Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania — Is it worth it?

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Dead Cells is already a mammoth of a rogue-lite that has a huge amount of content courtesy of regular updates and multiple DLC. Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania steps this up by offering a crossover with the dormant series that so strongly inspired it, bringing a few new biomes, a couple of new bosses, and a heaping helping of weapons and outfits that are sure to get Castlevania fans champing at the bit to unlock everything. However, this DLC is twice as much as previous ones, so the question stands: is Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania worth it, or does this addition not justify its cost?

Accessing the first of the new stuff in this DLC is a very simple affair. Players will immediately meet Alucard in the starting area and an entrance to the outskirts of Dracula’s castle will be added as a new starting biome. This biome features one of the most famous Castlevania tracks and immediately greets players with classic series enemies, such as skeletons and harpies. This leads to another new biome set within the castle before throwing players into a fight against Death himself. This fight is on the easier side, even considering other early Dead Cells bosses.

After beating Death, players will then be funneled back into Dead Cells proper and won’t be able to see the rest of the new content without starting a new run, where players will be able to re-enter a harder version of Dracula’s castle after defeating the Timekeeper. The biome might look similar to the early one, but it features different lore rooms as well as a tough mini-boss and Dracula himself pops up to shoot fireballs at you or briefly turn the castle upside down. Dracula is also a new final boss afterward.

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Screenshot by PC Invasion

The tragic prince

The fight against Drac is seriously tough, as he has two phases with a lot of health and, of course, dying means having to start a whole new run. I honestly can’t think of a Castlevania final boss that’s as difficult as he is here. This new content is all in line with everything else in Dead Cells. Since the game already had so much Castlevania in its DNA, it doesn’t really feel all that different from what’s familiar.

As a pure content update, Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania isn’t quite the gamechanger I was hoping for, even if I do enjoy many of its facets. However, what I like the best is what you can unlock. Series subweapons such as the axe and cross can be unlocked, including the ability to summon Maria’s cat. Seeing the characters themselves is really something, though, as you can interact with Alucard, Maria, and Richter. Each of them, including Dracula and Simon, get new outfits to unlock too. What makes these special is that, they’re not just palette swaps for the default character, but full skins.

Effectively, this means you can play as your favorite Castlevania characters, which is enough to make me feel like Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania is worth it in the end for big fans. Then there’s the fact that you can play a version of the castle biome as Richter himself, who even has a completely new moveset including a dash, backflip, and classic-styled whip. But if you’re not a Castlevania fan, you’ll probably want to wait for a sale. For me, though, I’m eager to do more runs with these outfits and new weapons. I’ve always wanted to play Dead Cells as Alucard, so it’s a bit of a dream come true. But enough talk! Have at you!

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Screenshot by PC Invasion

Andrew Farrell
About The Author
Andrew Farrell has an extreme hearing sensitivity called hyperacusis that keeps him away from all loud noises.  Please do not throw rocks at his window.  That is rude.  He loves action and rpg games, whether they be AAA or indie.  He does not like sports games unless the sport is BASEketball. He will not respond to Journey psych-outs.