Mortal Shell

Oh...my...

I hope this wasn't just an April Fool's gag, because I really, really liked what I saw there.

*edit* It's real.. A few more bits of info, and the press pack.

Excerpt -

About Mortal Shell

Awakening as an empty vessel, you will enter into a shattered and twisted world where the remains of humanity wither and rot. Implored to do the bidding of the mysterious "Dark Father", you must traverse this tattered landscape and track down hidden sanctums of devout followers. There, in Mortal Shell's most hallowed grounds, you must overcome formidable foes and harvest the sacred glands. You won't be truly alone when the dead litter your path: Scattered across this land are the remnant anima of lost warriors who can be inhabited to gain their unique abilities and knowledge of weapons. The Dark Father is desperate for you to complete your task - but to what end?


Discover "Shells" to Suit Your Playstyle - The lost remains of defeated warriors are yours to unearth. Awaken these Mortal Shells, occupy their bodies and significantly widen your understanding of different forms of combat. Inhabit a Shell that best fits your style and utilizes their own unique mastery of skills and weapon upgrades.

Iron Sharpens Iron - Combat is strategic and deliberate. Survival demands superior awareness, precision and instincts. You must commit your sword only when an opportunity opens. Calculate your parries to unleash devastating counterblows.

Non-linear Campaign - Draw your own path across marsh-infested lowlands, through a gargantuan cathedral of obsidian rock, and into an ancient crypt frozen into the crest of a mountain.

Deep Upgrade Paths - The stronger your connection to each Mortal Shell grows, the better you can harness their innate talents. Craft unique upgrades, sharpen your blade with acid, and study dark arcane abilities that imbue your attacks with supernatural devastation.

Face Haunting Foes - Your path is guarded by desperate adversaries, devoted to inscrutable gods. Behold creatures both pitiable and grotesque, but do not let fear halt your journey. Muster your courage and face them down.

Developed by AAA Veterans - Mortal Shell has been developed by a coalition of seasoned veterans with an unbridled passion for the soulslike genre.

Eh.... I mean, if you're gonna brand yourself that heavily into being a Dark Souls knockoff, its gonna need way more gameplay/world/whatever detail explaining what the difference is to bother with it.

And I say that as someoen who cosniders there to be massively open ranges to improve on Dark Souls that they never bothered with despite having 3( or 5) games of build to do so. There is a lot of space to make the combat more dynamic, or some sort of plausible defensive play other then rolling outside spacetime, spice up magic/ranged combat, improve on mobility, etc.

Meh, another souls-like... no thanks.

So, the difference between this and an actual Dark Souls game is...what, exactly?

In the same boat as you guys. A Souls-Like....welcome to the party guys. You're only a decade late. Are you bringing anything interesting or is this the obligatory "It's Dark Souls but....."everyone seems to be trying lately?

Or more sufficiently, Cold Symmetry, why should I play this instead of moving on to Dark Souls III(which I also haven't played) or trying to crack Demons Souls again?

And I'm going to make my last push to finish Sekiro this weekend. Sword Saint has killed me more then perhaps any other Boss in a FROM game ever.....

Yeesh....mention "Souls-like" these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They've only revealed it a few days ago, and it's a brand new studio. We'll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I'll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we'll see what happens.

hanselthecaretaker:
Yeesh....mention ?Souls-like? these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They?ve only revealed it a few days ago, and it?s a brand new studio. We?ll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I?ll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we?ll see what happens.

I mean, we have an undead/spirit protagonist, engaging in fantasy melee combat with vaguely defined old/lost god dudes. In a generally monochrome (or rarely single colour highlighted) setting, with the main other entities being either large demon/beasts or other undead dudes.

They didn't even need to say "souls like", or show the dodge rolls to seem like they are embedded in very well trod ground there. I can't even think of one of the other "Souls likes" (major ones anyways) that felt like it was cloning as much as that trailer seemed. Maybe Lords of the Fallen, but I don't recall the marketing for that.

Seth Carter:

hanselthecaretaker:
Yeesh....mention ?Souls-like? these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They?ve only revealed it a few days ago, and it?s a brand new studio. We?ll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I?ll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we?ll see what happens.

I mean, we have an undead/spirit protagonist, engaging in fantasy melee combat with vaguely defined old/lost god dudes. In a generally monochrome (or rarely single colour highlighted) setting, with the main other entities being either large demon/beasts or other undead dudes.

They didn't even need to say "souls like", or show the dodge rolls to seem like they are embedded in very well trod ground there. I can't even think of one of the other "Souls likes" (major ones anyways) that felt like it was cloning as much as that trailer seemed. Maybe Lords of the Fallen, but I don't recall the marketing for that.

Sure, but the solution to that at this point is to pretty much stop making dark fantasy games. There's only so much one can do to differentiate that it wouldn't represent the genre or setting if the developer's main goal was avoiding comparisons to Souls. Same thing will happen to the cyberpunk genre if 2077 is a success.

Basically the game market is getting too crowded and doing something different will require further and further extremes.

hanselthecaretaker:
Yeesh....mention ?Souls-like? these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They?ve only revealed it a few days ago, and it?s a brand new studio. We?ll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I?ll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we?ll see what happens.

I think that's the problem though, that there's not a few of these kind of games by now and they need to show they aren't just doing what everyone else is doing to stand out. Or you can just be Lords of the Fallen, which is basically just "ME TOO!".

Also, where has it been revealed Elden Ring will have something like that? So far most of what I've seen is people endlessly pouring over the trailer and speculating a Norse connection(based on very little, IMHO) and some what of what the "Open World" will entail. And of course, GRR Martin working on it so he has more reasons not to finish The Winds of Winter.

Looks really meh to be honest, like the AA version of the indie title Ashen. The classic Souls combat is also bit stale by now, espescially with games that have drastically improved on those fundamentals like Nioh or From's own Sekiro. Whenever I return to a Souls title it just feels basic. That is fine ofcourse as these are older titles but any new game with the same old combat(espescially with a copycat style) is definitely lagging behind.

hanselthecaretaker:
Yeesh....mention ?Souls-like? these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They?ve only revealed it a few days ago, and it?s a brand new studio. We?ll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I?ll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we?ll see what happens.

I pretty much agree with Mark Brown on what the core of a Souls game really is:

For me, the soul of Dark Souls was that it was unknowable and obtuse. Ironically, none of these souls-like games can capture that feeling because, at this point, they're completely familiar.
-Mark Brown

I think making a souls-like game and copying just about all of it is defeating the purpose. I feel the greatest shortfall of the actual Souls games is far too much focus on combat because it really isn't that good honestly and actually doesn't mesh with the core game. I always wanted a Souls game that was basically an environmental puzzler with about 90% less enemy encounters. Think a darker ICO with puzzles obviously along with quite a few traps too, the environment is the main challenge. Having far less enemies keeps up the tension, makes each enemy encounter more meaningful, and keeps the basic combat of Souls out of the spotlight. You can do this in a different setting, it doesn't have to be dark fantasy. Hell, just as I'm writing this RE2 Remake comes to mind, the police station part of RE2 Remake shares much of the "core" of what a Souls game should be. Instead of copying games in a 1:1 fashion, a dev should give their own take/twist on something instead.

Phoenixmgs:

hanselthecaretaker:
Yeesh....mention ?Souls-like? these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They?ve only revealed it a few days ago, and it?s a brand new studio. We?ll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I?ll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we?ll see what happens.

I pretty much agree with Mark Brown on what the core of a Souls game really is:

For me, the soul of Dark Souls was that it was unknowable and obtuse. Ironically, none of these souls-like games can capture that feeling because, at this point, they're completely familiar.
-Mark Brown

I think making a souls-like game and copying just about all of it is defeating the purpose. I feel the greatest shortfall of the actual Souls games is far too much focus on combat because it really isn't that good honestly and actually doesn't mesh with the core game. I always wanted a Souls game that was basically an environmental puzzler with about 90% less enemy encounters. Think a darker ICO with puzzles obviously along with quite a few traps too, the environment is the main challenge. Having far less enemies keeps up the tension, makes each enemy encounter more meaningful, and keeps the basic combat of Souls out of the spotlight. You can do this in a different setting, it doesn't have to be dark fantasy. Hell, just as I'm writing this RE2 Remake comes to mind, the police station part of RE2 Remake shares much of the "core" of what a Souls game should be. Instead of copying games in a 1:1 fashion, a dev should give their own take/twist on something instead.

That would really kill the replay value that these games are so popular for in the first place. The Souls games already have a fair amount of trudging that becomes more obvious on repeat playthroughs when the scenery loses it's sense of wonder. I agree no one does level and art design like From but the combat is what holds it all together. It's not an action/horror game where gameplay plays second fiddle to story and exploration. And even here it's no surprise RE4 is still the most popular for the simple reason it has the best gameplay. That is ultimately what keeps people returning to a game. 10 years from now(if I'm still alive that is xD) when even all the new RE games faded into obscurity I see myself still replaying RE4. Same as Bloodborne which is the pinnacle of the Souls formula. Both games perfected their respective gameplay so there is nothing really left to build on other than variatons of the same thing with inferior quality. That's why it's important for developers to shake up the formula and tread new ground. From's own Sekiro is an excellent example of this, while other studios still try to copy Dark Souls from 2011.

Dalisclock:

hanselthecaretaker:
Yeesh....mention ?Souls-like? these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They?ve only revealed it a few days ago, and it?s a brand new studio. We?ll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I?ll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we?ll see what happens.

I think that's the problem though, that there's not a few of these kind of games by now and they need to show they aren't just doing what everyone else is doing to stand out. Or you can just be Lords of the Fallen, which is basically just "ME TOO!".

Also, where has it been revealed Elden Ring will have something like that? So far most of what I've seen is people endlessly pouring over the trailer and speculating a Norse connection(based on very little, IMHO) and some what of what the "Open World" will entail. And of course, GRR Martin working on it so he has more reasons not to finish The Winds of Winter.

I remember reading it or watching it being talked about that the player would acquire powers from bosses in Elden Ring.

I'm only speaking from personal experience, so having not played any of the Souls-likes besides SoulsBorne itself, this stands out to me as something that could expand upon different elements it's influenced by. The taking of "shells" for various tactical advantages against different enemies sounds interesting, while the tone and presentation are an improvement imo. Whereas in Souls you could go through the whole game with a basic sword leveled up enough, there are a few instances in this trailer where shell tactics seem pretty important.

I also always wanted Souls to feel...well, darker and more brutal. This seems to have that as well as battles appearing to be more tactical and being presented in a more cinematic nature.

hanselthecaretaker:

Dalisclock:

hanselthecaretaker:
Yeesh....mention ?Souls-like? these days and out come the tar and feathers!

They?ve only revealed it a few days ago, and it?s a brand new studio. We?ll hear more soon, but really out of all the games apparently influenced by Dark Souls none have caught my attention like this. Whenever they have more solid gameplay details I?ll be quick to consume them. For right now though, the idea of taking various powers from fallen warriors actually sounds more like Elden Ring, so we?ll see what happens.

I think that's the problem though, that there's not a few of these kind of games by now and they need to show they aren't just doing what everyone else is doing to stand out. Or you can just be Lords of the Fallen, which is basically just "ME TOO!".

Also, where has it been revealed Elden Ring will have something like that? So far most of what I've seen is people endlessly pouring over the trailer and speculating a Norse connection(based on very little, IMHO) and some what of what the "Open World" will entail. And of course, GRR Martin working on it so he has more reasons not to finish The Winds of Winter.

I remember reading it or watching it being talked about that the player would acquire powers from bosses in Elden Ring.

If you have a source, I'd love to see it. Because that actually sounds really cool. It's just there hasn't been much to go on for Elden Ring and a lot of it comes across as FROM fans reading a bit too much into everything, like when FROM made that PSVR game with a BloodBorne easter egg in it and people started acting like BB2 was surely on it's way.

I love BloodBorne and consider it the best of the Souls(y) games but I'm not for a moment going to assume there's ever going to be a sequel until FROM announces it.

Dalisclock:

hanselthecaretaker:

Dalisclock:

I think that's the problem though, that there's not a few of these kind of games by now and they need to show they aren't just doing what everyone else is doing to stand out. Or you can just be Lords of the Fallen, which is basically just "ME TOO!".

Also, where has it been revealed Elden Ring will have something like that? So far most of what I've seen is people endlessly pouring over the trailer and speculating a Norse connection(based on very little, IMHO) and some what of what the "Open World" will entail. And of course, GRR Martin working on it so he has more reasons not to finish The Winds of Winter.

I remember reading it or watching it being talked about that the player would acquire powers from bosses in Elden Ring.

If you have a source, I'd love to see it. Because that actually sounds really cool. It's just there hasn't been much to go on for Elden Ring and a lot of it comes across as FROM fans reading a bit too much into everything, like when FROM made that PSVR game with a BloodBorne easter egg in it and people started acting like BB2 was surely on it's way.

I love BloodBorne and consider it the best of the Souls(y) games but I'm not for a moment going to assume there's ever going to be a sequel until FROM announces it.

"...Other rumors reported by Gematsu called it an "open-world title (with horse riding) "with various kingdoms to visit and abilities to obtain from killing the leaders of those kingdoms."

Sounds like it's not confirmed, but the other details like horseback riding turned out to be correct so far. This site said the same thing. I could've sworn it was an official comment from FROM but who knows.

stroopwafel:
Looks really meh to be honest, like the AA version of the indie title Ashen. The classic Souls combat is also bit stale by now, espescially with games that have drastically improved on those fundamentals like Nioh or From's own Sekiro. Whenever I return to a Souls title it just feels basic. That is fine ofcourse as these are older titles but any new game with the same old combat(espescially with a copycat style) is definitely lagging behind.

I know it's fun to rip on the new guy late to the party, but considering barely anything is known yet I'm giving the game a fair chance. As good as Souls was, there are several areas that could've been improved upon. Battles could've required more deliberate and specific combat tactics, as well as having greater intensity and brutality, production values, and a darker tone (ie foregoing the goofiness of some NPCs and characters) to accompany the bleak and foreboding atmosphere, etc.

If this game has a decent chance to do even some of those things then consider me all-in.

stroopwafel:
That would really kill the replay value that these games are so popular for in the first place. The Souls games already have a fair amount of trudging that becomes more obvious on repeat playthroughs when the scenery loses it's sense of wonder. I agree no one does level and art design like From but the combat is what holds it all together. It's not an action/horror game where gameplay plays second fiddle to story and exploration. And even here it's no surprise RE4 is still the most popular for the simple reason it has the best gameplay. That is ultimately what keeps people returning to a game. 10 years from now(if I'm still alive that is xD) when even all the new RE games faded into obscurity I see myself still replaying RE4. Same as Bloodborne which is the pinnacle of the Souls formula. Both games perfected their respective gameplay so there is nothing really left to build on other than variatons of the same thing with inferior quality. That's why it's important for developers to shake up the formula and tread new ground. From's own Sekiro is an excellent example of this, while other studios still try to copy Dark Souls from 2011.

I don't think replay value is the main reason Souls games became popular. I'm thinking the games being popular is more down to being new and fresh along with difficulty (advertised as that via official marketing and player base). I never replayed the 2 Souls games that I played because they lack what I look for in replay value as they have low skill mastery and low gameplay variance. I'm thinking replay value for Souls is half due to the lore people wanting to find out everything about the games along with just the people that like the gameplay a lot. Something like RE2 Remake, as I mentioned has similarities to Souls in several ways, has its own community of people replaying it as well, maybe for different reasons but reasons none-the-less. Plus, replay value to me isn't why any game gets popular, the replay community is rather small for any game, even the games that are known for being replayable. Making a souls-like into a environmental puzzler wouldn't be any less of a souls-like. Souls-like should strive to be like how rogue-likes have just recently evolved to not constantly copying the same game over and over again. Rogue-likes are now a genre while souls-likes are just games that copy Dark Souls. Sekiro is IMO not a good example of a souls-like, the game is worse for having a souls-like design, it's more like Shadow of the Colossus than it is like Dark Souls when you extrapolate the core.

 

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