Dead Cells - Analysis
His proposal is purportedly simple : advance through a series of non-linear levels by distributing firewood among the enemy hordes you encounter. There are three types of weapons: short range, long and defensive, but only two buttons and spaces in which to place them, with which you have to choose. In addition, each type of weapon has dozens of different variations (range, associated effects, speed, damage, etc ...). Depending on the type of player you are, you will choose a way to face the challenge, which starts from the simplest point of view from the plot point of view: you are a resurrected person and you have to end a mysterious evil. It is done. From there you have to investigate each level, procedurally generated, discover the story, improve your character's statistics, change equipment and, above all, die, to start again from (almost) zero .
The combat is solved by hitting the relevant attack button, dodging at the right time and knowing your enemy as well as yourself . There are no great combos, but weapons and traps that you must learn to tame. Also as you die and rise again you will gain new capabilities, which in your next life could help you reach a new area through an already known map. And above this is the constant unlocking of new swords, bows, abilities, traps ... Whose modus operandi is simple, again: find the plane, and then invert dead cells extracted from the corpses of the enemies to unlock them. But be careful, since this unlocking is only done between levels, and if you die on the way, you will lose everything you were carrying at that time in the saddlebags.
That is, the key to the success of Dead Cells is to face each level with a head, although the stopwatch at the bottom right of the screen tells you to run , because otherwise the rewards for reaching the next level in a certain time does not they'll be avalaible. And therein lies the grace of this whole matter, since you must control lots of variables to succeed ... It is also when you think you have them under control when you discover a handful of other elements to be taken into account in the form of secrets hidden by the levels, new weapons that reinvent your way of playing, challenges again in 'that area' that you had not yet been able to access ... Luckily (or unfortunately), by the time that time comes you will already be up to your neck in Dead Cells, dreaming of overcoming the challenge proposed and extending your lives as much as possible . You will have fallen into the grip of this excellent indie game.
The best part is that this is just the beginning of the trip, since, as if it were an onion, Dead Cells continues to offer more and more layers in its proposal. That if the Random Daily Challenge on the one hand, that if the increase of difficulty on the other, that if it continues unlocking weapons and skills for your protagonist ... So, after more than 12 hours of play to its preview version on PC and more than 20 in the console version , we still have challenges ahead in this excellent action game with metroidvania and roguelike touch. You could almost say that Dead Cells has fixed us a summer that until now was something orphan of great releases.
Perhaps the key to the success of this production is its more than satisfactory control system, which allows us to perform all actions without any complications, in addition to configuring most of our buttons to our liking. A nod to accessibility that translates into greater satisfaction with the command in your hands. It won't be long before we are dodging, cheating, jumping and hitting enemies, as if a complex, and calculated, ballet number is involved . It is also those moments that define this game, making it extremely fun to try again and again to overcome its intricate and unique levels. At the end of the day you know that you will always find a challenge at your height , either in the form of a final enemy, or in a group of enemies who work too well in a team. Winning them costs, but knowing how to draw up a strategy to beat them, and carry it out successfully, is even more satisfying than simply beating them. For example, one of our favorite strategies is to carry bombs that freeze the enemy to place us on their backs and make them a pupil, while at the same time we place in the distance a gardener that throws blades at the unsuspecting rival.
It may seem complicated, but it is not so much, and that is one of the maxims of Dead Cells, which unites lots of mechanics and elements, both original, and of their own harvest, to form an offer with a unique and distinctive flavor . We see it, for example with its diffuse narrative that, at times reminds of Dark Souls (with which it has other points of communion), or with the possibility of putting Castlevania food as healing foods. In short, Dead Cells is a veiled tribute to the present and past of video games, in which all the pieces fit almost perfectly to offer us a most entertaining and addictive gaming experience. It has some small technical problem, with jumps with certain animations, and sometimes it ends up being too convoluted, but they are the biggest mistakes of a production that always borders on the highest level.
The technical part is not even neglected, with a pixel art of a beautiful bill , which even dares to include effects of lights, three-dimensional elements and an animation that reminds us of the classic rotoscoping of games like Flashback and the like. A true delight that, in addition, has a superb artistic work, so much so that we do not get bored of seeing the same dungeons dozens of times. They have not been even once or twice that someone has seen us play and asked us 'what is this beautiful game about?', A true testament to the good work of Motion Twin in this regard. The sound scores border on the same stellar level , although with a somewhat more uneven result (the first level is simply excellent), and the sound effects are suitable for a production of this style. Nor does the translation of the texts, very careful, in spite of presenting some somewhat peculiar 'word'. That is, all the elements of Dead Cells end up dancing to it, to bring us one of the most daring and successful independent productions that we remember in months. A mandatory option if you liked games like Rogue Legacy, Castlevania ... Or both! (In which case you have a new god to worship).