Motion Twin stated during one of the reveal trailers for Dead Cells: Return of Castlevania DLC that the Castlevania series is the number one inspiration for Dead Cells. Castlevania is such an inspiration to game developers worldwide that it launched a new type of game. Metroidvania games are inspired by a combination of Metroid and Castlevania games.
It is not very often that developers can work hand in hand with the game series that inspired them in the first place, but Motion Twin got the rare opportunity to bring Castlevania into Dead Cells. Motion Twin set out to honor the past and do Castlevania justice. Motion Twin did just that.
A Blast From The Past In The Present
Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania is an accurate title because the DLC truly does feel like a return to the Castlevania Series. Heading into the Castle Outskirts biome and you will be hit with one of the best renditions of "Vampire Killer" ever made.
As you progress through the DLC, you will meet characters that have appeared in the Castlevania Series throughout the years and face familiar enemies as well. Comparing the Castlevania enemies to the normal Dead Cells enemies, they do not feel out of place at all.
The bosses in the Castlevania DLC feel right at home as well but they definitely feel better to those who have experienced the Castlevania series. The Dracula fight had me thinking to myself "Oh wait, I've done this before" as he fights very similarly to what he did in the past.
The biomes felt both familiar and new to explore and you will not be doing it alone. Alucard is your main guide through the DLC and he definitely is not subtle about what you need to do next. He will basically straight up tell you what your next mission is. One of the main things that Alucard will not spoil though is where to find an experience Ricther Mode.
Richter mode definitely slows down the pace in the DLC. Playing as Ricther still feels good overall and it definitely feels like you are using a brand-new character rather than just a reskin of the main Dead Cells character. Richter Mode is a bit short but it definitely gives Castlevania fans that wave of nostalgia that they are looking for. Putting nostalgia aside, Ricther mode is a fun and unique challenge that Dead Cells players can enjoy.
The Verdict: 4.5/5
Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania DLC hits all the right notes and is a welcomed addition to Dead Cells. The music, the gameplay, Richter mode, and the bosses will fill Castlevania fans with nostalgia and give Dead Cells fans a good amount of content for the price point.
Although the DLC can be a bit hand-holdy for those who are more familiar with how Dead Cells usually handles its puzzles, the DLC is an overall great experience. It is worth checking out Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania for both the nostalgia and to get even more out of Dead Cells which is a great game in its own right.