As the developers Cold Symmetry promised a month ago, the Mortal Shell beta was recently released to a few lucky players. But to everyone’s surprise, the devs just opened the beta for all to play.

Mortal Shell is a soulslike action-RPG. The game centers around ruthless dynamic combat, where you play as a ghost that inhibits one of four different warrior shells. At the beta, available exclusively on the Epic Games Store, you can experience two of these shells.

Mortal Shell

You start the Mortal Shell beta as the white ghost, and after a short tutorial, you face the first boss fight. As with other soulslike titles, you are not supposed to win the fight. After you eventually lose, you find yourself in control of a character similar to the boss that just killed you.

This is the first shell you unlock – the heavily armored warrior Harros the Vassal, with a beefy health bar and slow but powerful attacks. You can compare Harros to Strength builds in the Souls series. The shell has a cool Harden skill that lets you cover your body in a hard shell that deflects attacks back to your opponents and stuns them for a short time.

The second shell you inhibit is Tiel the Acolyte, the game’s light shell, with high mobility, fast attacks, and a measly health bar. The beta lets you take advantage of this shell to get familiar with its unique shadow dodging ability, which stands in contrast to Harros’s Harden skill.

You upgrade your shells using two different currencies: Tar and Glimpses. Tar is your XP – what you use to level. Glimpses are for improving a shell’s abilities, and you get them by defeating enemies with a specific shell. That way, you get more Glimpses for the shell you use the most.

Mortal Shell

If your health reaches zero when inhabiting either shell, you will be thrown out back to your ghostly form. In this form, you have a single health point, but if you succeed in getting back in your shell, you’ll get a full health bar and a second chance to win the fight. It’s a cool take on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice‘s resurrection feature that I loved.

While it sounds like the beta has a lot to offer, it is a short one. You only get to explore two areas: The Outskirts of Fallgrim and The Abandoned Chamber. Fallgrim has many blocked paths to prevent spoilers, but it does show us how the final game will be like – a lot of optional routes and secrets to uncover. But don’t worry – the beta has one more card up its sleeve.

You can start over again up to six times while conserving your progress in the upgrading system, somewhat like how the New Game+ feature works in the soulslike genre.

Mortal Shell is set to fully launch sometime in Q3 2020. It will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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