I dread any ‘soulslike’ game arriving in my inbox, as it normally means having to make a video based on the first fight shot from different angles, as I couldn’t get any further. So it speaks to the appeal of Cold Symmetry's Mortal Shell that I persevered long enough to put together an entire video preview, and find a delightful lute to jam on in the middle of a swamp. Less loot, more lutes: the campaign starts here.
Mortal Shell is an unashamed attempt to mimic the Dark Souls formula, albeit on a slightly more condensed scale owing to its 15 person design team. On the surface it’s another jaunt through a bleak fantasy world, fighting against hard-hitting monsters with attack animations that take several years to wind up. Its secret sauce are the titular shells: the bodies of fallen warriors that you possess, to protect your far more fragile skeleton from harm. All this and much more in the following video preview. Apologies for the confusing double act.
On paper this sounded like Shiny’s mad body-hopping Messiah, but it’s a tad more conservative than that. The shells act more as classes. In this demo I tried out a beefy jack of all trades and a deceased poisoner who swaps health for stamina, but can upgrade himself to turn toxic damage into a healing balm. Very handy. There will be two others in the final game; on the strength of the current pair, I’m keen to see how they turn out.
If you fancy the idea of walking a mile in another man’s shoes (er, with another man’s feet) you can apply to try the demo yourself, as it’s the basis of a beta Cold Symmetry are launching tomorrow. They suggest joining their Discord server for a chance to play. I recommend it.