Mortal Shell Review
Mortal Shell: Considering the shamelessness of its wandering through the skin of the Dark Soul, the human shell is suitable for wearing other people’s skin. Whether it’s the industrial horror in “The Surge” or the more punk-like fantasy in “Hellpoint,” most “soul-like” people have at least tried to dress differently. Not a mortal shell. It stood proudly with its hard plate armor, screaming “Come on, my brother”, with the great sword lying on its shoulders.
So crazy and brave to directly imitate one of the most acclaimed games of the past decade, but for a game designed by only 15 people, “Live Shell” performed well in the nightmare dojo of “From Software”. It understands the attractiveness of the soul in a way that many imitators do not understand, while at the same time making enough changes to the formula to give it its own personality.
Falling into the sunken Fallgrim fantasy world, the mortal shell lets you play the role of an unnamed skeletal creature, which is created from the abyssal plains and whose purpose is opaque. Indeed, the world of Mortal Shell Company is unclear. Being in decline for a long time, here is full of desire for meaning and meaning, and memory itself has become a rare and valuable commodity.
The only information you receive is provided by the giant trapped in the tower, who asks you to retrieve three “sacred glands” from various locations in the world, which contain a sacred substance called Nektar. Give him glands, and in return, he will give you strength.
You will need this feature. Fallgrim is plagued by all kinds of annoying residents, from bandits wielding clubs to ed giants trying to smash you into pulp with Mjolnir-style hammers. The design of some enemies is excellent.
I especially like the procrastinating zombies who nail the mat with a sword. Not only did they drew the sword and threw it at you in an extremely bad manner, but their reaction to impending death was even more dramatic, which made them very difficult to kill without being harmed.
Mortal Shell: Battle is mostly like you’d expect from this ilk’s game
Battle is mostly like you’d expect from this ilk’s game, which is a combination of light and heavy attacks, blocking, and escape. However, when combined, there are few significant variations that have a profound effect on combat flow. The first one is highlighted in the title of the game. You are as sturdy as a carboard in a tsunami in your normal, skeletal shape. Fortunately for you, the world has corpses, deceased warriors who can be possessed, reanimated once discovered.
These mortal shells are not only harder than you, but also have different combat expertise. I spent most of the early game time with the fallen paladin-style Eredrim, whose lifeline is longer than a sword and inflicts more damage on every enemy killed. Later I transferred to Solomon Scholar. Solomon maintains a balance between health and endurance and is good at generating Resolve, allowing you to perform special actions and attacks (academics are known for their combat abilities).
Shells often play a second life in addition to their role as groups. After respawning your skeleton will be kicked out from your shell for the first time. Going back into this will replenish your life, but you can only take one hit before you die. (Otherwise, in this form, you can battle as usual and I guarantee the players can try “shellless runs” in weeks from the start of the game.) This makes no conceptual sense, but fighting would be pretty straightforward if you were invincible.
Whether you use a Shell first or make changes when you change your underwear, your core competence always remains the same. Unlike “Dark Souls”, there is no block button in “Live Shell”. Instead, you can “harden”, turn yourself into a stone, and temporarily transfer all damage. If this sounds like self-deception to you, there are two important differences. First of all, hardening will not cost you any stamina, but it is temporary and it will take a few seconds to recharge after use.
Hardening is the most unique fighting feature of Mortal Shell, but it is not the most important. The darlingest change of Mortal Shell’s formula to Souls is that the Estus flask isn’t available, the health reservoir is not easily accessible when the fight gets hairy. Some pickups provide health, directly or indirectly, when consumed. But parrying is your main way of restoring health in the battle. Equipped with a special talisman, during certain attacks the enemies can be temporarily stunned by deploying it.
Initially, the lack of Estus Flask made Mortal Shell prospects more difficult than Dark Souls, because you have no choice but to master effective parry skills. The parry window is too small to help, and many enemy attacks are designed to delay your time. In other words, once you figure out the rhythm of strengthening, parrying, and avoiding, not only is it possible to survive, but you can also eliminate them. Lost a lot of health because your opponent caught you?
No problem, just stand firm, wait for the attack, and then suck your opponent’s health like a delicious blood shake. It is very satisfying and will produce back and forth stimulation in every run. After a minute, you may be doomed to die, and then pass some well-executed parry back and continue to the next checkpoint.
This three elements-blocking, hardening, and shell type-brought amazing power in the battle of the real shell, and the result undoubtedly scratched the itchy feeling of the dark soul. Everything else about the game is good, but it could be better. For example, considering the location and environment, most of the budget seems to be spent on a specific area. A huge obsidian temple started out strangely, and as the exploration deepened, it became more and more surreal.
In contrast, anywhere else is an ordinary world, lush forests, icy caves, and ghostly catacombs. Everything has been carefully carved, but in terms of concept and structure, Fallgrim is not Lordran.
Weapons are also problematic. There are generally four weapons to choose from, but one of them (hammer and chisel) is better than the other three. Not only is it conceptually cool, but you can stab the enemy with a chisel for a light attack, and slam the enemy with a hammer for a heavy attack. Its speed and ability to stagger opponents are more powerful and stronger than the old Taoist blade. The slow smoldering hammer. Therefore, once I obtained it, I hardly used any other weapons except to find out how much worse than hammers and chisels.
From the narrative point of view, “Real Human Shell” is incredible. I like that each shell has its own background story, and you can unlock these stories and new features, as well as existing relationships with NPCs you occasionally encounter in the world. It was a touching moment when Sester Genessa, your hard guiding light on the rugged and uneven land of Fallgrim, was suddenly moved by the appearance of the new enclosure you discovered.
Having said that, it is difficult to estimate the continuity of the fragments of mortal shell fragments. One thing I noticed is that the enemy does not always adapt well to the surrounding environment.
I don’t need to read the legend to know why the Bell Gargoyle inhabits the top of the Dark Souls Church of the Undead, why the Basilisk lurks in the depths, or why the Silver Knight guards Anor Londo. They feel the environment they were born with. With “Mortal Shell”, I don’t understand why warriors like barbarians and female assassins like women wander around the Obsidian Temple. Sometimes, Mortal Shell’s enemy roster feels like a D&D mashup, cool, but not very effective.
These are higher-level criticisms, but “Dark Souls” is a higher-level game, and it is fair that such comparisons can be made when “Real Shell” openly invites them. However, although there is no masterpiece, “Real Shell” is still a capable fighter. In the gloomy environment and obscure characters, there is a glorious light, and its world and story are fascinating. Ultimately, “Live Shell” is not a soul game, but it is the best non-soul game I have played so far.
See Also: No Straight Roads Review Game