Dead Cells Review: Motion Twin’s Finest Hour!
I remember back when Zombi U released on the Wii U and the idea of permadeath was new to me. I, after 5 hours of play lost everything and died! It was one of the worst moments of my gaming life. Fast forward to 2018, and Dead Cells has brought the anxiety and agony of permadeath back. In Dead Cells, you literally die, spawn, die and spawn again. There are no checkpoints or saves in this game. Once you die, you are back at the beginning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve died because it was uncountable. I would make steady progress and it would all end either while healing or not playing smart. Dead Cells requires patience because you will die, it’s just a matter of when and how.
Dead Cells is actually really fun and each death keeps you coming back for more. There is so much to see and do in the game. Each death brings a sense of leaving things undone. I’m not too much into roguelite games but Dead Cells is by far my favorite one to date. Its platforming elements are excellent and Motion Twin have crafted a truly incredible experience. In Dead Cells you start off with a sword and the choice of shield or bow. I personally went with the sword and bow combo as it was really effective against stronger enemies. Depending on which enemies you face, the bow was really effective. There isn’t really a story from what I could gather during my hours in Dead Cells. The beginning of the game begins with you being resurrected and learning that you are immortal. It’s a cool way of introducing the character and his abilities to the player. The supporting characters who interact with the protagonist are pretty shallow and are only there to point you in the right directions. This is in order to move the game forward and let you know who or what your character is.
The gameplay in Dead Cells is fast and furious at certain points. There are often times where you are overwhelmed by too many enemies that are in one place. This cause some issues with the performance of the game and causes some texture problems. There are many areas to explore but its getting there that is the problem. With permadeath looming large as you play, exploring takes a backseat. You find chests, power ups, and scrolls that give you different abilities. You can find different weapons and grenades that help against the plethora of enemies that exist in the world of Dead Cells. Your progression is non-linear, you can unlock certain permanent abilities that let you access different paths to complete your objectives in the game. Once you unlock a location you can get back there even after death, it just takes some patience. There are secret rooms and hidden messages that give the game that mystery element. This keeps you exploring no matter how many times you die and you will die a lot. There are over 50 different weapons to choose from to make your fight easier. In combat there are different ways to avoid being hit by enemies like panic rolling, crouching, and well killing them first. In the game you collect cells, which can be used to purchase mutations which are a form of upgrade. When you die you lose cells. These cells are also needed to access the next levels in the game. There are several areas that require the cells to access.
The combat system is pretty fluid and is easy to learn. I found that with every death I got better and stronger. Each death teaches you to adapt rather the game adapting to you, you adapt to the game. The weapons work great and the characters movements make for an easy experience. The graphics in Dead Cells are pretty good for 2D. While not my favorite, it’s up there with the best and it’s a lot of fun. Dead Cells though isn’t about its graphics but rather its gameplay, that’s where it shines. Throughout my time with the game I enjoyed it immensely and can’t wait to jump back into again. Its a game that really keeps you coming back and if you are a streamer its perfect for that. Its challenging, engaging, and fun. This isn’t game of the year nor is it the best game out there. Dead Cells is though, an amazing experience on the Xbox One. No matter how many times you die and you will die. There is so much to explore and new locations to unlock, Dead Cells is a great addition to the platforming genre. Hats off to Motion Twin on a job well done.
- -Presents a great Challenge
- -Permadeath is finally fun
- -Fun and Furious
- -Motion Twin’s finest Moment
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