Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition – Review
Follow Genre: Souls-like, Action-adventure
Developer: Cold Symmetry
Publisher: Playstack
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Concept, Atmosphere
Bad: Mechanics, Limited, Grindy
User Score
4.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Mortal Shell is still somewhat in the back of our heads, as the game is only about half a year old. While it didn’t bring home the gold on our site, the overall experience was very much in the vein of the original Dark Souls series. We enjoyed collecting different shells during our adventures, but the controls and some of the mechanics were found lacking to make it a modern hit. Now, the game has been ported to the next generation of consoles and we were lucky enough to get our hands on a PlayStation 5 review copy. Once again we found ourselves playing this tough-as-nails gritty body-snatchers adventure. If you wish to read our original in-depth review, you can do so by clicking here.

After a very vague and non-descriptive introduction, we find ourselves in a strange land with many hostile humanoids and monsters scattered around the place. We stumble upon the corpse of a fallen warrior, to possess it, utilize it, and gain some momentum in this dark place. Before long, you’ll stumble upon a central hub, which will explain a bit more about how the game works. This is basically the same as a normal Dark Souls experience, where little explanation is given, and everything feels (and is) very hard to wade through.

The game does have a class system, thanks to the shells you are able to collect. There are five shells available, but these require a lot of Tar (first currency by killing enemies) and Glimpses (second but more rare currency) to fully upgrade. Sadly, these classes just differ a bit in terms of base stats and skills. These skills often base themselves around passive upgrades and a few active ones, such as a kick or an option to gain a second wind, etc. The latter is an interesting feature, as the game follows a traditional Dark Souls formula, where when you die, you lose everything if you cannot collect your shell before you die again.

Even though the skills may be a bit underwhelming, the biggest issue lies with the actual mechanics. Combat in the game feels very clunky and is of course also stamina-based. The latter is not really the issue, it’s mainly the slowness of everything and the fact that nothing feels precise. Even when directing your attacks, it somewhat has input lag and sometimes your attacks just don’t connect. Not connecting doesn’t seem to be an issue for your enemies, as they sometimes hit you, even though you’re not even close enough. We have had a few clipping errors during combat as well, and at other times the terrain didn’t cooperate either, as nearly everything in this game is coded to be a static object. In other games, small chests and cases do not prove to be a problem, in Mortal Shell they can be actual hazards.

The game also feels awkward at times, where parrying feels off, you do not start with a normal block option and the harden ability just feels a bit underwhelming and useless at times. While this should somewhat surprise your enemies, or even knock them back, they sometimes just keep wailing on you, without even flinching when basically hitting a statue version of yourself. The overall idea of this is actually quite cool, it just seems to miss its mark.

As established during our initial review, Mortal Shell looks and sounds good. While we tried out the PS5 version of the game, it doesn’t always feel like a next-gen version. Water effect doesn’t properly match with the movements you make, there were a fair number of clipping errors, more than once when crawling through a tunnel some parts of our character became transparent, and so on. We also regret the very limited number of different enemy models, especially at the beginning of the game. These humanoid attackers all look to come from a big family that has done a lot of inbreeding over the years. There’s nothing to snap you out of the immersion more than having to smack the same deformed hick over and over again.

Conclusion

Mortal Shell is a fairly okay Souls-like experience, and collecting new shells is a fun goal to commit yourself to. Sadly, this becomes a bit of a grindfest having to combine two different resources to actually level up your different shells, making the overall experience a bit blander. Add the fact that the gameplay mechanics themselves feel a bit dated, clunky, and not very precise, and you have a somewhat underwhelming adventure on your hands. We loved the aesthetics, the concept, the overall atmosphere, but ultimately this could not hide the very distinct cracks in Mortal Shell’s shell.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition – Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.