As detailed in our post about Steam (which we know you read!), there are loads of indie developers out there who can pump their smaller budget games onto the market. Dead Cells is the latest, a Castlevania inspired, rogue-like, Metroidvania title which has, even in early access mode, proven to be one of the most acclaimed games of the year.
“Um… early access?” – it’s exactly as it sounds. These days, some developers release their games to the public when they feel it’s at a decent enough stage. This means there are potential bugs and issues you’ll come across, but the title is essentially complete (it’s just still being worked on). Well… it’s too tempting to wait for the final thing with many gamers, so we got our hands on the violent SOB to see how good it is.
It’s no mistake to state Dead Cells is excellent. Developed by the French team at Motion Twin, it’s a homage to all things glorious about the SNES era which helped to form the ever brilliant Metroidvania genre. Motion Twin’s staff is clearly enamoured with the likes of Super Castlevania in particular, but this is an innovative take on the genre.
It adds in rogue-like qualities. This relatively new genre is a brutal thing – gamers get one stab at a game. Once you’re dead, it’s permadeath. Now, the Binding of Isaac (a game we struggled to enjoy) is arguably the most famous variety of this, but it’s a trope many gamers are now used to. It’s still goddamn brutal, however, as the randomly generated world of labyrinth dungeons and hallways is a daunting experience. Be prepared to die a lot. So much so, you’ll want to talk a cold shower before too long!
As you do die, you begin to learn new things and become more skilled – which is nice. It’s addictive, too, and the moment you die you’ll be eager to get back into the action. The game moves at a Hell of a rate and there’s a real bone-crunching, satisfying quality about it. Taking out each enemy is very rewarding and you’ll soon have a big batch of swag to make you a formidable SOB.
Powering it all along is a thunderous soundtrack which is all rather exhilarating. The graphics have a wonderful, understated quality about them as well – they’re rather exquisitely detailed but never extravagant. There’s also a neat little touch where the objects in the background can be jangled into. Lovely – as lovely as this insanely violent game!
ZOMG! Looks Dead Cool
With an option screen as belting as the one above, and a game which is addictive, fantastic, crunchy, and satisfying, Dead Cells will likely go down as one of the best indie games of 2017. You can pick up the early access copy now off Steam for a mere £13.99 (about $15, or something). Totally worth it – a lot of fun can be had here. Thank you, Motion Twin!