Mortal Shell Has No Photo Mode Boundary – for Fun’s Sake Don’t Abuse It

Developed by Cold Symmetry, Mortal Shell is a brilliant love letter to the Soulsborne series and free on PS Plus this month. In my recent journey through this bleak yet charming world, I found that the photo mode has no boundary – which could lead to exploring ahead with no risk at all.

Extremely minor spoilers ahead, in the form of screenshots of settings

I hadn’t noticed this function until I was roughly 3/4 through the game, while exploring one of the game’s “temples”. The setting was so jarring yet beautiful, truly making you feel like an insignificant trespasser in an alien land. I wanted to capture that scope, that gravity, so I opened up photo mode and started zooming out. And I kept going. and going. and going. AND GOING. I started chuckling, thinking I had glitched the game somehow.

I’m the barely visible silhouette in the center. This isn’t near as far as you can go.

I snapped my shot and moved on. Soon after, an enemy hiding around a corner ambushed me – as it happens often in Mortal Shell – and again a minute later. Then a devilish thought struck me.

“Let’s see if I can look around the next corner in photo mode”

So I did, and found my next encounter hiding as expected. I kept floating forward, feeling like a spirit exploring a world frozen in time. Then I moved straight up into the sky and got the birds-eye view, taking in the lay of the land. This function was no bug. I could fly around this frozen world all over. The lack of boundary was definitely intentional, and I was NOT using it as I imagine the developers intended it to be used.

I imagine the devs wanted it to be used to capture the serenity of jamming out with bandits, busting out absurdly tasty riffs.

Feeling like I just accidentally became an omnipotent god, I couldn’t help but revel in my newfangled ability for the next hour or so of gameplay. I foiled many an ambush, and plotted my routes rather than relying on pure reaction and whim. After that hour, a feeling washed over me. Or rather, a feeling ebbed away from me. I was having way less fun.

The surprise, mystery, adrenaline, were quickly dissolving at the hands of my newfound power. Every triumph now felt hollow. Each victory now a shadow of its former glory.

Just as this landscape is a shadow of it’s former… wait… where the hell am I?

I stopped abusing the photo mode for nefarious purposes, cold turkey. My skeletal avatar trudged forward as the game intends – slowly and steadily conquering the bleak and otherworldly obstacles ahead. And as I journeyed on again, satisfaction and fun returned in spades. Play how you will, but this was the experience I found most rewarding.

Thanks for reading my fellow players!

I highly recommend giving Mortal Shell a shot, and will release a full review in the coming days. After recently beating the main game, i’m sorely tempted to purchase the full version to experience all that the DLCs have to offer.

Published by PJ Walerysiak

Videogame aficionado, D&D lover, tv devotee, bookworm www.players-journal.com

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