Dead Cells' latest in a long line of great updates is out now, and adds a boss rush mode that certainly lives up to the name. This presents the player with four stages to fight through which consist of:
- 3 bosses back-to-back
- 3 enhanced bosses back-to-back
- 5 bosses back-to-back
- 5 enhanced bosses back-to-back
There's a new area in the Prisoner's Quarters, which shouldn't be difficult to find as it features a door with a big red boss head next to it. Through this are four more doors for the four stages above. The bosses within each stage will each be progressively tougher than the last, and the 'enhanced' part means "extra limbs, healing powers, buddies to help them kill you: all the good stuff!"
Between each stage you'll receive one of Dead Cell's regular upgrades, though in this mode they come with amulets and additional build choices. There's a transition between each fight also where there are shops, items, weapon upgrade/rerolls, mutation rerolls and health refills.
A new mode comes of course with new goodies, which unlock depending on the difficulty of what you've achieved. One of these is a new weapon, the Glyph of Peril, which has a seven-hit combo that crits after the third hit, but the full combo only unfolds if you've been damaged. There's also a new taunt that makes enemies go mad for you, and makes them take 75% more melee damage.
Other additions include a new mutation, eight new skins, and oddly enough a statue of yourself (!) that can be upgraded as your progress through boss rush stages. There are also all the usual balance tweaks, which can be read here: I did enjoy the tweak to the Money Shooter weapon. "Pay to Win: refund the shot's cost if it kills a target + innate super pierce. Can trigger multiple times if a shot kills several enemies."
Dead Cells is a model of how to support a successful indie game, and the pace of updates hasn't slowed yet. In fact, developer Motion Twin says 2023 is going to be "by far our biggest year" so, y'know, best get boss rushing.
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Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."