies–currencies you can permanently lose if you’re killed and don’t retrieve them from your own dead body. The four shells keep Mortal Shell approachable, as you only need to learn how to handle each one (or just your favorite), rather than worry about developing the stats of an RPG-style character build.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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