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My Souls-like phase

Date: 2024-04-06

Throughout my life, many times I had phases when I had the urge to play games in the same genre. And then I usually drop them, and don't touch them for months or even years. That is why I can't finish games.

Now that I had a tiny upgrade in the graphics card department, I started to try out games that I had no chance to play before. Nothing special, I didn't become rich suddenly, and had a new machine. But it is enough for me.

Controllers and me

I have to say me and controllers were never best friends. In fact we are enemies through decades. I use it mostly for racing games and sims, because I don't have money for racing wheels, and I am not really serious about them, so there is no reason to invest in a more serious hardware.

I play most of the games with keyboard and mouse. It is my bread and butter, and what I am the most comfortable with. I have to say I avoid controller like a plague (except I don't wear stupid masks).

Souls-like games are famously prefer controllers. So when it comes to Souls-like games, I have an added difficulty. I either play very clumsily with a controller, or I play with kbm and try to figure out what the developers want me to do with it in the game. One thing I like with the controller is that because of the analogue joystick you move slowly then you walk, on keyboard you have to use a separate key for that.

What is funny, that most of the games in this genre are really good, and they have different things to offer. People are still complaining that more and more games added to the genre. I don't know, I have never complained that we have more and more first person shooters…


One such game was Hellpoint, which I got I think 2 years ago, but the Linux version was bad, and my card wasn't good enough for the Unity engine to play it with Wine, not even on low settings.

Hellpoint is a sci-fi based souls-like game, with both melee and ranged weapons. You are on a Citadel-like space station, and have to discover what the hell happened. This is a common starting point for Souls-like games. Not many cutscenes, but through notes and some NPC interactions you have to stitch together the world around you. Many people are preferring this, and gameplay is similar. You get notes, what you can do, but the deeper stuff is up on the player to discover.

Hell if I don't look up tips, I wouldn't know that you can touch walls at certain places and these are just doors to make progress, or open shortcuts. The game runs fine with Wine, better than the native version (since it is a Unity game).

What I don't like is the enemy mismatch to the place we're in. Like we have flying fishes (although we can see flying whales outside 2 minutes after we woke up), they just look out of place. Mind you I am still in the first area.

Mortal Shell

This is a dark fantasy based souls-like. With some interesting things. No character creation, instead we have to collect different shells to play different classes, as well as weapons, we can upgrade with additional stuff. There is also the harden skill, which is basically an advanced block that you can use and turn into a stone statue.

I like the setting, and I slowly found my way to the tower, which is the first savepoint. At first it was very frustrating, because when you arrive, you find your first shell and you find the place which has a lot of junction, and I played the first hours just testing stuff, dying left and right. Then I created another save, and made progress.

There is one bug that is really annoying because I would like to play with some extra framerate. No matter what your graphical detail is, if the shadows in on "high", the whole game has a stupid fog on it, so much, that the tutorial level was just a milk white screen, hardly could navigate. Which is not good because you can find 3 items, and of course you have a tutorial boss (if you are good you can beat him, if not, don't sweat it). Interestingly it is not a Linux/Proton-y bug, Windows users have it too. Shadows are the most taxing effect in games, usually the first that I turn it down or off. If I had a better computer it would be no problem for me. Right now I turned off some settings to low.

Otherwise the game is really fun, once I got the hang of it for this first area. I have found my parry item as well, and hopefully I can find different shells. The one good thing is that in the tower you have vision where these shells and weapons are, so you have basic idea where you need to go. The game is not easy though.

The different shells provide the different classes, and you can use any weapon you find with any of the shells, which gives you different advantages and disadvantages. Or you can play without wearing any shell, the ultimate difficulty.

The fact that this game was made by 15 developers, makes it just much more interesting and admirable. It has a DLC which gives you a rogue-lite mode, where regular enemies and stuff are randomized.

Edit: with a little bit of help, I have found the toughest Shell, which basically a tank shell, with lots of HP, not much stamina though. Hope this will help me staying alive longer than usual.

I might write about Mortal Shell more as I go on, when I progress.


This one is definitely a more action oriented Souls-like. You are basically playing a fast moving assassin type character with a saber. There are some magical elements. Upgrades are straightforward since you can upgrade your health, your damage for the saber, and the magical weapon damage.

Despite of this simplicity the game can be quiet fun even from the beginning. After playing 2 slower games, this one is very different. The first place where I am is a little bit foggy, it has this yellow, toxic color filter, and enemies are sometimes blend in, but it keeps you on your toes, rather to be annoying.

As always fights can be hectic, when multiple enemies are around. Luckily the "bonfires" (here are chairs, where you can rest, upgrade your stuff, etc), are well spaced. There where one instance when I was in a new territory with 0 heals, and like 30% health, and I just really wanted to see a chair, and my prayers were answered, that was an exciting moment for my noob self. Especially since I had enough "souls" to upgrade myself.

Here every level of upgrade (strenght, vitality and plague), gives you one point to upgrade different skills (Saber, dodge, etc). These skills can be respec any time, but I don't know at what cost.

I am enjoying Thymesia right now, mostly because this is where I have the most success with honestly. It is faster, almost like a hack and slash game married to soulslike.

Edit: after reaching the first boss of the game, I have to say I will sure stop playing for a while. This is an incredible hard boss, even some of the veterans of the genre are complaining about it. According to many, this is the hardest boss of the game, which really doesn't make sense. A card throwing fellow, who can quickly jump on you anytime. How fun! xD


I support GOG, the DRM-free platform for old and new games.

Hellpoint | Mortal Shell | Thymesia

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