Dead Cells Review

Dead Cells caters to a very specific type of gamer--the glutton for punishment. It's never been a rarity to find a game willing to hand you back on a platter, but it has become something of a trend the past ten years or so to see it sought out. You know the person...Hotline Miami's achievements almost done up to the hilt, Dark Souls-ing so hard that they can even read you back the lore. It's a badge of honour that the determined ones seek and wear proudly. Dead Cells is no different--with permadeath a very serious threat in every single encounter it is no doubt a shining example of this category.

But perhaps you haven't seen this massively popular title already from a YouTuber or anything of the like, and you're asking me, "Chicken, why would anyone want to play something like that?" Well my little lamb, I'll tell you why: Dead Cells is intertwined with addictive and unique gameplay. Deaths don't feel like the dreaded 'game over' that will stop most in their tracks. Instead, death simply feels like a new beginning. Sure, you lose some of the more trivial items, like start up weapons and things of the sort, but as your journey progresses you find permanent upgrades that catapult you eventually to a level worthy for a solid fight.

Adding to Dead Cells' replay value, which I stress because you WILL be replaying the same thing over and over to master, is the many different paths to take through your trek. As it plays by Metroidvania standards, there's multiple levels to explore and plenty of catacombs to seek out. You'll face false walls, monetary doors (which are so very fabulously cursed) and timed doors. Mechanisms swinging lethally about and pulleys to ride below the surface.

Fighting in Dead Cells is an unavoidable showcase of the game. With every different enemy comes their own flair on how they come at you. Some will have shields that deflect, others throw energy bombs. Even the most simplest of baddies toss their entire bodies at you, like a meaty, gelatinous bullet. Every fight requires careful strategy and razor sharp reflexes. Getting hit even once can send you into a spiral of pain that leads to only one place--back to the beginning of the game. It's a brilliant and brutal system, and I would be lying if I said it wasn't utterly addicting.

Along with the action bits is the background goodies of upgrading and spending the currency abound. You work with gold and the cells you pick up from each enemy fallen. These upgrades can be anything from getting a fancy (but fleeting) new ice bomb...or perhaps a snappy little turret that you can throw down to do your bidding as you hop about taking care of whatever it leaves behind. As I mentioned before there are permanent upgrades that will be with the player even as they have to make their was from the start again--a brilliant move to including something like this...makes for a nice plaster on my ego whilst I go from the beginning of the game for the billionth time.

Dead Cells isn't for everyone, but even if you're not someone that likes to generally 'lose', it could transcend into your personal library quite easily. It breaks up the monotony of having to do the same thing over and over again and encourages you to grow and explore as you go. Aside from all the talk abut gameplay, it truly is a fantastic game to lay your eyes on--the pixelated art style is fluid and never feels restrictive to the story it's trying to tell. It's catching, fun and so fast it'll make your head spin at times...but it is so very worth it.