Usual reading time: 8'
Take a deep breath and get ready to jump into the dark and dangerous world of Mortal Shell. It is difficult that nowadays an action and role game does not try to copy or at least is inspired by the Souls saga of the Japanese firm FromSoftware. And there is no doubt that Dark Souls laid the foundations for this style of games and that a good number of "Souls-like" games have come from outside this developer over the years.
Mortal Shell is the latest to land in this style from the hand of Cold Symmetry, a small studio that has given its best and has managed to play its cards very well to be inspired and try to offer us something more than just another copy of Dark Souls. In addition, Mortal Shell fans are in luck, an agreement has been reached to produce and distribute a physical edition of the dark action RPG.
This physical edition of Mortal Shell will include an exclusive fold-out poster and softcover art book, featuring never-before-seen concept images and character art.
One of the most striking aspects of this game, and in fact the one that gives it its name, is the ability of our character to possess the bodies of fallen warriors and take control of them to strengthen himself and take advantage of their different unique abilities. It is precisely this fact that marks the class system of the game
We have up to 4 classes to use: a knight, a tank, a thief, and a warrior. Each of these classes, as is logical, has different abilities and skills. The tank for example will allow us to deliver strong blows in battle along with a great stamina to receive attacks while the thief will allow us greater speed and agility with which to surprise our enemies
In addition, we have a skill tree to define and enhance each class. These skills cost "Tar", which is nothing more than a way of calling the experience within the context of the game. One aspect to note is that it can be very complex to collect the amount of Tar and Vestiges needed, both are obtained by defeating enemies, to be able to improve the 4 classes offered by the game. That is why we will most likely choose to maximize the armor that best suits our style of play, leaving a little aside the others.
Weapons. Perhaps one of the aspects where the game limps a little. In total in Mortal Shell we can get to own and handle a total of 4 weapons, although we can only carry and use one at a time. This takes away some of the game's diversity when it comes to forming your own style, since we are very limited if we also take into account that most of the weapons are very similar in characteristics and that we may even be near the end of the game by the time we manage to unlock one of them and not even pay attention to it.
The combat mechanics are the same as you would expect in this style of game, although the most experienced in the world may have the constant feeling that they could have been polished a little more and make them more fluid, in general they are quite successful. As a novelty, this "Soulslike" includes the mechanics of hardening, which works very well and is very fun. This ability consists of the ability of our character to instantly turn into stone at any time (provided it is available, of course) and thus be able to withstand the onslaught of enemies
Well used, this new feature gives rise to very interesting and challenging situations for combat, as we can use it to simply absorb an enemy impact or be able to harden in the middle of an attack to surprise the enemy when he comes to hit us.
It is a very hard game and if you have no experience with FromSoftware titles you may have a hard time. From the beginning we are made to suffer. Dying is very easy and we can do it at any time since in every corner there may be an enemy ready to surprise us. As it could not be otherwise is a game where you can not trust and underestimate any enemy, however weak and simple it may seem. In fact, we can literally die in two hits. However, when we die we do not do it as such the first time, but we will be fired from the body we inhabit at that moment having a few seconds to try to introduce them into it again to return to the battle with all the health restored. Something like a second chance.
Another aspect that will make us suffer at the beginning is the mapping. The forest where we started the adventure will be very confusing and sometimes it will seem even labyrinthine. As we play and we become familiar with the game, we will gradually breathe, realizing that there are even several areas connected by small shortcuts through which we can move quickly. That feeling of immersion will remind the most veterans of those times spent in Dark Souls where they suffered and had fun in equal parts.
The number of bosses that we will be able to face is much smaller than we would like. To be honest: there are very few bosses. However, this does not detract from the game, as each of these bosses will be a challenge in which we will quickly have to study them while trying to avoid their dangerous attacks. In fact, these bosses will barely forgive a few mistakes before they finish us off
A highlight of the game is that it is not at all linear, allowing us at all times to move around the map wherever we want, not having therefore an established order of where we should go or what objectives to perform first.
Story and duration
The story is perhaps one of the most difficult sections to classify. We do not know if the story deserves a Nobel Prize or if it is rather bad. The lore of this game is quite complicated to get and spin. The information we are given about the world or what is happening comes to us in drips and drabs and most of the time we will have to get it by reading the descriptions of the objects that we find or that is directly provided to us during the loading screens Bloodborne style. Since it is difficult to understand and confusing, in the end it is possible that we play to pass the game and directly choose to ignore the story.
The length of the game is perhaps a disappointing aspect, lasting approximately 10 hours. Perhaps less for those more versed in this type of games and perhaps something more for those who begin their journey. In general we think it falls a little short and we hope it could be solved with some DLC in the future.
It is also worth mentioning that Mortal Shell is a single player adventure and has no online mode.
Graphics and sound
The graphics of Mortal Shell does not disappoint. The environments are cared so that the atmosphere is good, with a palette of dark colors that manage to create that dark and sinister atmosphere that the game needs. Both the environments and the characters look very good and each of them has its own details.
It is possible to find some bugs, but they are insignificant and do not affect the game experience.
The sound section is also quite good and is very well achieved, so that the sounds of the characters and weapons get us fully into the fights. Perhaps a soundtrack with more presence would be an element to improve.
Mortal Shell does not present serious or outstanding failures and it is true that it lacks some elements to make it a much more remarkable title, but remember that it is weighed down by its limitations
It is a game that in general complies and will undoubtedly be able to make us have a good time.
- The novel mechanics of hardening
- The idea of different receptacles to inhabit
- A well achieved setting
The worst thing
- A short game duration
- No story or clear objective
- Repetition of enemies
We have made this analysis thanks to a download code for PS4 provided by Meridiem Games.