‘Mortal Shell’ recalls ‘Dark Souls’ lustre in doomy debut trailer (VIDEO)

World building for ‘Mortal Shell’ implies players may not be working for the good guy. — Cold Symmetry/Playstack pic via AFP-Relaxnews
World building for ‘Mortal Shell’ implies players may not be working for the good guy. — Cold Symmetry/Playstack pic via AFP-Relaxnews

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 — Dark times call for endurance, hope, nimble footing and no small amount of nostalgia.

In lieu of another entry to the influential Dark Souls franchise, independent studio Cold Symmetry has unveiled its tribute, Mortal Shell.

The studio’s debut hews close to the stern, stony aesthetic of the Dark Souls franchise, strewn as it is with all manner of deathly creatures.

The Dark Souls concept is inverted, however, in as much as players are here in the shoes (or ethereal form) of a spirit being that seeks corporeal habitat, rather than an adventurer trying to prevent themselves from losing their humanity.

As a result, the Mortal Shell protagonist is able to possess the bodies of lost warriors, gaining their skills and abilities.

It would appear that this impacts combat in other ways, too, as in one scene from the debut trailer, the player character is ejected from their chosen shell by an enemy’s full force attack.

In another shot, the player’s pale, sinewy wraith detaches itself with an athletic leap, whirling through the air to fell a nearby opponent.

True to Soulslike convention, enemies run the gamut of powerful human warriors, hulking trolls, chokepoint guardians, ghoulish apparitions and monstrous aberrations lurking in the depths.

Publisher Playstack, whose roster had until now leaned towards bright exuberance (Super Dodgeball Beats on computer and console, Fort Stars and Rescue Wings on mobile) is targeting a July to September release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.

How far Mortal Shell inhabits true Soulslike form should become more apparent once a beta test begins, with sign-ups welcomed through its Discord community.

Meanwhile, having released Dark Souls games across the previous and current generation of console and PC platforms, Dark Souls franchise developer From Software is collaborating with Game of Thrones saga author George R. R. Martin on Elden Ring.

It was announced mid-2019, following the release of acclaimed feudal Japanese action game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

The Dark Souls emphases on stiff challenge, pinpoint combat timing and distinctive visuals can be seen in everything from 2D adventures Hollow Knight, Dead Cells and Blasphemous to action RPGs like Lords of the Fallen and The Surge 2, anime-influenced Code Vein and two-player excursion Ashen. — AFP-Relaxnews

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