by Jed Pressgrove
I’ve seen more than one person say that Dead Cells is for people who dislike that type of game in which players must replay stages every time they die. But in pandering to such a close-minded audience, Dead Cells shows little conviction. When you die in this game, you do have to replay certain levels, but others may be skipped once you gain fundamental abilities. This arbitrary contradiction in design leaves me not wanting to play any of the game; Dead Cells’ lukewarm approach to levels reminds me of that silly moderate who condemns the atrocities of Hitler but always points out that the thin-mustached villain did some good things. It doesn’t help that its action is shallow and predictable compared to that of Guacamelee! 2, Spider-Man, and God of War; that its humor is as forced as Axiom Verge’s; and that its random item drops and occasional souped-up enemies suggest that developer Motion Twin has a superficial understanding of what made the first two Diablo games memorable.