Dead Cells (Xbox) Impressions

Reviews

Dead Cells is a new 2D roguevania action platformer by Motion Twin.  Fight your way though it’s procedurally generated castle using an arsenal of traps, ranged and melee weapons in your quest to uncover what has transpired.

Dead Cells is an incredible blend of the precise platforming of the Castlevania series and the permadeath systems inherent in all rogue-likes.  As you make your way through the game, you will come across levels such as the Prisoners Quarters, Ancient Sewers, Ossuary, Black Bridge, Stilt Village and the Clock Tower.  Each level offers different creatures, traps and environmental effects.  They will each contain the same elements such as exits, pick ups and chests on each play through; however the route to each will be different due to the games procedural nature.  This random effect requires you to adapt to an ever changing landscape rather than memorizing level layouts.

Defeat Makes Us Stronger?

From your very first run through Dead Cells you will find a game that pulls no punches, this game is out to kill you over and over again and it will succeed.  All is not lost though, you will pick up items and blueprints as you play, cells will drop from defeated enemies which, as long as you complete your current level, can help you through your next run.  Cells can be spent to research new general upgrades, weapons, traps and mutation abilities.  These unlocks will then be available for you to find and use, giving you a greater chance of making it further on your next run.

Unlocked Items

Spending Cells at the Collector

Runes

Certain levels in the game will present you with bosses which when defeated will drop runes which provide you with new movement abilities.  Runes such as The Vine Rune and Teleportation Rune will allow you to access levels which you were unable reach before acquiring them.  Runes will drop from certain Elite enemies and once acquired are unlocked permanently.

Upgrade and Rune Examples

Fight!

The combat system in Dead Cells is precise, fast and fluid.  The game offers many combinations of melee or ranged weapons, traps, turrets and grenades.  Each combination of items presents a different play style to master.  Be warned though, finding a combination that works well for you can lull you into a false sense of security.  One misstep can lead to an untimely death which will take you back to square one and force you to start all over again.

Combat Examples from Presskit

A Must Play

I have had some incredibly rage-inducing moments with Dead Cells, but I cannot recommend it enough.  I can say that without a doubt, it has been the game I have enjoyed playing the most so far this year.  People looking for a game that is going to give them a challenge will be right at home.  The art style, audio and game play are fantastic.  This is a very well designed blending of the 2D platformer and rogue-like genres.  It is available now on PC, Xbox One, Switch, and PS4.

Have you given Dead Cells a try?  What are your thoughts?  Let us know in the comments below.

Mike (AKA SnekPlayz) has been playing games since the days of the Commodore Vic 20 and enjoys playing most genres from Action Adventure to FPS to Racing. He is a part-time streamer on Twitch at https://twitch.tv/Snek_Playz

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