Dead Cells is a great game, almost perfecting the rogue-like genre and capitalizing on the best parts of the Metroid-Vania gameplay loop. It wears its inspirations on its sleeve, with nods to those other games like Dark Souls, Half-Life, Castlevania, Tomb Raider, Zelda, and Ninja Gaiden. Progression makes the player feel extremely powerful, although is not necessary to beat the game, giving skilled and intelligent players the opportunity to do what they do best.
The base game was jam-packed full of content and one of the most replayable experiences in gaming. That however did not stop developer Motion Twin from releasing post-release DLCs to add some fun and expansive content into the game. In early 2020, they released the Bad Seed DLC, which added two playable areas, six new items, and a new boss, and in early 2021 they have released their newest DLC.
Much like the Bad Seed DLC, the Fatal Falls also brings in two new playable areas, a new boss, and several new weapons. Where the previous DLC’s playable areas centered around a new, uninteresting platforming gimmick, however, the new areas in the Fatal Falls are amazing displays of level design that highlight the best parts of the game’s movement. The Fractured Shrines is a maze in the sky, making the player switch and navigate between several different levels to find treasure, secrets, and of course, the exit. The Undying Shores is a steep, downhill, a trek that requires precision and patience from the player.
The music for both of these sections rocks, with the Fractured Shrines backing track specifically stellar. All of the sections are artistically great to look at, with completely new aesthetics and art styles to look at. Even the new enemy types are great, presenting new obstacles in your path to completion.
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Although, not everything is perfect in this DLC, and sadly that conversation starts around the new boss: The Scarecrow. Dead Cells as a whole struggles with boss fights, which is unfortunate because the exploration sections of the game are so great, and the DLC is no exception. The two new exploration stages are so great, reigniting my enjoyment for the game, and then the boss section drags my hype back down to Earth. The Scarecrow will bounce around their tiny arena and try and hit the player, however, for the most part, they are never aiming directly at the player, unlike most of the bosses in the game, making their attack quite easy to dodge.
The weapons from this DLC are also a little underwhelming. Sickles are not some speed melee weapon, but instead some rotating skill that does damage around the player.
Overall, should you buy this DLC? Absolutely!
It is only $4.99 for two large, fun exploration stages and tons of new ways to play the game. It offered me about ten hours of fun and helped me get plugged back into a fun game.