Mortal Shell Hands-On Preview: Hardened By Dark Souls

One of the first things I did in Mortal Shell, after getting walloped in the tutorial by a huge guy with a sword and stealing the corpse of an unnamed knight, was watch two guys sit by a campfire while one played a lute.

Given that this is a video game, the two goblin-looking locals turned hostile as I approached them, with the musician trading his lute for a hatchet before stalking my way. I cut through them with my huge two-handed claymore, then picked up the lute and spent the next five or so minutes learning to play it.

Hitting the “use” button on the lute about 10 times, I gained enough “familiarity” with it that my character could provide a performance of his own. I still have no idea what the lute is for, why I could pick it up and add it to my inventory, or what use repeatedly telling my character to pick away at its strings might bear in the future. That’s kind of my general impression of Mortal Shell, as well–there’s a lot about the game I don’t understand. But like the Souls games from which it draws obvious inspiration, it seems like there’s a lot to uncover and master in Mortal Shell.

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Author: Phil Hornshaw