Mortal Shell дарит настоящее эстетическое удовольствие

Mortal Shell is an empty shell. Review / Games

Genre Action
Publisher Playstack
Developer Cold symmetry
Minimum Requirements Intel Core i5-4590 3.3 GHz / AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 4 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290, 40 GB hard disk space , Epic Games Store account
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i7-6700 3.4 GHz / AMD Ryzen R7 1700 3.0 GHz, 16 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 8 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
release date August 18, 2020
Age qualification from 18 years old
Platforms PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4
Official site

Played on PC

Not a month passes without another souls-like appearing on the digital shelves. Just dealt with Hellpoint, as now Mortal Shell suggests, through clenched teeth, to overcome new deadly dangers. Both games are definitely created small teams of industry veteranswith an eye on FromSoftware ideas. But if the research “Irid Novo” diligently imitates Dark Souls, then Mortal Shell looks much more distinctive. That, at times, comes out sideways to her.

⇡ #We will choose a suit to your taste

According to the precepts of the genre, the protagonist of Mortal Shell is devoid of any hints of his own character. Moreover, his very individuality is as blurred as possible. We are given the role of either a ghoul or a zombie, which has no face. But there is one unusually useful skill – to move into the bodies of dead soldiers. This will help you survive in a gloomy world full of monsters.

Mortal Shell gives real aesthetic pleasure

Mortal Shell gives real aesthetic pleasure

True, not every carcass is suitable. The game offers a choice of four unique skins that are yet to be found. The main difference between them lies in the number of lives and stamina. For example, the servant Til is capable of tirelessly swinging his sword and tumbling around the opponent, but dies from several pokes, and the venerable Eredim bravely endures punches from enemies, but fizzles out after several blows.

Dressing the hero to your liking will not work – the game simply does not offer different sets of armor. On the other hand, each shell is beautifully executed outwardly: worn, well-worn, but still reliable clothes, worked out to the last cufflink and thread. Their stylish looks are memorable and simply pleasing to the eye throughout the game.

Mortal Shell was once called Dungeonhaven and, judging by the first videos, the environment of the game in the initial stages was completely different. Desert, canyons, bright steppes – everything was completely reworked into a dark fantasy, where the sun’s rays only occasionally peep through the gloomy clouds. Unlike many followers of Dark Souls, there is no open world here. Of the confusing locations, only the central “hub”, in which you need to find a way to three temples.

Sister Genessa will give a parting word, and help to unleash the combat potential, and will serve as a checkpoint

Sister Genessa will give a parting word, and help to unleash the combat potential, and serve as a checkpoint

Ancient sanctuaries, in turn, are relatively linear. The goal in each is the same – to reach the end and defeat the guardian of the sacred gland. And this is only half the battle – then you have to get out back. After a grueling but beautiful fight with the boss, the dungeon plunges into darkness, and the rooms are flooded with new monsters. Only your trophy illuminates the path with blood red light. At such moments, Mortal Shell mesmerizes with its dark beauty. The game looks great as a whole, and the scanty filling of the interiors pays off with breathtaking landscapes. A ten-member team showed what the next generation Dark Souls might look like.

Not only artists, but also animators are worthy of praise. The hero (in any of his four incarnations) feels amazing. It’s nice to just wander leisurely through the foggy swamps and cold stone of the catacombs. And more importantly, the elaborate movements enhance the feel of a well-tailored combat system. Each blow has weight, and a successful lunge will certainly reflect on the enemy. Combinations of light and strong blows smoothly flow into each other, and the appropriate heaviness does not turn into annoying slowness, but, on the contrary, gives a feeling of power.

Every action in battle habitually takes away stamina. But the lack of shields, on the contrary, at first unsettles. The battles are unhurried, almost tactical – it is important to be able to prioritize at the sight of a threat and, preferably, deal with monsters one at a time. To avoid damage yourself, you will have to master the petrification skill – by pressing a special button, the hero instantly turns into an impenetrable statue, even when performing a combo, even in flight. In this state, we are practically invulnerable, but the very first blow we receive again turns us into a creature of fragile flesh. The enemy, however, is stunned for several moments.

In a duel on a bridge, the main thing is not to fly into the abyss.

In a duel on a bridge, the main thing is not to fly into the abyss.

The correct use of petrification is the key to victory in any situation. It recovers for a few seconds, which makes the skill key in battle, but does not allow invulnerability to be abused. Another useful skill is parry. It is more difficult to apply it. If you put up a protective sign a moment before an enemy strike, you will not only stun the enemy, but you will also be able to strike a powerful retaliatory attack (if you have accumulated enough determination – another resource besides life and stamina).

The catch is that the protagonist himself spends half a second to get the amulet from his belt, so it is difficult to calculate the right moment. But your efforts will not be in vain – a successful parry not only deals huge damage, but also restores your own health. Which is especially useful, since only found mushrooms and fried rats can be healed. On the other hand, death does not come immediately. Like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, you have a kind of second chance. When the life bar is reset, the hero’s true body is literally thrown out of the puppet, and once you can move into it again. Or fight “naked”, which also has a plus – a huge amount of stamina (and the final death from a single missed blow).

After death, no healing flasks in the pocket materialize, but all the defeated monsters return to their places. And, of course, you have only one attempt to return the accumulated experience. More precisely, not experience, but “tar” – one of the two currencies, which acts simultaneously as money and points for pumping shells. But the “scraps of memory”, without which it is also impossible to remember the skills of the fighters, are not lost at death, but are valid only for the protagonist, on whose behalf you pick them up.

Ballista will help to deal with the threat from a safe distance, but there are very few shells for it

Ballista will help to deal with the threat from a safe distance, but there are very few shells for it

The talents themselves are mostly of little use (although a couple will greatly simplify life), but as they are discovered, we learn more and more the background of the controlled warriors. This is perhaps the best part in describing the world of the game, because the main plot and mythology are thrown over so vaguely that the sublimely pathetic quotes cannot be put into a single picture.

Mortal Shell seems meticulous to the smallest detail in many ways, and annoying and uncomfortable in others. The most striking example is weapons. A total of four pieces are available: a simple sword, a massive two-handed, a hammer-pick and a staff-mace. Each of them has a unique set of movements, it feels really different. I would like to study it, but the game resists in every possible way.

Weapons can be obtained at the beginning of each temple, and pumped there at a special anvil (you can also do this in the central location). But you will find resources for improvement during the expedition deep into the sanctuary. Needless to say, there is no desire to return through a bunch of monsters for the sake of pumping a new gun. And there is little sense in this – any of them will be effective in the hands of all four fighters. There are no situations when it is worth giving preference to certain equipment. Therefore, which weapon will be the first to start sharpening, so, most likely, you will go to the final boss.

Each weapon has unique powerful moves. Two-handed can freeze enemies around

Each weapon has unique powerful moves. Two-handed can freeze enemies around

This is one of the main troubles of Mortal Shell – as soon as you get a taste, you accumulate enough resources to experiment with different shells and weapons, as credits run across the screen. All further experiments can be performed only in the “New Game +”. Or try to master the passage without using puppets.

* * *

In Mortal Shell, little remains of the mastermind. She has her own face, her own character and interesting ideas. The battles were especially successful. But, firstly, there is very little game – the dish ends when the appetite has just played out. Secondly, some design decisions are more likely to interfere – as if they were created to stretch a modest timekeeping.


  • the combat system is simple, but it is interesting to master its rules and nuances;
  • beautiful and technological picture with smooth animation;
  • enjoyable boss battles;
  • disclosure of the backstory of the heroes through pumping.


  • successful ideas (changing shells and weapons) received dubious implementation;
  • the world is beautiful, but empty, and does not tell any story;
  • the ending leaves with the thought: “How is everyone?”

Graphic arts

This is how Dark Souls may look on a new generation of consoles, the only thing missing is a more spacious and rich world.


Dark ambient, some orchestra, juicy metal tearing flesh – good work.

Single player game

A slow-paced adventure slasher with gripping battles and a dark, mystical atmosphere.

Collective game

Not provided.

General impression

Mortal Shell is like the first chapter of an epic adventure. I hope it turns out that way.

Rating: 7.0 / 10

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