Dead Cells Xbox One X Review

Dead Cells expects you to die, get better, and die again.

By Grayshadow, Posted 06 Aug 2018

Dead Cells is a punishingly hard roguelike adventure that encourages agility, exactness and learning from your mistakes. You'll die, a lot, but that's the point. To keep trying and attempting to push further into the adventure with each failure. This is definitely not an adventure for those who hate dying. Dead Cells expects you to die, get better, and die again.

The story is short and to the point. You're Prisoner, a humanoid-like supernatural being that possesses dead bodies. Your goal is to escape the island by any means and kill anyone who stands in your way. Hence begins your adventure of killing and rebirth

It sounds simple enough but the adventure is anything but. The venture starts off with you traveling through a Metroidvania labyrinth, killing enemies, gathering money, and securing power-ups. The difficult slowly begins to ramp up and upon your death Prisoner is hurled back to the beginner, takes over another body, and tries again.

Fortunately, you don't lose everything. You get to keep is the abilities you've unlocked through dead cells and permanent upgrades that open new paths. Dead cells are specific currency used in safe zones. When inside the safe zone the player must surrender all of their dead cells, obtain one mutator, and, if they choose, refill their health.

Dead Cells,NoobFeed,

The amount of options available through customization is ample. Players can choose to invest in specific weapons, health potions, or more. Items only become available when discovered, encouraging you to explore the environment for hidden chests and secret rooms. Mutators are single unlocks that disappear when killed and offer a wide range of bonuses such as extra damage, health, and more.

Despite death being a frequent Dead Cells strong combat mechanics makes each run feel incredibly entertaining. The combination of melee weapons, bows, and grenades provide large amounts of variety for the player. Each item has its own statistics and abilities, such as weapons that cause bleeding or fire damage over time. Combining them becomes paramount in the harder battles. However, since everything is randomly generated players will have to adapt to the items provided to them.

Every run is different. Weapons, items, the environment, and enemies are randomly generated to ensure players can't simply run through the stage. In one playthrough you can get lucky and obtain a vast assortment of powerful items and in another have to make due with the starting items. Scrolls provide temporary strength, tactical, and health for each run but when killed all of these upgrades are lost.

Dead Cells,NoobFeed,

Much of Dead Cells is about speed and timing, with a timer constantly counting down. Prisoner gets a speed boost for chaining together kills. In addition, rooms that house powerful items and currency are only available for a specific amount of time. This level of urgency promotes the use of the speedy abilities such as the ground pound and dodge outside of combat.

While the environments in Dead Cells are randomly generated they do keep to a specific theme. Each region has distinct types of enemies and environmental obstructions, such as the Toxic Sewers having puddles of poisonous water littered about. The first stage will always be the same as you progress you'll unlock travel specific upgrades that give you access to previously inaccessible areas to skip ahead.

Similar to combat exploration is all about speed, with teleporters available to dash back to specific points; which are helpful when you hit a dead end. There are also areas that are designed for those seeking a challenge with elite grade enemies and deadly barriers that yield profitable awards. It also helps that the levels look incredible.

Dead Cells,NoobFeed,

The exceptional soundtrack and animations are second to none. Characters and enemies move in such as fluid and seamless way. The soundtrack keeps you excited for the next battle, whether small or big the impact detection makes each swing feel like it makes contact with the enemy's body.

There's is a lot to love about Dead Cells there's just as much to be annoyed about it. The most notorious example is that you have no recovery animation, instead, enemies can hit you without issue multiple times. Getting hit by multiple enemies at once usually means immediate death since hits take an absurd large amount of health, even if you invest in your health.


Dead Cells,NoobFeed,

Another major issue is picking up money. This may seem trivial but in a game like Dead Cells, all pickups are important. Smaller forms of money are automatically picked up but larger amounts have to be manually picked up which can break the flow of combat and exploration.

Don't come into Dead Cells expecting anything but a difficult adventure. You will die but you'll also improve, learning where you need to develop on and progress further in the next run. There are issues that could lead to players breaking their controller or yelling uncontrollably, especially if you're a gamer who hates losing. Dead Cells demands your best, all the time, without exception and if you slip up death will follow.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Dead Cells


Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Mobile
Publisher(s): Motion Twin
Developer(s): Motion Twin
Genres: Action, Platformer
Themes: Metroidvania
Release Date: 2018-08-07

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