Not too long ago, I mentioned that the plans I had been setting for myself, slowly adding layer upon layer, had started to chafe somewhat.

It appears to have gone beyond that now and into a fully open flood-gate mode where everything sounds like a good time and a good idea. I’m really itching to give No Man’s Sky another go, to such an extent I might not even hold off for the Frontiers update. There is a rumour of further news on August 23rd though, so, we’ll see. If true, I can probably wait that long.

Mortal Shell made its way to Steam along with its rogue-like DLC “Virtuous Cycle”. I hadn’t planned on picking it up on launch, but they’re sneaksies hobbitsses. They put a time-limited ‘Get the DLC for free’ promotion on Steam’s launch. So of course I had to grab it… and start playing it…

And you know what? I like it. Reviews on Steam started out as ‘Mixed’ and as of this morning seem to have crept into the ‘Mostly Positive’ 70% range. A lot of the negative reviews seemed to focus on enemy attack tracking. Unlike FromSoftware’s more refined take, Mortal Shell’s enemies have a very visibly distinct ‘I’m locked onto you and will track perfectly’ phase to their attacks.

If you’re running past, this will even include a moment of slipping along the ground after you.

But it isn’t for the entire duration of the attack. You can still comfortably dodge these attacks. In fact- if anything, the difference in enemy movement between their ‘locked on’ and ‘normal’ attack animation phases is so distinct it can make knowing when to dodge easier in some cases. It isn’t every attack though, it seems to happen the most on initially engaging an enemy or disengaging.

A nod to Dark Souls? Plus- even in these dark and dingy swamp areas, the game looks stunning.

The biggest issue I’ve had so far with the game is enemy pop-in. I mean, sure, it’s only really an issue before you know about it. But running into a pack of enemies to do a leap attack at what appears to be a bunch of basic enemies while they’re still attacking, to then find a giant halberd sweeping your way is disconcerting, to say the least.

And it really is enemy pop-in I’m talking about too — not just that they were hidden around a corner or behind something, Dark Souls style — no, this is an open camp area, looking like it has 2-3 basic enemies, then BAM! Big Guy, shimmers into existence.

This is a very open world. Almost dauntingly so. There seem to be a very large number of directions you can go, right from the outset. I’m trying it out guide-free so far but if anything was to change that approach, it would be this openness.

Aside from the starter shell, I’ve so far found one more that I quite like and will probably continue to level up as long as I play. I haven’t touched the rogue-like mode yet, wanting to experience more of the base game experience first.

Still- going to hold off on adding it to the sidebar just yet, as I also picked up the Director’s Cut (+ PS5) upgrade for Ghost of Tsushima. Ghost of Tsushima does something unique (so far) in PS4 -> PS5 save transfers, in that it makes it really easy. You can just… *waves hand* …do it from the PS5 version.

But I’d been away from the game so long I decided to start again. And I’m glad I did! I spent a few hours yesterday getting reacclimated and appreciating all over again what an amazing job Sucker Punch did on bringing the Ghost of Tsushima to life.

Still… With this current mood? Who can say what tomorrow will bring.


This was posted during Blaugust 2021, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year-round!