Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania is one hell of an expansion

These days, I don’t go into many video games with expectations. I’ve been burned enough times by launching disasters to know I have to approach each game with a little discretion. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve wiped the word “fan” out of almost my entire lexicon, refusing to get too excited about any upcoming game even if it’s part of a series I normally love. Sure, I love the original Resident Evil 4but you wouldn’t surprise me splurging on the remake when I had no idea what state it would release this month.

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania, on the other hand, is an exception to these rules. From the moment the crossover DLC was revealed, I can guess exactly what I was in for. One of the best modern roguelites combined with a feature known for its iconic style? Search the term “safe bet” and you’ll find Alucard’s split face staring at you, giving a confident thumbs up.

sure enough, Back to Castlevania Doesn’t disappoint. It’s not just a nostalgia ride for fans of the classic monster-slaying series; It’s another strong one dead cells Expanding on a long series of them, cementing roguelite’s legacy as one of the best indies of its era.

A miserable little pile of secrets (it’s not)

Castlevania DLC is introduced in dead cells Normally. I started a new game file on my PC and was able to access the new content within an hour. While exploring the roguelite’s opening area, I came across none other than Richter Belmont, who asked for my help in taking down Dracula. Instead of following the usual progression path on a standard roguelite, I’ll now have the option to jump into a new door that takes me to the outskirts of Dracula’s castle.

My first ride on this road was immediately enjoyable. I soon found myself on a mission to infiltrate the castle, go around it and find a way to bring the huge drawbridge down. What works well here is that both of these IPs find an easy way to meet in the middle. This is evident from the bats in their photos, which capture the overall feel of Castlevania dead cellsOutstanding pixel art style. Classic Castlevania music has also been remixed here to perfection, matching well with the rest of the music. dead cellsIt records while preserving the feel of the original tracks.

The Dead Cells hero throws a cross in the Return to Castlevania DLC.

While the aesthetic effects are obvious, I still played a lot with its fast action and heavy dungeon crawling. Castlevania elements come into this mod with surprising fluidity, from the enemies to the weapons. Enemies like bone-spewing skeletons and spear-wielding guards felt like they were inside dead cells All the while, as they test my ability to quickly read attack arcs and dodge around them.

The new weapons are the most impactful change here, though they do bring something exciting to the entire game. Just like the normal operation of dead cellsPlayers can discover blueprints for new items and weapons. The new DLC adds a bunch of Castlevania-themed items to that collection, and many of them make sense dead cellscombat system. Holy water, for example, is an excellent side weapon that allows me to scorch the earth in front of me. The familiar white cat, on the other hand, delivers a critical frontal strike, but also serves as a power-up familiar that attacks enemies on its own while scouting. I’ve only found a handful of new items in the DLC so far, but each item feels perfectly compatible with it dead cellsBasic combat.

While the DLC looks like a celebration of the Castlevania series, it’s actually a showcase of just how great it is dead cells He is. It’s hard to sneak into Dracula’s castle with Alucard’s shield on knee hollowt’s the nail, and sometimes it turns into a chicken out of guacamole to drop bombs. The fact that none of these abilities seem to conflict with each other is a triumph of game design. Return to Castlevania Cement dead cells As a lovingly constructed museum of video game weapons. Each IP holder has to chomp to enter it next.

Death Attacks the hero of Dead Cells in Return to Castlevania DLC.

Back to Castlevania It’s a pretty big DLC, though you’ll still want to calibrate your expectations. It brings four new biomes (five if you count an altered castle that appears in the additional Richter mode) and two of them are major battle hubs. There didn’t seem to be much randomization of the building level, as runs in the castle looked the same each time. The first two biomes are relatively easy to get to, so the real challenge comes from battling the tough bosses after them. I imagine this might leave players a little frustrated, but that’s honestly a lot of content to add to an already gigantic game – especially when you factor in new weapons that will expand the scope of the core roguelite gameplay and a host of unlockable special costumes.

I came to the DLC eager to see its Castlevania style, but left wanting to return to it dead cells. After a few hours of searching, I was already fully hooked and tempted to continue with the new save file outside of Dracula’s Castle. It may not be the perfect Castlevania game, but it’s a good reason to reconsider dead cells.

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania Now available as a DLC add-on.

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