Dead Cells
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Aug 7, 2018
Average Playtime: 8 hours

Dead Cells

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Roguelite? Metroidvania? Roguevania! You grew up with the roguelikes, witnessed the rise of the roguelites and even the birth of the roguelite-lites? We'd now like to present for your consideration our RogueVania, the illegitimate child of a modern Roguelite (Rogue Legacy, Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, Spelunky, etc.) and an old-school MetroidVania (Castlevania: SotN and it’s ilk).

Features:
  • RogueVania: The progressive exploration of an interconnected world, with the replayability of a rogue-lite and the adrenaline pumping threat of permadeath.
  • 2D Souls-lite Action: Tough but fair combat, more than fifty weapons and spells with unique gameplay, and of course, the emergency panic roll to get you out of trouble.
  • Nonlinear progression: Sewers, Ossuary or Remparts? Once unlocked, special permanent abilities allow you to access new paths to reach your objective. Opt for the path that suits your current build, your play style or just your mood.
  • Exploration: Secret rooms, hidden passages, charming landscapes. Take a moment to stroll the towers and breath in that fresh sea mist infused air...

Interconnected levels and progressive unlocking of access to the island provides you with a real incentive to explore your surroundings. Add in a degree of evolution for your character and permanent weapon upgrades and you can see where Dead Cells borrows from the long line of MetroidVanias that precede it.

At the end of the day though, it’s YOUR skills as a player that matter most! Roguelites are about constantly getting better, until what was an insurmountable obstacle becomes a walk in the park. Unforgiving combat wed to the absence of any kind of safety net makes for an adrenalin pumping ride each and every run and unrivaled replayability.

Dead Cells is currently in Early Access and comes with:
  • 11 Levels - Each one with its own atmosphere, foes and secrets to discover.
  • 2 Bosses - Made by the most sadistic of the devs, raised on the salt of the testers.
  • 50 or so weapons and skills - Spears, swords, bows, freeze blast, etc.
  • 2 special powers, unlocking new areas and paths (metroidvania gear lock items).
  • 1 epic responsive, fluid and fun to play combat system.
  • 1 Daily Run Mode Complete with leaderboards for lording it over your mates.
  • Hours of fun (depending on your skill, anything from 10 to 30 hours or more).
  • A few rage-quits, Ok a lot of rage quits… But you’ll git gud… Eventually.

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No matter how you really look at it, there is nothing better than a well done Roguelike game, which is possibly why the indie scene has been chalk full of them. The latest to hit the scene is Motion Twin's Dead Cells, a self-proclaimed Castlevania inspired Roguelike with some Souls-style combat. Dead Cells take you in the role of a prisoner on a mysterious island, one that seems to change and shift every time he attempts to escape. The rest of the game's story is presented in a minimalist style, in which you find through your adventure notes from the King, prison guards or Alchemy experts on a fatal disease that is swarming through the land and what the kingdom intends on doing about it. This type of story telling is popular among horror inspired games and the Soul series, leaving enough information to build up your own theory and keep you going in order to find out more about what is actually happening. This is a hit or miss style of storytelling but for a game like Dead Cells, it works quite well, giving you just enough to give you the slightest idea on what is happening, yet throw a curve ball later on. But like any great Roguelike, it's the gameplay that really stands out. Dead Cells is heavily inspired by Castlevania titles like Symphony of the Night and its follow-up Gameboy Advance titles. Dead Cells does a couple of things that are interesting to the formula however by giving you options on how you want to play the game. For example, those who love exploration and finding everything that there is in a level, will be treated to multiple paths, hidden treasures and optional Elite guards who will drop more Cells for you to upgrade your Prisoner. Those who are the Speedrunner type are given additional hidden rooms that hold stronger items and even more bonus Cells to compensate your avoidance of combat. The Prisoner can hold up to 4 items to bring with him into battle, two weapons and two traps/grenades. Weapons range from swords, daggers, bow and arrows, whips, and shields, while traps can be items that will leave opponents trapped in place (wolf/bear traps) to automatic turrets that will help take down enemies while you deal with other things or avoid getting brutally murdered. On top of this, players have other means of attacks by busting down doors, a downward kick that can help stun or damage those below them, and a quick dodge roll - which can also help in sneaking behind their enemies for extra damage. Combat in Dead Cells never feels boring, even after collecting several power-ups or high-class weapons. This is mainly thanks to the game's difficulty curve which while insanely difficult, still feels quite fair. Dying of course is par for the course in a Roguelike and collecting Cells to upgrade your Prisoner's available arsenal and various power-ups is a necessary method of attempting to survive the island, along with giving you a helpful strategy for dealing with whatever killed you in the first place. As a fan of the PSOne and GBA era of the Castlevania series, the graphics for Dead Cells felt like an homage with the necessary updates. The environments feel like it plays to a big part of the history of the world and acts almost as its own separate character. The game's music features a great orchestrated score that is falls in place with the dark fantasy setting that gives the game a bit of that Souls feel when it, raising the tension when needed. In a year that is filled with Roguelikes, Dead Cells is definitely one that stands out on its own. After many hours of going through the game, it never lost its intrigue or its ability to make you feel like a bad ass, yet reminds you to stay humble after it knocks you down a few pegs. Review from  https://gameitall.com/dead-cells-review/
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
Haiku Review: With such great combat / Procedural is a shame / Wash, rinse, repeat gets old Favorite Thing: The combat is fun. There's a decent selection of weapons and equipment to allow a lot of tinkering. Least Favorite Thing: Dead Cells has not changed my mind about the rouge-like genre. Replaying levels over and over got boring fast and after 16 hours I was more than ready for it to be over. Date Completed: 2018-08-26 Playtime: 16h Enjoyment: 8/10 (for the first dozen hours, at least) Recommendation: Whether or not you're a fan of rogue-likes I think you'll still find a lot of enjoyment here.