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Mortal Shell gets a release date and a new trailer

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Moody action-RPG Mortal Shell (opens in new tab) is right around the corner, lurking in the shadows and ready to ambush you in only a couple of weeks, on August 18. Keep your eyes peeled. Or direct them towards the new trailer, above, which gives you a taste of tricky battles and miserable setting. 

Cold Symmetry and Playstack hosted a closed beta last month, but apparently the gamers were pounding on the gates and the closed beta became an open one, welcoming more than 350,000 players into the gloomy realm. It also got more than 5 million views on Twitch, and the cat was stroked more than 150,000 times. No word on how many deaths there were, but probably a few. 

James was one of those who went off to die, calling it a denser, more challenging take on Souls-like games, and one that features both the best and worst parts of the growing subgenre. 

"I'd kill for a checkpoint system, maybe weaker enemies," he said, "not because I didn't like the initial challenge, but because I didn't find the areas challenging or fun or my character significantly improved on the umpteenth runthrough. It quickly degraded into repetition without reward."

None of this is necessarily a deal-breaker, though, and he reckons there's the potential for a fascinating story and world building. Also intriguing is the shell system. The shells are all characters with pasts that are unfurled as you upgrade them and read item descriptions—they're more than just class archetypes. Take a gander at his detailed Mortal Shell hands-on (opens in new tab) for more.

On PC, Mortal Shell is a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab), with a Steam version coming in 2021. You can pre-purchase the Epic Game Store version now for £25/$30. 

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.