Quick Review: Should You Play Mortal Shell?

Mortal Shell combat
Are you ready? (Image Credit: Cold Symmetry)

If you like dark fantasy action RPG set in a mysterious open-world, then look no further than Mortal Shell - a game clearly inspired by the Dark Souls Franchise. The gameplay is strategic, deliberate, and unforgiving - prepare to die and try again!

Check out the game's Release Trailer:

What is Mortal Shell?

Mortal Shell is an action-RPG set in a mysterious open world where you play as a demon that inhabits the bodies of fallen heroes that you discover in your journey towards the unknown. Developer Cold Symmetry describes it as “a deep action-RPG that tests your sanity and resilience in a shattered world.” The game opens in a dark murky underworld and serves as the game’s tutorial where you learn the game's basic mechanics. The game runs smoothly on Unreal Engine 4 across all gaming platforms. Mortal Shell was recently released on August 18 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and it is already climbing in Twitch viewership.

Mortal Shells Tutorial
The World is yours to discover (Image Credit: Cold Symmetry)

The Story is Discovered Organically

The story in Mortal Shell is non-linear, and you only get small pieces of it written on inscriptions found throughout the open world. When you find one of these inscriptions only a few words or a short sentence are written on them. So, to learn more about the story you must play through the entire game! Mortal Shell’s early beginning puts you in the underworld and after fighting your way through it you crawl into the real world - the first zone is called Fallgrim. Once you're in the above world of Fallgrim you can possess the dead bodies of fallen heroes or “shells” and your journey begins. It's that simple!

The Gameplay

Like most action-RPGs, you control your character in the third person and can attack, dodge, and parry. Parrying in Mortal Shell is called Harden and it does exactly that - your character turns to stone on command allowing you to block attacks. You can freely control this Harden ability allowing you to dictate the flow of combat.

Attack then Harden to block and then attack again after the enemy is staggered!

The Harden ability in Mortal Shell lets you block enemy attacks by turning into stone. (Image Credit: Cold Symmetry)

Boss Fights are the major high point of this game and the first boss is Grisha - a giant troll-like gorilla with talons for arms! Grisha is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as the game ensures you understand the combat system before you can move on and discover the rest of the hidden world.

Grisha Mortal Shell
Grisha - Early Boss in Mortal Shell (Image Credit: Cold Symmetry)

The Verdict

  • Buy this game if you like: a challenge and open-world exploration or if you loved the Dark Souls Games.

Mortal Shell takes a lot of cues from the Dark Souls series, so it is nothing groundbreaking - but the smooth frame rate allows for fun combat-based gameplay and the open-world exploration leads to organic adventure!

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