November 20, 2020

Mortal Shell Gameplay Explained | A Brutal Love Letter To Dark Souls

New Mortal Shell gameplay? Go on then. We’ve played a two hour Mortal Shell demo and are here to explain everything: combat, weapons, shell possession, exploration… you name it, we cover it in our breakdown. Mortal Shell is a love letter to Dark Souls and other soulslikes, and we think you’re going to love it.

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And yes: Mortal Shell beta access is coming, the best place to gain access is the Mortal Shell discord, which is here: We’ve played the demo through and spent two hours getting to grips with two of the mortal shells, Harros and Tiel, for this Mortal Shell preview. We talk you through Mortal Shell combat, and it’s unique harden ability, and how the two characters handle differently. The most pleasant surprise putting together these Mortal Shell impressions was how each character brought something new to the mix.

These are hands-on impressions, but only of the early area of the game, and a modified version of it at that. It’s not a full Mortal Shell review, just a preview, but we really enjoyed what we played of it. Matthew thinks it looks particularly shiny – this is Mortal Shell gameplay (PC) – but hope it doesn’t look too dark and dank in the video. Cold Symmetry have created a striking world with some great monster design – we were particularly proud to be able to take down the first Mortal Shell boss fight.

So, what is your Mortal Shell reaction? Will this scratch the itch while waiting for Elden Ring? Let us know in the comments. And if you have any questions about what we covered in this video – or things we didn’t mention, make sure to pop them below. If you enjoyed this Mortal Shell gameplay deep dive, why not check out our recent look at Outriders: And if you enjoyed this video give it a like and subscribe to Rock Paper Shotgun. Thanks for watching.

#MortalShell #MortalShellGameplay #MortalShellPreview #MortalShellBeta


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  • Not remotely interested in the game, but golly Matthew, the video was fantastic! Funny AND informative, excellent stuff! So pleased I accidentally watched…

  • I have to say I really enjoyed this review of the game, I saw the trailer a few months ago and it looked a bit empty which kind of put me off but after watching this I think I'm sold and the graphics are impressive as well I wish they had a PS4 demo out, that would have been awesome

  • the animations and aesthetics of that boss look identical to the champion from lords of the fallen, did anybody else notice that?

  • I read the title as Mortar Shell, and on my phone the initial gameplay looked like it took place in trenches, making me really excited for a Dark Souls game based on a supernatural World War I. Now I'm sad it's just another medieval fantasy Souls-like.

  • Looks promising Matty no. 01 & 02! Thanks for the low-down. Always highly entertaining banter amongst yourself. 🙃👏

  • I've heard that the much vaunted self-interview is a mandatory component of the YouTuber's master class curriculum. In any case, I do like the general aesthetic of Mortal Shell—dark, gritty and ghostly medieval always work so well together. The hardening system and "noseless abomination" puppeteer gimmick do look promising, though I hope that they're enough to set it apart from straight-up "Souls clone" status. As much as I love Dark Souls, I'd love even more to see some manifestations of real, fresh perspective in the genre. Provocative as always, Matthew.

  • This game looks pretty awesome. As a massive fan of souls-likes I'm so happy we're getting so many, each one with unique and interesting twists on the formula: Hellpoint coming later this month, Mortal Shell, Elden Ring and the grandaddy of them all, Demon's Souls Remastered!

  • I don't know why any one would have a problem with the term "souls-like"… I mean one look at this game and others like it and what do you think of?

  • What a lot of "souls-like" games get wrong is the design behind attack timing. Most games just make long animations but don't really design the movement and combat around that, the slowness seems like it's just a side-effect. This game looks like it was deliberately made slow to supplement the design. Base enemies attack even slower than the player, and bigger enemies have a very noticeable windup, but then a fairly quick swing. The swings of the big sword or the hammer look slow but the animation conveys power behind the swing, and the hammer is close range AoE. To me, this makes the combat look slow by design and not slow due to a disconnect between animations and the combat design, which is a big plus in my book.

    I'm pretty impressed by this game, I had it on my radar but this deep dive into the demo really sparked my interest, so thank you!

    Advice on the video, Matthew: I thought the idea of you interviewing yourself was pretty funny, but I recommend next time, since the interviewer Matthew talks less, you should make that voice different or exaggerated in some way so that there's some variation in the tone of the video. I found that as I was watching it, your voice began to drown out and I couldn't determine which Matthew was talking, interviewer or interviewee? Just a thought, keep up the good work!

  • I don't know why but I feel like this game has "Epic Exclusivity" written all over it.
    And the gameplay looks more like Lords of the fallen (a game which I liked very much) than Dark souls!

  • every time i play one of these RPS videos, my brain defaults to Matthew speaking, I was pleased to know that I was right this time around.

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