Bloodied but not broken.
I would defy any who would suggest that after being impaled by jagged spikes, suffocating in toxic miasma, drowning in poisonous water, and being brutalised by a spiky ball I should cease my attempts to escape from this infernal prison. If anything these failures inspire me to do better. To suffer another unrelenting onslaught, but to actually be victorious this time. Not that I’ve been victorious even once. But this next attempt is sure to be the one. Dead Cells is an enjoyable journey through perilous environments, merciless opposition, and daunting boss encounters.
Of which I’ve only seen a handful.
But knowing that there are more challenging encounters in areas that I’ve yet to visit is only encouraging me to survive long enough to reach them. Which is easier said than done. Given that the success of any given attempt is dictated by the equipment that you find and its modifiers.
Reaching the Clock Room for the first time felt like a monumental success, but it was quickly overshadowed by randomising the modifiers on my weapons. Which led to me taking double damage. Which also led to me being absolutely slaughtered by the boss. And that was frustrating to say the least, but I now know that I’m never going to (willingly) take that as a modifier on any weapon. I could’ve dropped that weapon, too. Thus removing the +100% Damage Taken modifier. But these are lessons learned in hindsight, and will be worth considering when it inevitably happens again. But, knowing me, and how I’m often consumed by hubris, I’m likely to think that I’ll be able to survive those hits. So I doubt that I’ve learned anything. Especially when I’ve got Health Flasks, and I’ll believe that I’ll have a window of opportunity to use them.
But that’s what makes progression in Dead Cells unusually complex. Unlike similar experiences, you won’t necessarily be upgrading your character and making them stronger. Instead you’ll be discovering new Runes, unlocking additional Blueprints, investing Cells into passive benefits, or even acquiring Boss Stem Cells to further the challenge. None of which guarantees success. But does afford more opportunities to explore the world, and makes revisiting earlier areas much more exciting than it would otherwise be as you’re likely to discover something new.
Like the Ossuary.
A hellish domain in which one must not linger for long lest they be consumed by the nightmarish mist. But I’m reasonably certain that I’ll need to revisit its treacherous halls, as there could be new areas branching from its depths. Or there could be an undiscovered Rune there. Or both.
Surviving its harsh environment is but the first challenge. But one that I can overcome should I assess each threat as it presents itself, and not rush through the area. Something that I’m constantly reminding myself of. Not that I’d ever attest to being skilled with these kinds of experiences, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. And that’s exactly what I was hoping for. Something that’s fun. That punishes me for making slight mistakes. And that makes me reconsider the kind of person that I’ve become when that excites me. But I’m sure that we’ve all been wondering that for a while. Dead Cells has been such a refreshing experience, and has provided a consistently unforgiving challenge through its inhospitable biomes. And I highly recommend it to those that would like to be frustrated by their decisions more often than not.
Have a nice weekend, all!