In 2018, developer/publisher Motion Twin set out to make a name for themselves in the rogue-like genre. After years of making mobile games, the team set out to develop their passion project. A game they described as “something hardcore, ultra-niche, with pixel art and ridiculous difficulty.” They knew this was a risk, but the result was crowd-pleasing and successful indie darling Dead Cells. After a couple of packs of DLC, Motion Twin shocked fans of the game and another series by revealing a crossover DLC that made too much sense. Enter Dead Cells: Return To Castlevania.
The DLC sees The Prisoner team up with Castlevania legends Richter Belmont and Alucard to infiltrate Dracula’s castle and defeat him! Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself here.
What exactly is Dead Cells?
If you haven’t played Dead Cells yet, let me give you a quick rundown. It’s a Metroidvania that uses procedurally generated areas to make every playthrough seem different. Why is this? Well, the story involves The Prisoner! An amorphous creature that looks like just a head, it’s capable of possessing dead bodies. While the skull of the Prisoner is immortal, the bodies it assimilates are not, and dying will force the Prisoner to return to the prisoner’ Quarters to find another corpse.
Gameplay has you exploring a mysterious island with combat that can change based on weapons and upgrades you acquire for your build. Enemies are difficult at first and will cause you to die. A lot. The fun of Dead Cells is finding your preferred layout and adapting to enemy patterns to fight, and die, your way off the island. Sounds like a perfect game to mix with Castlevania, huh?
Dead Cells mixing with Castlevania? A match made in heaven!
Dead Cells: Return To Castlevania almost seems too good to be true. Granted, it’s a brilliant idea to cross the two franchises over. I just didn’t expect Konami to be smart enough to let Motion Twin do it. Maybe they are learning?
The DLC allows you to explore the castle and utilize classic weapons such as the Vampire Killer, the holy cross, holy water, and many more. You’ll also team up with two of the series’ most iconic heroes, Richter Belmont and Alucard. Developer Motion Twin has also confirmed remixed music, unlockable costumes, and many other secrets and surprises for fans of Castlevania to be found.
Enemies will vary heavily from across the Castlevania franchise as you explore Dracula’s domain. Two bosses are in the DLC from Castlevania. The master of evil himself, Dracula, and his trusty companion in the franchise, Death. If they are anything like they are in the original game or bosses in Dead Cells, you’ll need your whole arsenal to defeat them.
One more thing…
There’s also a special surprise for Castlevania fans. According to the developers, if you find a secret level, you’ll unlock Richter as a playable character with a move set based on his loadout from Symphony Of The Night. But with a Dead Cells spin, of course! Based on the footage, you’ll have to find Richter’s abilities by exploring the castle and surviving. But would it really be a Metroidvania game without doing that? My excitement lies more in finding out how Richter will play with Dead Cells’ rules and mechanics!
Dead Cells: Return To Castlevania is here!
Dead Cells: Return To Castlevania launches on all systems today. It retails for $9.99, and you can pre-order it now for PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Are you excited to explore Dracula’s Castle with The Prisoner? Let us know in the comments below!