Mortal Shell is one of the harder Soulslike games around. Due to the mix large enemy hordes and the absence of decent healing items in the early game, you’re likely to find yourself dying a lot.
Well, in order to help you survive those early days in this bleak but beautiful world, we thought we’d put together some Mortal Shell tips and tricks.
But first, see our Mortal Shell review in which we scored the sinister action RPG a valiant 8 out of 10, concluding: “Mortal Shell is just an incredibly satisfying experience. It’ll punish you constantly, but if you can master the mechanics it lays out in front of you then you’ll have an incredible time of things. The lore is a little more obvious that in other soulslikes, and the story it tells and the world it puts you in are both rather enthralling. This is definitely a game that fans of dying a lot will enjoy, but it’s probably not for everyone.”
Mortal Shell Tips and Tricks
There are no specific boss strategies here, nor any locations to the collectables dotted around the world. Instead, each of these is a bit of advice we wish we’d had upon starting the game. Thankfully for all involved, you’re not us, and that means you get the benefit of the many, many deaths we’ve already endured.
Become a master hardener
The Harden mechanic is basically what makes Mortal Shell tick. It allows you to instantly become invulnerable to most forms of damage, and you can do it whether you’re standing still, running at an enemy, or about to attack. There are two main things to keep in mind when hardening (keep it clean people):
First of all, you really can do it whenever you want, just remember to actually hold the button until it’s safe to move away or attack. Secondly, you can only do it when the meter is full. If you want to play it really safe, back away once you’ve attacked, harden to block, and dodged aside. That way you can wait until you can harden again and continue the slow cycle of killing the bosses.
You can get new weapons by examining books next to statues
Mortal Shell doesn’t have many weapons. Thankfully, the weapons it does have are really quite good fun. The game doesn’t make it clear how you can unlock these though, so that’s where we come in. You can find new weapons by reaching one of the three smaller hub areas outside of the main hub. Each of these will have an anvil, one of the creepy ladies who acts as a bonfire, and a statue next to a book. Interacting with the book will end with you fighting a familiar face, and if you can beat them, you can then take the weapon from the statue next to it.
Find a weapon you like
On the subject of weapons, it’s well worth finding the one that really works for you. Each of them has a unique style of attack, some special moves, and a unique rhythm. It’s worth unlocking them all as soon as you can, and you can do this by exploring a lot, and fighting the boss that lets you wield them whenever you find them. It might seem counterintuitive to do so much backtracking, but well, you’re going to be backtracking anyway, so you may as well make it worthwhile.
You don’t always have to fight things
Also on the subject of weapons, sometimes your best weapon is running. There are an awful lot of enemies in Mortal Shell. Every single area is absolutely lousy with them. While fighting them is a good idea when you’re looking to level up a shell, it can be a massive time sink otherwise. So, sometimes you’re better off just running through. Just don’t stop or look back or you might get taken by surprise.
Remember the name
As you discover new shells for you to slip into, you’ll probably find one that fits your playstyle. Each of them has a different balance of health, stamina, and special abilities. It’s worth recalling the name of each of them to check out their skill trees, that way you can choose your favourite. If you can match your favourite shell with your favourite weapon, then you’re going to have a much easier time of things. Also, and this is a juicy bit of info, maxing out a shell will really help you, and we recommend you do so ASAP.