New Mortal Shell Gameplay Revealed, Closed PC Beta Begins in July
We first got a glimpse at Cold Symmetry's Mortal Shell back in April. Since then, the development team has shared several small teasers to the game's official social media accounts, slowly revealing more details about the Dark Souls-inspired ARPG.
During the first day of IGN's Summer of Gaming, Cold Symmetry revealed brand new Mortal Shell gameplay footage, as well as more info on what players can expect from the dark fantasy world and when the PC beta will begin.
According to the team, each of the game's four shells has its own backstory and "theme," and that theme informs the abilities unique to each shell. Skills are unlocked as players become more familiar with shells; "when you unlock their storyline ... you unlock a little more about their story ... [and] you acquire one of their abilities as well." For example, an executioner may have distinct offensive or defensive abilities, while a poisoner may have others.
Shells also have different playstyles. Cold Symmetry said that some shells can dodge and roll in unique ways.
Like the Dark Souls series, Mortal Shell's combat is all about managing health and stamina. Of course, attacks, dodges, and rolls deplete precious stamina, and items and abilities buff core stats, such as health regeneration.
Players can also lose their shells, but doing so knocks their HP bar to 1HP. It's a similar system to Hollowing in Dark Souls, except perhaps more brutal and demanding. Cold Symmetry clarified that players can return to their shells, but stressed that this could only be done "a limited number of times." Mortal Shell can also be played without using any of the game's shells if players want a greater challenge.
Weapons appear to have different modes and attacks associated with them. For example, one shell in the demo wields a two-handed greatsword that also turns the hilt into a spear. However, alternate weapon modes were not covered in the IGN interview, so it remains to be seen if each weapon will have a secondary attack or not.
Indeed, other similarities to Dark Souls and Demon's Souls appear throughout the new gameplay footage. Nectar is a currency comparable to Souls, and it allows players to upgrade their shells and abilities.
Though it was not explained in the interview above, items employ a familiarity system that increases the more players use specific items. It is not clear if item attributes increase with more uses or what exactly familiarity does outside of revealing "more details" in-game.
Cold Symmetry said that Mortal Shell's level design was inspired by Demon's Souls and the original Dark Souls, specifically in regard to elements they felt had been "left behind" in later sequels and spinoffs. The team mentioned that though the game is "a fairly compact experience ... [that] takes around 20 hours [to complete]," there is a Nexus-like area that connects various stages, of which players can take on in any order.
Additionally, Cold Symmetry confirmed there will be some form of fast travel, though there will be no minimap.
Mortal Shell is set to release sometime during Q3 2020 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. A closed PC beta will begin on July 3 and run through July 10. Two shells and two weapons will be available in the beta, and players will "battle through enemies" from Fallgrim to the Crypt of the Martyrs.
Those interested in participating in the beta can join the game's Discord for more information. Keys will be distributed through Mortal Shell's official social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Mortal Shell.