Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania DLC Review: Gothic Roguelike Nostalgia

dead cellsDevelopment studio Motion Twin has never been shy about leaning into Roguelite’s Castlevania-inspired roots. From 2D side-scrolling medieval levels to Metroidvania-esque exploration systems with a focus on discovering new exploration abilities, it’s obvious. dead cells owes a lot to games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. So it’s surprising that the team convinced Konami to fully integrate the Castlevania license into the world. dead cells.

This is a big step for Motion Twin, which has so far only been associated with other Indian islands. Clothing collaboration. Blending into a big, established franchise like Castlevania is another step entirely. And luckily, the studio is swimming in it.

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania It’s the fourth paid DLC for the game, and at $10, it’s the most expensive. But for those who love Castlevania, a cornucopia of glorious fanservice lurks within.

like dead cellsPast DLC packs, Return to Castlevania Adds a new path through the game, taking you to the outskirts of Dracula’s castle, over its well-worn bridge, and into the depths of despair within. In practice, it’s basically two new “biomes” inspired by the outer walls and inner sanctum of the castle made famous by dozens of Castlevania publications. As with other biomes dead cells, there’s some random level generation with these new areas, so it’s a little different every time you go. Within these zones, you’ll find many familiar sights such as skeletons throwing skeletons, shield-throwing axe-wielding ghosts, and various other interventions into the franchise.

The newly added scenes are a perfect recreation of the Castlevania vibe dead cells Aesthetically, it opts for a crunchier pixel style over the original. Still, familiar signs, etc Symphony of the NightThe whimsical floating geometry that marks the save point is instantly recognisable. Helping sell the illusion is a new soundtrack dead cells Made up of classics from Castlevania’s history, you can play wherever you are in the game, And not just in new biomes.

Film: Motion Twin, Evil Empire

Some new boss fights, including Dracula, fill these areas with tension and laughs. For example, before Dracula’s fight, he might randomly appear and flip the entire castle upside down (in another hilarious nod to Symphony of the Night) such touches are perfectly consistent dead cellsThe tone, for a game where you play as a decapitated character, is always surprisingly goofy and never takes itself too seriously.

Image: Motion Twin, Evil Empire via Polygon

I am enjoying dead cells Since it first launched, I’ve been thrilled so far Return to Castlevania. It’s the most polished and well-executed of the game’s post-launch content. Castlevania fans have plenty to explore, too, with plenty of series references and plenty of unlockable costumes. dead cells Alucard, Richter and Death as main characters. We can only hope that this lays the groundwork for Motion Twin to join other long-dormant franchises for similar passion projects. The Bubble Bubble X dead cells Just begging to be mashup.

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania Released on March 6 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The game was reviewed on PC using a pre-release download code provided by Motion Twin. Vox Media has a subsidiary partnership. These do not affect editorial content, however Vox Media may receive commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find out More information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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