Mortal Shells Souls-like game now in open beta due to high demand

There is an ongoing debate on how difficult certain action-oriented games should be. Should they be easy enough so as not to scare off new players or should they be punishing to challenge veterans? For a certain class of games that take after the popular yet notorious Dark Souls franchise, that's not really a question. And based on the demand that Mortal Shells' developer said flooded their systems, there is no question about the existence of a market catering to the hardest of hardcore action RPG players.

If you thought the likes of the rouge-like Diablo were tough, you probably haven't played a Dark Souls title yet. Just like the old days of consoles and arcade games, Dark Souls makes no apologies for its brutal difficulty that challenges some gamers while sending others crying into, er, dark corners. Despite that, Souls-like games have come to light and the latest one seems poised to carry on that mantle.

At least that's what developers Cold Symmetry seemed to imply in its decision to make the beta version of the game available to all. It was initially launched as an invite-only closed beta, with the developers giving away codes to a lucky random few. Apparently, they were inundated with requests that they decided to just open the floodgates anyway.

Mortal Shells is not for the faint of heart, the developers warn. The excruciating difficulty might take seasoned action RPG players about an hour to complete even this small slice of the game. They also assure that there are no spoilers to be gleaned in this free beta, just an appetizer of what's to come.

Mortal Shell's unique feature above other Souls-like titles is the player's ability to switch "shells" or bodies that have their own unique abilities and weapons. Only two such shells are available in this dark teaser and those hooked into the game will have to wait for the Epic Games Store exclusive and console release later this year. Steam faithful will have to sit this one out until 2021.