Dead Cells’ excellent new Breaking Barriers update makes the game accessible to more players

Motion Twins
Motion Twins /

Players of Dead Cells are no strangers to excellent free updates. As a long-time Dead Cells player, I’ll hop on to play only to find out that there are entirely new stages, weapons, costumes, and the likes that have been added to my game for the low cost of free.

But their most recent update, titled Breaking Barriers, is perhaps one of the coolest. While it doesn’t add new stages, costumes, weapons and such, it does add something that is more important — accessibility.

I love Dead Cells, but Dead Cells is a hard game. Sure, one can say “get gud,” but as a gamer in my 40s with several issues, my reaction time has DIPPED. I went from being in fighting game tournaments in my 20s to becoming a casual gamer. I’ve never seen several of the endings, bosses, etc. But Breaking Barriers changed that.

The Breaking Barriers update adds one of the biggest accessibility menus I’ve ever seen in my life, allowing gamers of all types to suddenly pick up and play this game.

There are visual options that allow you to change the size of the UI. Alter the game’s in-game colors as you see fit if you’re colorblind. Give the characters and enemies outlines to make them stand out more against the backgrounds. You can see the outlines in action below. There are all sorts of visual changes you can make. You can even do things like turning off the blood.

Breaking-Barriers-Outlines /

There is also a slew of mechanics tweaks you can make for varying levels of accessibility needs. For people like me who’s had severe dips in their reaction times, I can adjust things like how much damage I take from enemies and traps. I can change how much more damage I dish out, and how fast the moving traps move. Last night was the first time I was able to complete the Lighthouse stage AND get to the Queen boss. It was amazing.

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Other mechanics tweaks are designed with one-handed gamers or people with mobility issues in mind. You can turn on an option to auto break doors you’re near or have your character auto hit using the primary weapon. Extend the parry window so you can finally make use of those shields. For funsies, I tried doing a run with only shields and was happy to find out that it was fairly doable (though, a bit of a slog).

In addition to the massive amount of accessibility issues allowing you to change the game up, it also comes with both a rework of eight weapons that had some significant flaws and also a promise from Evil Empire that no achievements have been taken away from the game because of this. As a spokesperson for the company stated, “We’ve put multiple messages regarding this in-game, but in the end, it’s up to the player how they want to enjoy the game. However, we will not disable achievements for players who use these options. We are not going to make it possible for people to play the game and then take achievements away from them.”

I love it.

Anyways, if you’re a Dead Cells player, this excellent update is available now and more than likely already automatically installed. Enjoy and say hi to those new endings for me.