Mortal Shell: Another Soulslike or More?


Boidurjya Ganguly


Jun, 29.2020

With the exception of the Witcher 3, very few modern RPGs have had the sheer impact like the souls series. For the unfamiliar, this means the From Software RPG games including Dark Souls 1,2 and 3, Demon Souls (their predecessor), Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. What all these action RPGs have in common are crushing but fair difficulty, tight timing based and strategic combat and storytelling through the world itself rather than through direct exposition. These are definitely not games which you can pick up and play through easily, making through the game with simple button mashing which is quite in contrast with many games we have now. All these things have combined to give the games a cult following making the souls games a subgenre of their own. While the hype has been really big for the upcoming Elden Ring, a new Soulslike has emerged which may hold its own.

Cold Symmetry’s Mortal Shell had a gameplay trailer release showcasing the gorgeous, grim, brutal and truly dark souls inspired world. The game was originally called Dungeon Heaven but from a lighter dungeon crawling game it has become a much more serious action RPG which is now reflected in its present moniker. This game has been hyped from its announcement in April and now we finally know more about the game.  From the get go, we see a red health and green stamina bar so commonly seen in Dark Souls and even the NPCs stand around cryptically to provide lore we can dive into. The footage gives us an idea of the character detail, graphics and superb looking environments. Mortal Shell definitely looks gorgeous which is even more impressive considering that only 15-16 people are developing it. More importantly we see the combat which pretty much looks like Dark Souls but with more unique animations. As we get deeper into the game, we’ll know how levelling works, what utility items to use and what builds we can create to truly diversify the combat.

In the game class is determined by the shell or hollow humanoid forms that your ghostly form can inhabit. The starting area will contain all the shells but will need exploration to discover them. But spending more time in a shell and playing a lot with one shell will lead to more familiarity with the shell with upgrades etc. This adds another layer of difficult decision making as well. When player health gets zero, the player will be kicked out from their shell. In this state the player will die in one hit unless he can get back to the shell (there are limited number of times you can do this) or make a run for it to find safety in another body. For the true challenge monger, there is always an option to complete the game without a shell. Mortal Shell definitely looks fresh and exciting and we can’t wait for it release. Hopefully it will be another high quality Soulslike and give us controller breaking challenges that’ll leave us in cold sweat. Link for the gameplay is given below: