Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea, the review of the new DLC from the Lovecraftian flavor

The review of Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea, a new DLC for the roguevania par excellence, not even too vaguely Lovecraftian tones

In the world of video games, when you invent a sub-genre and sell millions of copies you can follow two paths: stand out and immediately try to do something new or take advantage of the work already done and continue to build on new content, expanding your audience and continuing to monetize on the old one.

As we will see in the review of Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea the French development studio Motion Twin has chosen this second path for the new DLC.

The new contents

The new contents introduced by Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea are in line with those of the previous DLCs

The Queen and the Sea is an expansion in line with the previous Dead Cells, at least in terms of content: two new levels, some enemies not particularly original, a handful of new items and a boss unpublished. The main source of inspiration is Lovecraft, a rather problematic choice, as we shall see, although not compromising. In general, the additions to the mythology that serves as a backdrop to the gameplay do not give much to what is already known, although they are aimed at the past of the protagonist. The two levels are located in the final part of the game, alternative to the biomes Castle High Peak, Derelict Distillery and Throne Room, and are therefore very difficult.

The first, Haunted Wreck, is set inside a ship full of sea creatures and undead. It’s not particularly original in structure, running in multiple directions, though its existence makes sense of the throwing shark, one of the new weapons (perhaps the most original). The second level is more interesting. The Lighthouse, so called, is in fact developed completely vertically, in an even more extreme way than the Clock Tower level.

The challenge offered is very high, but what is remarkable is above all the originality of the structure, which focuses precisely on the gameplay high / low, making some weapons much more useful than others and bringing to the extreme certain situations already experienced in previous levels. The goal is of course to reach the top to turn on the light and thus escape from the island. Here, in the scenario The Crown, you will face the boss of the DLC, of which we do not say anything not to ruin the surprise. Levels and weapons aside, with the latter to be obtained as usual by killing enemies, The Queen and the Sea adds some new costumes, to the delight of lovers of aesthetics, and little else.

Creative fatigue

Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea: un artwork del DLC

Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea is overall a good DLC and, for what it costs, offers a fair amount of new content, as you can read. The problem, from our point of view, is another, which transpires from many of the choices made by Motion Twin. It simply seems that the development team is in a phase of strong creative fatigue. As a matter of fact, the latest Dead Cells updates, even the free ones, are a way to keep exploiting the commercial success of the title, but they’re not very organic to what the base game was.

They are color additions, let’s call them that, tacked on by force to the original mythology. Let’s take this very DLC. The source of inspiration is, as already mentioned, Lovecraft, but the link with the rest of the game is very tenuous. Clear that it was designed by taking the imagery of a figure much loved by the target audience of Dead Cells, adapting it to the need. Not that before in the game lacked citations of the author of Providence, but in this case the effort to build references is even more obvious, as if, not knowing what to propose, you have chosen to draw heavily from a source known and loved just to make up the number. If we want it’s a bit ‘what happened with the last expansions of The Binding of Isaac, full of new content but have made it more and more obvious the drift from the initial project. With this we do not mean that Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea is to be despised. On the contrary, it is likely that fans of the game are waiting for nothing else, so they can stretch the experience for a few more hours. Only that the final effect is that of the classic diluted broth: it is still good, but the difference begins to feel.

The new enemies don't have particularly original attack schemes

The conclusion is that Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea is definitely worth the little money it costs. The two new levels are well made, although not particularly original compared to the canons of the series, and the fight with the new boss is quite elaborate. Of course, as pointed out in the article we are faced with a DLC that shows some creative fatigue, but we are still on the tolerable. So, if you can not live without Dead Cells, we definitely recommend you try it.


  • Well done the two new levels
  • The clash with the new boss
  • Shows some creative fatigue
  • Have you noticed any errors?

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