Analysis of Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea, new boosts and additional challenges for an essential RogueVania
In improvised situations, I attack ruthlessly. Sometimes precise and sometimes desperate. I move forward and the screen fills with pixelated enemies. I do very tight locks and rolls considering the maze I’m going through is brand new. Not only in terms of design, but also in terms of the environment. Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea puts my skills to the test again, but far from being intimidated, I’m having a lot of fun with my new weapons. Especially with the throwing shark.
Increasing the unlimited replayability of Dead Cells even further is a challenge that Evil Empire has taken very seriously. Its three expansions have kept the adventure flame burning and managed to keep the player’s curiosity and recklessness with the same vigor with which the game debuted in the summer of 2018. On this basis, The Queen and the Sea DLC is the final touch of a stage, but also a new boost for an essential RogueVania that still has hundreds (or thousands) of hours to offer.
Because there will be new content for Dead Cells in the future, as they have made clear in Motion Twin, but the way to thwart this first stage knows how to leave a great taste in the mouth. Offers a new final stage that is different but satisfying when overcome, while adding a series of successful novelties to one of the most influential and exquisite indies in terms of gameplay of the last decade. Which is said soon.
Make whoever is in command cheat themselves for the umpteenth time in a row and start a new game when eliminated. Trust that this will be the last. A failed purpose from the start: Every game and every milestone adds up and contributes, even if you have to start from scratch. And even if you manage to defeat the Queen, the game’s new and horribly bloody final boss, you end up giving in to the ritual of the inevitable: before you let go of command, it’s time to check out what’s new and unlocked , what to melt You’ve won and, already wagered, take another penultimate game. Always the penultimate.
The Queen and the Sea, another ending for a new beginning
If this is your first playthrough of Dead Cells, you must earn it in order to access the new features and challenges in The Queen and the Sea. But once you’ve had the good times of this RogueVania sensation, your next foray into the island will be as intriguing as your first playthrough. Because on paper the number of new features may not seem like much, but – as we have already mentioned – in practice it expands the gameplay of the Evil Empire game in a very interesting way.
In The Queen and the Sea, the premise and gameplay are basically the same, but the ending is different. Combining the mechanics and replayability of the Roguelites with the aesthetics and platforming action of the Metroidvanias, the final DLC of the Road to the Sea bundle attempts to form the conclusion of a stage, with the best surprises reserved for those who reach the final can play bars of the game. And along the way, we’re rewarding both the bravest and those who stick to the streets with new unlockables.
The fast and intense pixelated battles of the prisoner – our hero – take him to three new game environments in the last leg of the adventure, so that the High Peak Castle, the Abandoned Distillery and the Throne Room biomes are replaced by Infested Wreckage , El Faro and La respectively Corona. And as you do so, new challenges and enemies enter the scene.
Original environments with a more torn and sinister look, whose structure will obviously test our skills and reward our achievements: Evil Empire has introduced new themed weapons, particularly original, with all sorts of maritime motifs. A brilliant resource with which Dead Cells manages to maintain the common denominator of its odd mix of genres: the more you play, the more you like the game itself.
Lead without going into detail in a final confrontation that, once resolved, will open the door to a new stage inside Dead Cells. However, and to be fair, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see where it takes us. Of course, while that promised future is taking shape, we can always start a new game. Or two.
New dangers, brutal enemies and a curious ally
On a content level, The Queen and the Sea’s new biomes, unlockables, and weapons will keep us well entertained. Finally, the premise of offering levels generated game by game of the roguelite makes the replayability of Dead Cells and its DLCs practically shoot to infinity, even if we already have all the aspects, powers, collectibles and weapons and just want to have fun with them have to use them.
However, this new batch of content, included in the final DLC of the Road to the Sea pack, gains additional personality with the introduction of new characters. Most of them want to take out the prisoner for a change, but one of them will pay off his health debt throughout the game and become a powerful ally as we advance.
- From the start, The Queen and the Sea introduces what we can call four bosses in the final two new stages of the adventure. Three of them, the Servants, will pose the player’s ultimate test of survival, technique and offense in a desperate climb through the Lighthouse area. Finally it’s time to face the queen, who at the end of the game is one of those bosses that will force us to measure each attack and study each jump.
- On their journey to the Infested Wreck, the captives now have a chance to unleash a tiny, one-eyed monster with small tentacles that looks like something out of Lovecraft’s tales. This type of pet will occupy one of our character’s skill slots and will gradually grow into a huge beast that will fight at our side.
Finally, the help of this strange ally gives the game a new rhythm through fights that are not so tactical but more dynamic. It will offer us a new way of adapting to dangers, although we can still play alone while trying out the new weapons that are coming our way. At the end of the day, we must be fully prepared for the final challenge of the game itself.
Rounding out a set of content that will definitely serve as both a brooch and an alternate ending for Dead Cells. And despite that, and the satisfaction of having reached the end of a stage for the game itself since its release, it will be practically inevitable that after the credits reappear for the umpteenth time, we’ll return thirsty to the starting point for new challenges.
The Queen and the Sea is a very interesting addition of content created and designed for those who have made the most of Dead Cells. A new impetus that is more than welcome: despite the fact that the game has unlimited replayability, in truth it is inevitable that the sense of discovery will be diluted gradually to the nuances of the collector or the challenge of overcoming each stage , to make room the least possible time. In this aspect, the new DLC easily satisfies the recovery of this illusion and the initial sensations, while knowing how to introduce pleasant surprises and new emotions.
Too bad the amount of content contributed in this brooch isn’t as resounding as that of Rise of the Giant, the first free expansion, in terms of the number of new biomes. And definitely its content isn’t exactly intended for the new player or those who haven’t reached the end of the adventure yet. In that respect, the audience is very specific to this last act.
In many ways, it’s a reward for those who have been able to get the most out of Dead Cells. Now in any case, although its starting price (4.99 euros on any platform) also makes it very difficult to put in the car. A price that is more than amortizable given the number of hours of play that Motion Twin’s RogueVania can provide.
As the culmination of a stage, The Queen and the Sea could have offered more content. However, this DLC undoubtedly succeeds in something essential and not so simple: it’s the perfect excuse for you to come back to this impeccable RogueVania if you’ve ever stopped playing.
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Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea
Platforms PC, Xbox (tested versions), Nintendo Switch and PS4 Multiplayer Non-Developer Motion Twin, Evil Empire Company Motion Twin Released January 6, 2022
- New weapons are designed to wreak havoc and fuel players’ destructive appetites
- Alternate routes with new enemies and four bosses that add to the madness on screen
- The perfect excuse to pick up that pristine RogueVania (if you ever stopped playing)
- At the end of a stage, the amount of DLC content could have been larger
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