Look, comparisons to Dark Souls are trite, but Mortal Shell is understood most quickly through comparison to the games which so clearly inspired it. Off you go through a ruined fantasy world, parrying and riposting as you duff up baddies, piecing together history from snippets of stories, and so on. Our Mortal Shell review calls it “a fairly strong Soulslike”, which might be somewhat faint praise but it’s not damning. If you’re curious, hey, it’s out now, though only on the Epic Games Store at first.
This launch trailer is directed by Alessandro Pacciani, who also directed Dark Souls 2’s cinematic trailer. The Souls influence on Mortal Shell is not a secret.
One neat idea Mortal Shell has is that it’s not our character running around doing the stabbing, we’re stepping into other people – the eponymous shells. As well as broadly playing like different RPG class archetypes, the shells each have their own histories to uncover. It’s a cute touch.
Ed Thorn did like a lot of Mortal Shell but wished it had more weapons, more enemy types, and a world which felt like the space fit together better. “The puzzling nature of the map, the repetitive placement of enemies, the lack of options all coalesce into a big arm that holds the game back from being really good, to just good,” he said. It’s not a new Dark Souls, but “good” isn’t bad.
Mortal Shell is out now for £25/€25/$30 on the Epic Games Store. It’s due to spread to Steam and GOG in 2021, presumably after the standard year of exclusivity passes. Mortal Shell is made by Cold Symmetry and published by Playstack.
Here’s vidbud Matthew with more thoughts from when he played a few hours of a demo version a while back: