Here’s another Switch review for you and this time it’s on Dead Cells! Is this Roguelite better than the last one I reviewed?
I had a love/hate relationship with the gameplay when I first started this game. It infuriated me because I was expecting something like Salt and Sanctuary’s gameplay, but after playing for a few hours it really grew on me. I was unleashing devastating combos with ease against bosses and regular dudes. I love the fast paced gameplay, weapons, and parry system in this game. After each unsuccessful run I had the chance to start the game over again with a random melee and ranged weapon. These weapons could be anything that I had previously purchased before my death in the last run. Some times I started off with my favorite weapon (dual wield daggers) and was able to destroy everything in front of me. I also started the game with a pair of boots that allowed me to kick enemies into walls and got murdered by everything. It’s all up to RNG and some times RNG hates me…
Like every other roguelite game out there Dead Cells randomly generates each map every time you reattempt it. Some times I breezed through and other times I got my ass handed to me from traps and tougher enemies. Death means starting over from scratch with nothing and trying again with the newly gained knowledge in hopes of doing better the next time. I usually get annoyed with systems like this, but that didn’t happen in Dead Cells. It’s a well made game with really fun combat that kept me coming back for more. Exploration is a big part of this game. It’s not just about killing enemies and advancing to the next area. This is a Metroidvania game and that means there are inaccessible areas that can only be unlocked by acquiring special abilities. Finding and acquiring these moves are up important and unlock new goodies and areas to explore.
Dead Cells, unlike Wizard of Legend, is a very good looking game. The different locales are actually interesting to explore and I love the enemy variety and designs. The bosses are one of highlights in this game even if they are easy to cheese at times. The animations are nice and crisp and I don’t have any real complaints about the visual style of this game. I love it.
Dead Cells has a good soundtrack, but it’s a little short of being great for me. I love the guitars that play in the background the deep chants, but tracks like that don’t happen very often. Don’t get me wrong I really like the soundtrack, but I did think that some tracks were kind of forgettable. There are no bad sounds in this game. I like how I can hear the armor clank when I hit an enemy with my sword or how the chains dangle when I climb up them. I only complaint I have about the overall sound experience is that some of the songs aren’t as memorable as others. Everything is really well done in my opinion.
Dead Cells isn’t perfect on the Switch, but it works 95% of the time. The FPS does have a habit of dropping when I need it to stay stable the most. When I’m fighting multiple enemies and everyone is attacking at the same time the fps will dip and that could make the difference between life and death in this game. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it’s annoying.
None of the bosses wowed me in this game. They’re decent, but they’re also easy to cheese and once I learned their attack patterns they were easy to beat too. The only annoying part is that if I die I have to start all the way from the beginning of the game and fight every boss leading up to the one I died to.
Dead Cells does not take itself seriously. The story is shit and developers know this because you’ll see signs like “git gud” all over the place. They tried too hard to make this game funny when they could have told a good story instead. If you don’t care about the story in your game why should I?
It Would Be Better If It Wasn’t A Roguelite:
Roguelite games have become my least favorite game genre. Why does everything have to have roguelite elements. That’s usually the quickest way to lose me as a customer. I don’t like starting all the way from the beginning of the game every time I die and losing everything I worked really hard to get in the process. Yes, Dead Cells is good example of a roguelite game, but I think it would have been way better if this mechanic wasn’t in the game at all. Just let me progress through the game, keep my loot, and move on.
Dead Cells is great. Even though it's a Roguelite game I can't deny how much fun I had while I played it. It's not perfect. I don't agree with those 9/10 reviews out there, but I can understand why people would score it that highly. I had fun with this game, but I'll probably never play it again after writing this review. It's not a game that I can see myself playing for hours upon hours like I can with Salt and Sanctuary. But... I did enjoy this game a lot and at the end of year it might even be in my top 10 games of 2018.