Mortal Shell is about a empty vessel who….. Yeah you know what Im just going to throw my honest book and say I have no idea what the plot is for this game because it makes no sense what so ever.
First off, it must be said that the game is for incredibly pretty! When I first started in to the game it looked great. The sounds, the way your characters animation handles a weapon, the enemy’s reaction and animation – it all looked almost human! I also loved that every had a very unique look. No copy pasta.
So with equipment, well, things are very different seeing as how you are a vessel (I think)? You need to take control of Dead knights by awakening these Mortal Shells, occupying their bodies (I believe) and taking control of their form in order to use their stats abilities and buffs. That said, there are only a few in the game you have to get (compared to other similar games where you are limited as to what new gear you can wear.
In Mortal Shell there are only a few weapon’s you can pick up in the game. That said, each will help you get through various places, many of which are quite difficult without the right weapon. I like to see them as tools rather than weapon’s because there are enemies that are needed to handle with a different weapon. Simply using the same weapon on on every enemy is not a viable strategy – different enemies call for different weapons. The same applies to gear (i.e. different gear
In order to level up (much like Dark Souls where you collect souls to level up), you instead collect Tar and Glimpses to obtain bonus stuff to what you are wearing. Each of these are different from each other and yes, its more of a pain in the but to get, so if you feel like grinding the best time is to do it now.
Compared to campfires, you will need to find a sister and get it there but good luck because from what I played they are very far from one place to another. If you die you can get a chance to get it back, but if you don’t then say good bye to the stuff.
The enemies, as I said, are very hard and unique in their own little ways. They all have some very interesting attack stances, so if you are looking to get past them or beat them there are generally only two ways you can do it. The first one is to run like a little girl and not pick up that sweet, sweet tar. The second one is to carefully study their every attack move so you can beat them. Sun Tzu, Art of War style.
When it comes to bosses, they don’t mess around as the combat is a lot slower and you are very vulnerable to being attacked. Timing is incredibly important in this game, especially when taking on the bosses. I should also note that I felt like the bosses actually learned from my movement and attacks. Trying to do the same things over and over again actually failed for me. These bosses are in the MLG of bosses.
Overall I feel this game is a lot harder than Dark Souls and more “ballsy” when it comes to the gameplay however with that all said there are some bad sides to this game.
First off I like to say the controls are clunky. As an example, when I run and attack with left click I instantly just stand and attack (rather than running). So the only thing I can do is use the heavy attack and that really sucks because 40% of the time that attacks ripostes – because if they miss by a literal inch you will get clapped. Furthermore, with enemy tracking being rather weird, well – that leads to my second problem – enemies movement. While the animation is cool, getting attacked from a 180 degree turn is very annoying – especially when you come across bosses and mini bosses. They will do that no matter what.
Another thing with the enemies movement is that if you see a sitting enemy, half of the time they just instantly attack with no animation for them to stand up and half of the time they do the animation. Make sure you are ready to be attacked without warning!
In regards to the story, I’m not a huge fan of over crazy storylines but after seeing the sister I was lost on where to go. Literally, my only lead were the visions of weapons and gear. With Dark Souls you were told to go to hit the tower bells and from there you would know where to go next.
The main thing that makes me want to quit the game was quick slotting my equipment. The quick slotting system is very confusing at times, especially as there is little if any indication where your items are and how to use the system correctly. I was there for 15 mins trying to figure out how and I just used up all the stuff I needed, making me want to quit the damn game.
In Mortal Shell – the draw distance can be quite frustrating. Some enemies will just randomly pop up in front of you and that sucks. One minute you are just chilling out and the next minute you have 3 angry enemies directly in front of you that came out of LITERALLY NOWHERE.
Parrying and blocking
Blocking and parrying is more of a must use rather than a back up or a safeguard because in order to heal your self quick you need to parry at the right time. After that you need to wait till it gives you the ready up to do it again. There is food you find around the world but they don’t charge you right back up. The only block is your body stone. I felt that was a little lazy on there part as they could have made it a block with a weapon – but either way if you turn your self in to stone then you will have to wait 10 seconds to recharge.
Overall the game is seriously HARDCORE. The music, sounds, visuals and gameplay are very eye catching with exciting places to see but there are a lot of issues that really do need attention. I feel they could have spent more time fixing these issues rather than trying to release it so soon.
There is also not a lot of equipment or weapons in the game, and they should have included more. The silver lining is that there are a number of skill upgrades, so that definitely helps.
On Steam it is getting a mixed review (approx 70% thumbs up) and it deserves that rating considering it is a good and bad game at the same time. As for the price tag I’m glad they made it relatively cheap because if this was a full AAA price tag I think I would wait until it was on special.