Dead Cells is surprised at how harmoniously all the elements combine. Take the procedural level generation – if in some Chasm you feel that the room is molded to each other by a computer, and not by a person, then at first, you do not even suspect the existence of such a feature. Huge zones contain both teleportation points, and secret passages, and chests with useful objects, and much more. And everything is so well arranged and connected as if the generation was not accidental, but it was planned. The structure and many rooms still remain more or less similar, but one does not have to miss the monotony.
At the beginning of the passage, the character in his hands has only an ordinary sword and two steps away from him like an onion and a shield. You can take only two types of weapons with you, and you will be the winner in any case. Simply bow allows shooting at enemies from afar, and the shield absorbs some damage, but can also be used to counterattack. Over time, the player will find whips, ignoring enemy shields, as well as Spartan sandals (allow to kick) and much more. If in the early stages of development there were problems with balance, now you can achieve success with almost any equipment.
There are also two slots for additional weapons – these are special items with “cooldowns” after they are used. They also start to stumble quite early, unlocking more and more options as you go through. These can be traps that force the enemy to stand still for a few seconds or a path from circular saws. There are also various kinds of grenades – one explodes and covers the earth and enemies with oil, the other freezes opponents, the third calls for small biting worms. You can throw daggers in different directions, causing bleeding from opponents.
Bunny and the protagonist
There are a lot of options, and later you will thoroughly test and decide what to run with the most comfort. Although it is by no means a fact that all the necessary weapons can be found during the journey – after all, all the inventory is selected. And at first not many things were unlocked – to get access to new subjects, it is necessary to collect blueprints that are either well hidden or fall out of opponents and “bosses”.
These drawings you put in a quiet place, where you fall after each level, and then pay for each individual item of a cage – this is one of the local currencies, periodically dropping out of defeated opponents. If the hero dies, all the remaining cells in the stock are destroyed, so the game does not allow the next zone until all the “money” is given to the corresponding character.
This is due to one of the shortcomings of Dead Cells. Each “paid” drawing allows you to later find a specific weapon in the world of the game or purchase it from the merchant. But you can not get rid of this or that thing and permanently erase it from the general list of unlocked items. So if you did not like some grenades that you used to earn honestly earned cells, then you’ll have to stumble on them right up to the final.
On the other hand, even the most useful things sometimes have excellent additional properties. The sword that you prefer daggers can fall with a special bonus – it will cause bleeding, or with each stroke, you will throw bombs. If you love shields, and you constantly lose bows, then it does not matter: suddenly enemies destroyed by arrows will leave behind them poisonous clouds? After the victory over the first “boss”, the forge is unlocked, where it will be possible to change such parameters, and the inconspicuous element of the outfit will shine with new colors.
Fight with the boss
The same cells that are spent on turning drawings into real things are used to simplify the game process. In this respect, Dead Cells resembles the Rogue Legacy, where gold players improved their castle by increasing the strength of the character’s attack, strengthening abilities and unlocking new classes. There are no castles, but there is a special merchant who offers several interesting bonuses. For example, in your inventory, a healing potion will appear, and you will no longer have to rely on the loss of very rare food from enemies. Then enough cells will accumulate, so that at the beginning of the passage a random weapon would be issued, and not have to choose from the same options.
Therefore, even the failed attempts to defeat the “boss” move the player forward – he could not defeat the big enemy, but collected in previous locations about fifty cells and slightly simplified his future races. But the power of attack and the health reserve in this way does not change – for this you need to look for scrolls, often surrounded by a couple of monsters.
And then the player is also faced with a choice. Scrolls increase the indicators of brutality, tactics, and survivability, increasing the damage from the corresponding weapons, and at the same time extending the strip of “lives”. But each time the premiums get worse, and at some point, you will have to choose between increasing the sword with 15% of bonus health and “upgrading” unnecessary weapons with 60% additional survivability.
Disassembly as you progress through the game
Dead Cells simultaneously awards and for thoughtful research of each corridor, and for fast running from one location to another. You can methodically destroy every enemy, admiring the magnificent animation, which varies depending on the weapon. Elegantly dodge attacks, reacting in time to exclamation marks over the heads of opponents and using a roll. Learn the characteristics of opponents, understanding their weaknesses, and use the environment for the sake of victory over them – to lure the entire crowd to one point, throwing bombs, or to strike the ground when falling from the top platform. And you can quickly move to the exit with the help of the same rolling-then in the next zone you will be able to open the door with the treasures, which closes after a couple of minutes after the start.
Much of this game seems thoughtful to the smallest detail and brought to near perfection. Management is very responsive, and the combat system is amazingly beautiful – the enemies react to blows and spectacularly fall apart into “pixels”, while the main character skillfully dodges attacks, actively uses additional weapons and swings his sword or daggers. Runes, gradually obtained by the character, give him access to new rooms and corridors – first, you learn how to grow a vine in certain places, using it as a ladder, and then start teleporting from one tomb and bouncing off the walls. And procedural generation does not spoil anything at all – you can always reduce by these possibilities the path or get to the secret.
By and large, there are no special innovations in the game, almost everything has been done before. Of the Rogue Legacy is partially taken the system of progress, about The Binding of Isaac, resembles the need to cope with the difficulties with the weapons found, opponents with one blow can carry a huge amount of health, as in many hardcore projects. But Dead Cells does not seem to be a copy, its authors did not just somehow bind these components, but achieved balance and made the gameplay so enjoyable, that you can spend dozens of hours here and still want more.
Although at some point Dead Cells will start to seem a little monotonous, it will each time try to make a new passage unlike the previous one. That the rooms are arranged differently, then the weapon will have to use an unusual one, then instead of an ordinary enemy, there will be its elite version with a large stock of health and excellent trophies for his murder. And this is the beauty of the game – it offers a lot of different content and mixes it up so that it always gets pleasure from it, even in case of failure. Coupled with a beautiful and dynamic combat system, an exciting exploration of locations and many other advantages, this makes Dead Cells one of the best games of 2018.