Parents' Guide to

Mortal Shell: The Virtuous Cycle

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Expansion to tough fantasy tale is focused on combat.

Mortal Shell: The Virtuous Cycle Poster Image

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Though the new mode is available to newcomers pretty much from the get-go, this DLC (downloadable content) is clearly meant for the game's faithful fans. Mortal Shell: The Virtuous Cycle is all about providing people who loved the base campaign a way to play that keeps things fresh and interesting while providing an even more difficult challenge. Enemies aren't just randomized, they're also more numerous -- and, in some cases, tougher to deal with. This is especially true when forced to use arbitrary abilities you may not be familiar with -- a smart way to encourage players to try elements of the game they may have previously skipped. And since death forces a restart, the chances of blowing through the Virtuous Cycle quickly are low. Every battle is a high stakes fight, and progressing further than you previously managed feels like a reward unto itself.

It's a shame, though, that players are only given one new shell and one new weapon. Both are well-conceived and executed. They feel great and challenge players to master their intricacies through practice and upgrades. However, action-RPG (role-playing game) players tend to expect a wealth of weapons, gear, and characters from which to choose. That this DLC provides just a couple of new bits in this regard feels like a missed opportunity, especially since the base game offers only a handful to begin with. That said, the real treasure here is the new randomized play mode, which could potentially expand the game's life by dozens of hours for true devotees. Players who ached for a good reason to keep playing and enjoying the game's excellent combat should receive all the motivation they need in Mortal Shell: The Virtuous Cycle.

Game Details

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