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Thread: Mortal Shell

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004

    Mortal Shell

    Mortal Shell is an upcoming soulslike game, and the reason I post about it is that it now has a beta demo available on the Epic Store. I've read somewhere that it's only available until july 10, but I can't find that info anymore. Anyway, it's probably time limited.

    The game is a soulslike, so anyone familiar with genre should know what to expect, but it has a nice (that is, oppressive and dark ) atmosphere and some interesting mechanics. You start as some kind of weak being, but can inhabit corpses of fallen warriors to fight. These are the Shells, and they all have unique combat aspects and lore to them. When you die, you are knocked out of your shell, so you have a chance to reclaim it before actually dying and being sent back to the last checkpoint. One funny mechanic is that when you find a consumable item, you just don't know what it does. You have to use it first to figure out the effect, but can also build up familiarity through repeated use and increase the effect. Combat pacing is more on the slower side, kind of reminds me of Lords of the Fallen or The Surge. Anyway, I liked it, and I'd encourage those who like the genre to check it out.


  2. #2
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    There's some early gameplay here from well known YouTube soulsborne challenge runner LobosJr.
    Looks intriguing, if a little bit on the bullshitty side of difficult.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    I ended up preordering the game, and finished it.

    So to reiterate, this is a soulslike, with the same gameplay loop - you die, you drop your resources, respawn at the base, but enemies respawn too. The world design doesn't support this the same way as in the Souls games though - there are big, nicely designed areas with lot to explore, but it's not interconnected, and there are few shortcuts.

    The combat is similar too, but other than the usual health and stamina meters, you have two new mechanics. The first one is Hardening. Using this, you become invulnerable and immobile, as long as you want, or until someone hits you, then it goes on a cooldown. This can be used almost any time, even during attack animations, so it is both an offensive and defensive tool. The other is Resolve, which builds up on successful attacks, and you use it for special weapon abilities and to parry. The pacing, as I mentioned, is slower, the combat is heavy, and impacful. When you hit something, you feel it. I loved it.

    I've already mentioned that you don't know what consumable do until you try them, but the more you use them, the more effective they become. I think this is a cool idea, my only criticism is that some of these consumables are too rare for how useless they are. Like there's one that on a successful parry, refunds the resolve cost. Bro, I might die on my next parry attempt, resolve cost is the leats of my worries.

    The game is light on rpg elements, which I didn't really mind. You can upgrade you weapons and shells, and that's it. The shells are bodies of fallen warriors that you can inhabit, and they all have different hp/stamina/resolve stats, different upgrades, and require legitimately different playstyles. I played the first half of the game with one shell, and when I switched to another to experiment, I had to relearn how to fight the most basic mobs. Shells have their own lore too, which you unlock as you upgrade them but the story is vague, even by Souls standard. I liked all the monologues and writings, but I had very little idea what exactly happened during the game.

    The graphics are great, the locations are spectacular, and the character animations are top notch. The audio design is exceptionally good too. There's no battle music, it's mostly ambient themes, and background noises, but they establish a great atmosphere. Combat sound effect are awesome too, and contribute greatly to the impactful, heavy feel of it.

    The game is not a big one, it took me about 15 hours to finish it, though it has two playthroughs worth of content in it, if you want to try out all the shells and weapons. I don't mean this as a criticism, it was worth every penny for me, but it did left me wanting for more, especially since what's there is so good. I hope the devs make a DLC for it, or a sequel down the line, because this game is a gem, I highly recommend it.

    Oh, btw, there's a guitar in it that you can play anytime, and a cat that you can pet. Clearly, these are the marks of a great game.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Malleus View Post
    Oh, btw, there's a guitar in it that you can play anytime, and a cat that you can pet. Clearly, these are the marks of a great game.
    Yes, but the real question is... can you duel banjos with it?

    Anyway, not that I'm complaining, but I thought it was coming in 2021? Guess they ran out of funds? It looks pretty high-quality, though, from what I've seen.

  5. #5
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Anyway, not that I'm complaining, but I thought it was coming in 2021? Guess they ran out of funds?
    Well, no one's going to say no to Epic dropping a wad of cash on them, I suppose. If you're not averse to giving Epic money, it is, of course, on the Epic store.

  6. #6
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    There's a cat you can pet?

    I'm there, broseph.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Well, no one's going to say no to Epic dropping a wad of cash on them, I suppose. If you're not averse to giving Epic money, it is, of course, on the Epic store.
    Oh damn, another Epic exclusive. Well, never mind then.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    For shame that a developer might want to get to keep 26% more of their money!

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I don't blame the developers, I just don't trust Epic enough to spend money on their platform.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    They accept PayPal if you don't trust them with your card details.


    Back on topic, did Mortal Shell change much since the demo?
    I tried it briefly but it felt a little clunky and empty to me, but maybe that was just because I didn't play it long enough to git gud.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I'm always skeptical of "Souls-likes" because while lots of developers can mimic the gameplay, most don't have From Software's artistry and design sense. The Souls games are special because they're thematically cohesive; they feel like grand works created with an overarching vision in mind, extending to all aspects of the game.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    They accept PayPal if you don't trust them with your card details.
    It's not only that. I fundamentally distrust the platform. But going into details on that would be another topic entirely. Suffice it to say, for me it's not worth the hassle of making a Paypal account and installing yet another game launcher on my PC -- all that just for a couple of exclusive games.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    Back on topic, did Mortal Shell change much since the demo?
    I tried it briefly but it felt a little clunky and empty to me, but maybe that was just because I didn't play it long enough to git gud.
    I will never understand what people mean by 'clunky', but for what it's worth, I think iframes activate faster on dodges in the final game. At least the way I remember, in the beta I had to consciously dodge earlier than what I expected, but in the full game I could just do it naturally.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Clunky generally means that something feels a bit awkward, that things aren't as smooth, responsive, or intuitive as you'd expect.

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