After an open beta phase, all of Fallgrim and its surroundings finally opened to players on August 18. Since an Elden Ring is slow to give news, the announcement of Mortal Shell has aroused the enthusiasm of a lot of players especially as the first trailers showed a rather ambitious Souls-like especially if we took into account the number of people behind the project. Following the beta of the game, you can find our preview below this post, several questions were still unanswered but now that it is possible to browse the entire title, it is time to take stock of this action -RPG. So I completed Mortal Shell's story mode in just under 10 hours of play and with a minimal exploration of areas of the title. Subsequently, I launched the New Game + mode, totaling experience for this review at around 12-13 hours to get a taste of the replayability of the game. The title was tested on a standard PS4 with a publisher version.
If the results were already favorable during the beta, it is necessary to recall the care that was taken to the title. The graphic aspect is thorough and special care is given to the world of Mortal Shell. I enjoy browsing the areas of the game, and some of the scenes are quite appreciable. I can also mention the high quality of 3D models and animations. I then have a world and characters staged through aesthetics and animations of very good quality. However, there was some gray area in the game even after the open beta. This was about the openness and complexity of the areas of the game. I can now rule on this issue. In fact, Mortal Shell displays semi-open areas with a few branches, but these areas are ultimately quite interventionist and at least reward exploration. However, there is an exception in the central area of the game, namely the Fallgrim swamp, which remains dense, complex and which conceals some rather nice secrets. On the side of its narration, again the title of Cold Symmetry shows itself to the height of its inspirations. Although the content of the game is less dense than classic Souls, each element of the world allows you to learn more about it. Whether it is the stelae scattered all over the place, the dialogues with the rare NPC, or the objects of the game, each small piece takes place in the puzzle that is the lore of the game. This aspect then encourages the player to explore every nook and cranny of the game. Fallgrim and its surroundings.
We can also bet that at several points during the adventure, the world of Mortal Shell responds to the progress of the player by changing the layout of its levels a little or by bringing in different types of monsters. In addition, the object familiarity system is quite well thought out, because this system supports the player's progress. In fact, the more we advance in the game, the more we become familiar with its systems, and the fact of becoming familiar with the objects gives us additional information on the effects of the latter as well as on its meaning in the game. let us also quote the music of the game which, although they are a minimum behind, still manages to underline the few highlights of the game.
What is good and what is wrong with the game?
We attack here the biggest flaw of the game, its lack of content. Let's start with the lifespan which, although advertised at 20-30 hours of play, comes down to half as much with around 10 hours of play. Count less if you are a veteran of the genre, around 7-8 hours, or more if you're a novice, up to 15 hours of playtime. Which is a pretty slim record for a Souls-like. But it doesn't end there, however. I notice the presence of very few NPCs, diversity on the non-existent semi-bosses, a little stocked bestiary with about 5 different types of monsters per zone, 4 territories to explore, and not many bosses. The situation is really severe on this side, and those who do not wish to relive the adventure several times will find it difficult to justify their purchase of this game. Additionally, the story of Mortal Shell boils down to a single mission that is presented to the player from the start. A little more interaction and different purposes would have contributed to the gaming experience. Especially since this choice underlines the short lifespan of the title.
There are still some small advantages to be gained from the title's rather short experience. The first is the NG + which is then no longer as imposing and time-consuming as in other genre games. The human size of the world can also encourage the player to seek out the various secrets of the places on their own, especially in the Fallgrim swamp which benefits from a fairly extensive level design, which makes browsing it fun. Finally, the 4 shells and the 4 weapons of the game which can be improved also offer replayability to the title. The experience is very short then, but there are many elements that lead us to replay the adventure. However, there are small advantages that only slightly compensate for the lack of density of the game.
The fights, good or good?
Now on to the fighting. The results were already positive for the beta and still are today. The fights are nervous, quite precise, even if some mechanics like the parry or the extirpation of the Shell sometimes lack accuracy. The arsenal is well stocked between active and passive shell skills and weapon skills. It is also really pleasant to use this arsenal in its entirety to defeat your opponents, even if one can question the relevancy of adding a ranged weapon to the game. The clashes are demanding, the sequences are smooth, the feeling is good and the sound design in combat is worked on in addition to making it possible to anticipate the attacks of enemies located outside the field of vision of the camera. On the other hand, we sometimes had trouble locating a creature while it was making a huge noise because it got stuck behind an obstacle. So the AI would also be an interesting point to improve, and if it was possible to stop putting creatures on the sides of an opening all the time to surprise the player, that would be good. A little is good, but enough is enough!
Finally, let's finish with the in-game currency that allows you to upgrade your shells and weapons. This one is divided into two categories, the tars which take again the functioning of the souls in Dark Souls, and the glimpses. For the latter category, the currency does not disappear when you die and is tied to a specific shell and will mainly be used for its improvement. This currency system is quite well thought out and will require the player to plan for minimal use of these two types of currency. Improving shells is also a great way to learn more about the game's lore and how Hulks relate to the world of Mortal Shell. An additional reward that hits the mark when we increase the abilities of our avatar.
Fallgrim is the hotbed of some problems
As you experience the game, you may encounter some exhilarating issues. Between a few crash bugs, lags when losing a shell, or even some rare but potentially continuous FPS drops, it would be nice if an update fixes these minor issues. As for the small inconveniences of the game, we can also talk about the loading of the game which can sometimes seem long. The opportunity is then good to remind that the game was tested on a standard PS4 (not the Pro version), I will not testify to the presence of these problems on the PC version during this review, or even to the longevity of these. loading times on the PS4 Pro, although the result should be almost similar for the latter case. Finally, the assignment of keys for a specific case is also problematic. This is because the second skill of a weapon is activated by simultaneously pressing both triggers on the controller. However, most of the time this keystroke will cause your character's body to harden since this ability apparently takes priority and is activated by pressing the left trigger. The activation of this weapon skill then becomes tense and quite complex. This seemingly minor issue will still be a problem as Mortal Shell delivers responsive and nervous combat where we would like our character to respond as we want to our commands.
Mortal Shell Review Conclusion
In conclusion, Mortal Shell presents a world of great visual quality with neat 3D models and animations. However, these qualities come at the expense of too little content, whether in terms of lifespan, bestiary and many other criteria. Before buying it, first, ask yourself what you like about this kind of game. If the lack of multiplayer mode, varied content, and decent lifespan doesn't scare you, and if you like to replay adventure multiple times, then maybe you will find your way out with this game. You can learn more about the game just by visiting the Mortal Shell official website for more details. If you have any comments, please feel free to do so by using the form below. Thank you for reading my Mortal Shell Review.
Here's the video preview of the Mortal Shell. This is the PS4 version here. Enjoy!