The Mortal Shell PS5 upgrade’s best feature is a loud, purring cat

Mortal Shell is one of the better Soulslikes to come out in the last few years. It showed that a small team could do great things if it stayed focused and worked well within its limitations to create something new yet familiar. The title has finally jumped to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S and even though it looks and runs better, the Mortal Shell PS5 upgrade has one clear advantage: a loud purring cat.

Yes, you can (still) pet the cat

The Mortal Shell PS5 upgrade's best feature is a loud, purring cat

This cat was in the previous versions as well. It still sits on the table in Vlas’ out-of-the-way shop and gives the player a trophy or achievement for petting it. But this cat now purrs loudly through the speaker in the DualSense controller not just as the player strokes its little head, but also while in and around Vlas’ shop.

The controller even vibrates accordingly as each purr-filled inhale and exhale echoes through the tiny speaker. The purrs themselves are of a pretty high quality, too, with all the small weird noises and chirps cats make when they are, scientifically speaking, very rumbly. It sounds like a microphone was shoved right in the whiskers of a very happy and surprisingly docile cat. (Cold Symmetry would not confirm whose cat it was so that part remains a mystery.)

It’s a small touch, but it’s a cute one that uses the technology well. Both the speaker and rumble motors work together to create something that’s genuinely more immersive and accurately emulates the cuteness of the real thing; something a game this bleak could use.

Hearing the cat in the other versions of the game is quite hard to do. But it’s immediately noticeable in the PS5 version. Mortal Shell utilizes the DualSense’s oft-celebrated haptic feedback better than most games out there and it’s because of a god damn cat. The adaptive triggers give appropriate feedback when the harden ability is on cooldown, which has some helpful gameplay implications, but it isn’t an adorable little cat that somehow incessantly purrs while trapped in the hellish confines of Fallgrim.

A purrfectly adequate upgrade otherwise

The Mortal Shell PS5 upgrade's best feature is a loud, purring cat

Aside from the relatively lengthy load times, Mortal Shell on the PS5 and Xbox Series X has some other solid upgrades as well. It runs at 60 frames per second compared to the previous 30 frames target and Cold Symmetry claims it displays at 4K with higher-res textures as opposed to the 900p, 1440p, and 1800p from the last gen. These free improvements are welcome and a decent incentive to replay the game or pick it up for the first time, even if it doesn’t have any new content. But a happy cat and a rumbling controller with a speaker might be the best new thing about this enhanced edition.