Motion Twin and Evil Empire's fantastic roguelike Dead Cells has received another new update as of yesterday, and it's a pretty important one too.
The studios have partnered with AbleGamers and members of the Dead Cells community to help bring in tons of new accessibility features to the game. A spokesperson for Evil Empire said that "The intent of this update is to allow players who struggle to, or cannot play, Dead Cells to be able to experience the game as we intended. We had feedback during beta testing that some people who don’t ‘need’ Assist Mode will use it regardless and the result is that they won’t play Dead Cells as a challenging roguelike."
Some of the new options include an Assist Mode, where you can choose how many lives you have (1, 3, 7, or infinite), turn on auto-hit, select an option to reveal the entire map, and adjust the damage you receive. Other new additions to the game such as the ability to change the font, new difficulty modes, make status icons easier to see, turn off blood, new inputs for certain moves, and customisation for various sound effects.
These are all wonderful additions to the game and will make it more accessible to those who have wanted to try out Dead Cells but have been intimidated or struggle with the roguelike genre.
Here are all the changes included in Dead Cells' 'Breaking Barriers' update:
Added a new Assist Mode to the options menu:
-Continue mode – each time you die you can resurrect from the beginning of the biome. (this effectively already existed by quitting the game when you die, now it's just 'official')
- Auto-hit mode – automatically target nearby enemies with your primary melee weapon.
- Adjustable trap damage, enemy damage and enemy health in % increments.
- Option for slower parry window and trap speed
New Gameplay Options:
- Hold to jump.
- Hold to roll.
- Shield toggle option, instead of long press.
New Input Options:
- Customisable Long Interact input.
- Customisable Dive Attack input.
- Customisable functions for the Left Stick, Right Stick and D-Pad.
New Video Options:
- Customisable HUD transparency and size.
- New font option: Arial.
- Customisable Brutality / Tactic / Survival colors.
- Display stats icons in addition to their color.
- Display critical strike feedback on the HUD.
- Display effect icons in item descriptions. If two effects synergize with each other, the icons glow.
- Outlines for the Beheaded, Enemies, Skills, Projectiles and Secrets.
- Disable blood.
- Reduce the number of particles.
New Sound Options:
- Customize categories of sound effects individually (active, enemies, environment, etc.)
- Added a customizable sound priority system, to limit the number of sounds at once.
- Barnacle: new crit condition on bleeding or poisoned targets to make it less awkward (and bad).
- Tentacle: lots of bug fixes. It should be way more reliable now.
- Crowbar: new crit condition on stunned enemies to make it less awkward too.
- Magnetic Grenade: full rework, it doesn't send enemies flying around (often in your head) but instead pulls them towards the explosion.
- Biters pets: now way more resistant to attacks and effects that don't specifically target them.
- Corrupted Power: now in % instead of a flat bonus. No other difference functionally speaking.
- Wings of the Crow: lots of bug fixes.
- Decoy: can be manually detonated after a few moments (it's not a grenade, but you don't have to awkwardly wait for it to explode if you don't want to)
- The cost of most of the beginner items has been drastically cut, to make the early game less tedious for new players and to make new items a viable unlock option while trying to get your flask, gold and other useful upgrades.
- Reverted the changes on Crowbar. Update 29.1
- Barnacle no longer crits on bleeding enemies. Update 29.1
- Machete & pistol: The third hit now ignores side shields. Update 29.1
- HOTK should now have an easier time hitting the player when they're airborne. Update 29.2
Graphics & UI
- Added an option to change the text size of Item Names, Item Item Descriptions and Dialogues. (Update 29.1)
- Added an option to increase the size of the Attack Announces. (Update 29.1)
- Added a new font to choose from: "Adys". (Update 29.1)
- Added an an option to add a colored filter between the background and foreground. The color and opacity of the filter can be freely customized. (Update 29.1)
- Reorganized the entirety of the Options menu and added a new "Accessibility" section. (Update 29.1)
- Texts in the Stat Selection Menu no longer use "Red", "Purple" and "Green", but "Brutality", "Tactic" and "Survival". (Update 29.1)
- The Crown and The Lighthouse now have different doors that lead to their biomes. (Update 29.2)
Quality of life
- Reworked all the player animations to correctly display the head behind the body, when needed.
- Added a new Update Pop-up that displays all the information about our latest update, when you launch the game for the first time. (Update 29.2)
- Thunder Shield is no longer considered to be a ranged weapon. (Update 29.1)
- Fixed Face Flask's "Volley of Arrows" affix not dealing any damage. (Update 29.1)
- Fixed a bug where scrolling in the options felt "bumpy". (Update 29.1)
Fixed Golden Bat Kamikaze appearing in the ground in the Training Room. (Update 29.1)
Fixed some softlocks with Pollo Power. (Update 29.2)
- Fixed some overlap visual bugs on the World Map. (Update 29.2)
There's still more to come from Dead Cells this year, as the developers have both promised more updates, including more biomes, in future free updates. We'll never stop playing at this rate!
Accessibility in gaming has been improving steadily over the years, and with organisations like AbleGamers raising awareness and helping to bring updates like this to all sorts of video games from all genres, things can only keep getting better.
Are you still playing Dead Cells? Or does this update make you more tempted to dive in for the first time? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!