Dead Cells is the kind of game that can get its claws into you. I ended up thinking about Dead Cells runs while I was doing the washing up, while I was on the tube and while I was trying to get to sleep. Now, with the release of the games first paid DLC, The Bad Seed, it’s time to start thinking about Dead Cells again.
As a quick recap, Dead Cells is a roguelike Metroidvania game developed by Motion Twin. Levels are procedurally generated keeping the game feel fresh each time with random platforms, obstacles, enemies and items. Combat in the game feels so good too with a fluid and fast feel to the action. A key part of the game is how good the game feels. The game looks and feels fantastic. The pixel art is beautiful and fluid. Since it’s initial release it’s won many awards including “Best Indie Game” at 2018 Golden Joystick Awards, “Best Action Game” at The Game Awards 2018 and was nominated for “Best Independent Game”.
Dead Cells: The Bad Seed introduces two new levels and a new boss. The new levels offer variation and the boss battle is a lot of fun. It’s fairly simple to access too, you just need 2 items – The Vine Rune and the Teleportation Rune. These can be accessed in the first few levels in the game, so if you don’t have these then you’ll be able to pick them up with a little exploring and satisfying boss battling.
To get to the first new area, The Dilapidated Arboretum, find the vines in the Prisoners’ Quarters head up there and then the coffin and teleport. Make your way through the enemies and you’ll search the pockets of a new arrival in the Prison, The Gardener. Once you’re through a few jumping puzzles working with some venus fly trap types then it’s onto The Dilapidated Arboretum. The theme for the DLC is gardens, vines, fungi and man-eating plants. There are new powers in the game too allowing you to create kamikaze mushroom buddies who’ll lunge into attacks without a second thought.
Once you’re through the first zone then it’s onto The Morass of Banished. Here you’ll find devilishly difficult dart wielding enemies, who’ll take you down from 20 paces. It does make you aware of your surroundings and you’ll be ducking and diving in all directions. The Morass of Banished is definitely harder than the previous Dilapidated Arboretum, so bear that in mind.
The Bad Seed also contains the first-ever two-handed weapon, a huge scythe that allows you to slice through enemies like a hot knife through butter. You can also play the enemy at their own game in The Morass of Banished by getting a dart gun. Mama Tick is the boss at the end of the DLC zones and you’ll need all the skills you’ve learnt along the way with a multi-eyed boss. Ol’ Mama Tick isn’t too hard, but she’ll put up a fight together with her mini-bosses.
Once you’ve finished off the DLC zones you can slip back into a run like normal and continue through the zones of Dead Cells. Where was Rise of Giant was focused on end-game content, this DLC opens up early in the game and provides a catalyst for players to either jump back in or try something new. Evil Empire has spawned off Motion Twin and has successfully continued the momentum of Dead Cells in this DLC providing a natural continuation of the game. Where Rise of Giant felt made for hardcore end-game players, The Bad Seed feels accessible and welcoming.
Dead Cells: The Bad Seed is the perfect opportunity to jump back into the world if you’ve put it down, or a great new entry point if you’re not too familiar with the game.
Developer: Motion Twin, Evil Empire
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4
Release date: 11th February 2020