It seems that every time I turn around, there’s another game coming out that is trying to copycat the magic that FromSoftware created with their Dark Souls franchise. Having played as many of these copies, dubbed “Soulslikes,” none of them really came that close to emulating any of the Dark Souls titles—at least until now.
Enter: Mortal Shell.
One of the first things that I noticed about Mortal Shell was its dark, grim aesthetics—its world, aptly called Fallgrim, looks impressively miserable and creepy. The various denizens that dwell therein are also very well designed. As with other Soulslikes, this game is played from a third-person perspective.
One of the primary ways that Mortal Shell sets itself apart from other Soulslikes is its combat system. Instead of shields, your character has an ability called Hardening. When this cooldown-based defensive mechanic is activated, your character’s skin becomes more impervious to incoming damage.
When you’re utilizing this Hardening posture, your character may still attack whatever enemy he is facing. What’s interesting is that you can also pair this up with your character’s “Resolve” meter that builds up over time. Once it reaches a certain level you can unleash potent special attacks, or you activate a riposte that helps you to regenerate health.
Another thing that I found fascinating about Mortal Shell is the ability of your character to take over other bodies that are called “Shells.” There are four different types of shells—each comes with their own stamina, speed, health, and Resolve.
For instance, you’ve got Eredrim the Venerable who is a tanky knight build with high health but low stamina. Then there’s Harros the Vassal who is faster than Eredrim but doesn’t have as much health; and so on. If you’ve played action role-playing games, you pretty much know what tropes to expect.
Here are some of the pros and cons within Mortal Shell—
Fun and engaging combat system
Intriguing, dark world to explore
Very stylish graphics
Great sound design
The Not So Good:
Backstory and lore is pretty murky
Limited amount of weapons to employ
Level design is lacking in some places
In all, Mortal Shell begs you to explore its forlorn, highly detailed, dark fantasy realm (although it doesn’t tell you much about it). Although its development team consists of just over a dozen people, its presentation is slick and highly polished—it looks fantastic on my gaming PC and really impressed friends. If you’re into great ARPGs you can’t go wrong with this title.
Mortal Shell has some pretty good looking graphics that make its ARPG gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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