Dead Cells is a rogue-lite, metroidvania action-platformer. You'll explore a sprawling, ever-changing castle... assuming you’re able to fight your way past its keepers in 2D “souls-lite combat”. No checkpoints. Kill, die, learn, repeat.Read full description
RogueVania: The progressive exploration of an interconnected world, with the replayability of a rogue-lite and the adrenaline pumping threat of permadeath.
Souls-lite combat: Pattern-based bosses and minions, weapons and spells with unique gameplay. Make do with what you have and don’t forget to roll.
Nonlinear progression: Unlock new levels with every death and explore undiscovered parts of the island as you prepare for the inevitable bosses.
Exploration: Secret rooms, hidden passages, charming landscapes. Death is the new backtracking.
Roguelike, Rogue-lite, roguelike-like, rogueschmike! No matter what you call them, the world could always use another! As such, we'd like to present for your consideration, the illegitimate child of the roguelite and the metroidvania, the RogueVANIA. Anywho, enough with the sales pitch, let’s take a closer look.
By metroidVania, we’re really talking about a fixed, hand designed, interconnected world. The game takes place on an immense island that never changes. All of the biomes, bosses and the paths between them are present right from the start. Getting to them is another story...
However, in Dead Cells, death replaces the traditional backtracking mechanic of a metroidvania. At first, seemingly unreachable areas will be strewn across your path, but answers to these riddles will appear as you explore the island. Be it a key, a new acrobatic skill or a forgotten spell. Once uncovered, this knowledge will stay with you, allowing you to unlock new paths to your goal. Sick of the stinking sewers? Head over the ramparts and take a breath of fresh air! It’s your skill, playstyle and of course the loot you find that will determine your path.
Furthermore, as the term "RogueVania" might (not so) subtly imply, we were also quite heavily influenced by the recent wave of roguelites. When there are no checkpoints to save you from your screw-ups, the adrenaline kicks in. And when you lose, you lose big, so you’ve got to make it out alive. Instead of relying on the classic formula of memorising the level design and enemy placement, procedural generation allows us to reward your instincts, reflexes and ability to adapt to evolving situations.
Having said this, we’re conscious that the words “procedural generation” conjure up images of crappy levels and uninteresting gameplay in a lot of gamers’ minds. So we’ve chosen a hybrid solution, with each run being a mashup of carefully designed “chunks” of level. The idea is to give you the feeling of meticulously handcrafted world, while making sure you have a new experience every time.
Don’t expect it to be a walk in the park though. Pattern based monsters and demanding boss fights will teach you to choose your battles and build your strength. Every weapon has its own unique feel and rolling and dodging will become second nature, as you learn to manage the mobs of monsters that will overwhelm the unprepared. We’re going after that “tough, but fair” feeling.
Tired of the violence and death? Explore a bit, take a stroll, enjoy the view from the ramparts, find a secret room. Thomas and Gwen, our graphic artists, never miss an opportunity to impress with their pixelart and shape a world worth exploring. You might even learn a little more about the lore of the place, who knows?
Dead Cells is one of those Steam gems that came out of nowhere and has taken the market by storm, while it's in the early access it shows a lot of potential with its clever mechanics that combine roguelike and Metroidvania game elements. Absolutely must have as this game is so much fun and I honestly can wait for the next update!
Combat truly is Dark Souls-lite; it's all about the timing, and when you make a mistake it's punishing. But I don't find this title to be all that difficult either, to be honest. You know the gameplay loop already - it's the same thing we've seen a million times before. There are metaupgrades. If you can make it to the end of the loop, you spend your money (souls dropped by some dead enemies), as well as 'blueprints' that unlock new items you can 'buy'. The combat is great fun. It flows really smoothly and is simply just a ton of fun. I'm not going into any more 'positive' stuff because you can read about that ad nauseaum in, like, every other review. As far as negatives - it certainly gets repetitive, and in a way the first couple hours are the best part. At hour 7, I'm still having fun and will continue to grind, which says alot if you know me. I won't stick around if something is not great fun. There really isn't much enemy variation as of yet, but I think that will change. While the devs say they will double the content, I fear it actually needs more than double the item/weapon content. Either way, I would recommend playing this. Another nit pick is that the 'MetroidVania' aspect of this is quite weak. Instead of getting something like a double-jump that allows you to BOTH access a new area AND adds functionality to combat, you just get a key to open a new door to a new area. The 'key' in this sense might be the ability to make a vine grow that is pre-placed through level generation, or teleport using pre-placed tombs. It doesn't actually give you a functional ability. Pros: +Terribly addicting game loop +Super tight controls with fluid combat that is oh-so fun +Artwork and music are perfect +Proc gen level design is refreshing; there is a mix of outside and inside levels with branching paths Cons: -The first two hours has you thinking there is a metric ton of content, and while there is absolutely enough to keep you playing for hours, you'll start to see through it a bit; keep in mind this is nit picky, but I'm trying to be transparent about how I felt as I played -Enemy variation is low -I think it needs more items then what I read the devs have planned (obviously these 'cons' could be removed over time as Early Access state changes) -The 'MetroidVania' elements are kind of cheap A must own for anyone interested in this genre.
Dead Cells is a beautifully animated 2D action game that uses ideas from some of the best rogue-lite and metroidvania games of recent years. When you start the game, and when you die, you begin in the same area and will then travel through procedurally generated areas, these areas follow the way Spelunky was designed though, meaning they put more work behind the ways areas are generated to make them feel like they were hand designed and more organic rather than the unbalanced and awkward looking style of levels you normally find in games with random level design. The games combat is fast paced and works well, allowing you to make use of your melee weapons, bows, bombs, traps, etc. As you fight you can obtain items or gold that can be used during that life, if you die you will lose your items and gold. Much like Rogue Legacy dying won't take everything away from you as you can obtain points that can be spent to improve different abilities, you are also able to collect items that will unlock permanent upgrades for your character, such as the ability to climb vines to access new paths, these abilities are shown in the room that you will start in for each run. The music is also a high point for this game. The game is best played with a controller. It has just released to early access with plans to stay in it for almost a year but it is very enjoyable as it is now and is worth supporting, for the small team it is an impressive effort.
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