#2 // Dead Cells
This was a game that I had a lot of excitement for, but also didn’t actually expect to like – not as much as I ended up doing, anyway.
I love Metroidvanias – Symphony of the Night, Super Metroid, etc. I love games where progression is based on getting new abilities that open up new areas in older locations. I also really enjoy roguelikes.
The 2 genres honestly compliment each other really well – randomly generating levels with randomly generated weapons and enemy placements – but keeping a separate, permanent progression with skills that expand your explorative ability and beating bosses that allow you to open up new areas.
That’s Dead Cells in a nutshell. A lot of people try to compare it to Dark Souls – because, of course, they do – but it honestly has more in common with Metroid and Castlevania.
It’s a game about runs – and it’s almost like speedrun candy. The game plays extremely smooth – controls are tight and responsive, mistakes are your own and never the fault of the game. Get a good synergy with your weapon pickups and watch as you decimate almost every enemy in your path. Don’t like what your weapons offer? Reroll their stats after clearing a zone by spending a little gold. Everything in the game is challenging but fair – the deck is never stacked against you unless you choose for it to be. If you get overwhelmed by an encounter, chances are good it’s only because you weren’t prepared to handle it.
It’s the kind of game that rewards confidence and the bravery to explore, but still punishes arrogance and recklessness. It rewards you for playing quick, but doesn’t coddle you when you screw up because you tried to go too fast.
It likes when you fly dangerously close to the sun – but won’t hesitate to send you plummeting to your doom after melting the wax in your wings.