Dead Cells Nintendo Switch First Impressions: A Standout Gem In a Overpopulated Genre

Game: Dead Cells

Publisher: Motion Twin

Developer: Motion Twin

Reviewed: Nintendo Switch

There’s simply not enough to say about Dead Cells is there? A phenomenal game from indie developer Motion Twin that managed to grasp the mainstream media’s attention with their latest title. It encapsulates everything great about the Metroidvania, rogue-like genre. Addictive gameplay, unique art style, depth to its gameplay mechanics; the list goes on and on.

There isn’t much, if anything, negative to say about this game. You could find some nitpicks, but at its core, this is a game for the ages; a title that will be talked about a while; a game that others will try to mimic.

dead cells

The game originally launched earlier this year on PC via early access, where I had the chance to get a look at the game early. From the first run I had with the game, I knew that Dead Cells was going to be both amazing and addictive. I also noted in my first impressions piece that this game would be perfect for the Switch, absolutely perfect. And a couple of months later, the game has arrived. Not being too surprised, the game was absolutely perfect on the hybrid console. The ease of having this game on the go, in handheld mode is a pure joy.

Motion Twin managed to create a robust set of weapons for the player to experiment with. Each weapon, bow, shield, and thowable item has their own unique set of damage/ quirk. The one flaw, if you want to call it a flaw, is that each run, you don’t get to pick a specific loadout. Weapons are scattered throughout the world at random. You won’t always get what you want to use, so the game basically forces you to try different weapons and combos.

For the most part, this is a great way to intergrate weapon diversity. If I picked my loadout I would always go with an Ice Bow and some sort of Sword, but now I like other weapons I would never usually like the electirc whip. This forced mechanic works really well, it makes the player use combos they never would. Sometimes they work, others times they don’t. It could be frustrating when you’re deep into a run and you have some bad weapons, but sometimes that’s just how the dice rolls.

Bosses are also another highlight in Dead Cells. There’s not many bosses to fight, but the ones you do have to beat are diffuclt enough to keep you busy for a while. Once you get to the first boss, you will have to learn his pattern and try to beat him without dying. It’s no easy feat as these are some of the hardest bosses in a rogue-like game, plus it doenst help that the pressure is building, beacuse if you die, you’re starting all over. It’s a thrill, and each boss is fun, but horrifying at the same time.

Similiar to Dark Souls, after player kill certain enemies, players will receive a cell. The more you collect the more you get to use for a upgrade, new weapon, or helpful hack that will make your progression through the game smoother.

They all vary, and with the limited amount of cells players collect, you will have to be very selective of what you want to spend them on. Do you want a new bow that shoots three arrows at a time? Do you want a permanent health flash upgrade? Or do you want that snazzy new grenade that freezes everyone in the proximity? Choices like these will directly affect your gameplay style, so players will have to think.

Dead Cells is a magnificent title at all aspects. I knew the minute I played the PC version earlier this year, that this game would be big if it were to come to other consoles; specifically the Switch. The rogue-like aspect of this game is perfect for a console on the go, it allows players to get in short runs on the go, or take a long one they were playing at home on the go while the momentum is still fresh. I think Dead Cells for the Switch is the perfect place for the game to be played.

It is going to be a while before a game in the same genre to overthrow Dead Cells. The combat, unique enemies, in-depth weapon combos, all of it mash’s so well together that its hard to not gush over it. I think even if you don’t want to pick up the game right now, you should keep it on your radar for the future; you most defenitely need this game in your library / backlog — it’s that good!

Did you pick up Dead Cells yet? If you did, how are you liking it so far? Let us know in the comments below!

Full Disclosure: A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for purposes of this review.