Dead Cells and Dark Souls – A Comparison

Dead Cells is a 2D action platformer that lets you smash through levels while Dark Souls is an immersive 3D fantasy action RPG that invites you to explore the open world and defeat ‘impossible to defeat’ monsters. So, what do these two have in common?

Dark Souls and Dead Cells are both excellent games that have garnered critical praise and love from players all around the world. And while both the games’ overall setting and gameplay may be different, how you succeed and the rewards you gain are similar enough to warrant comparison. These are very different games. Dead Cells is more inspired by Castlevania, while Dark Souls is more often cited as the spiritual successor to the earlier released Demon Souls. Yet, you can still raise a discussion around what makes these games similar.

Dead Cells

Video Source: Youtube

In Dead Cells, you play as a blob of cells that has to fight their way across different levels. The setting of the game places you on the head of a recently killed convict, and you must fight your way through a series of different levels. Each time you die, you restart the game. There is no save point or place where you can regenerate; you just have to start over.

But what makes this game unique and challenging is that every time you die, you gain something from that death. These could include all the equipment you gained during your run, more gold, and various other rewards that make you next run easier. In this way, every time you die, you come one step closer to a successful play-through. You have in your arsenal an ever-growing array of weapons, and the game lets you choose from a plethora of weapons and skills so that you can build your character in any way you like. The game also invites you to explore newer levels with the temptation of more challenging bosses, useful gear, as well as Blueprints that you can use to improve your character.

Now, let's compare this to Dark Souls.

Dark Souls

Video Source: Youtube

Dark Souls is based in a fantasy setting where Gods have defeated dragons, and the balance of the world has been disturbed. The world of Dark Souls is dystopic; it is overrun by monsters, and there is danger lurking everywhere. In this environment, you have to fight with the gear you gather, forge or scavenge, and you have to defeat monsters to make your way in this classic dungeon crawler.

But how do they compare?

Dark Souls released their remastered version for the new generation in May 2018, and Dead Cells was dropped in August of 2018. This is where the comparison begins. Aside from being released in the same year and Dead Cells having a similar risk and reward system like in Dark Souls, there isn't really a great room for comparison when it comes to gameplay and mechanics.

Some online discussions and videos already showcase how the two compare, but the main area where you can bring about the comparison is in how the game treats the player. Neither game makes winning easy, and both games reward you for actually losing within the game. The games expect you to lose; the bosses are designed to be difficult to beat.

Both Dead Cells and Dark Souls can be punishing when you make a mistake, but at the same time, they can be insanely rewarding when you perfect your move. Both these games make you rely on your skills as you die and progress through the game. The only way to beat either of these games is to learn from your mistakes and make your next run easier. Dark Souls may let you generate at the last bonfire near where you died, but you lose all those ‘difficult to obtain’ Souls when you die.

These two games also teach you about humility as well. Because of their challenging gameplay, losing isn't something you look down upon but something you come to expect in these games. And when losing is rewarded with in-game benefits, primarily in the form of a better chance the next time, you also want to come back and play.

Both Dead Cells and Dark Souls also have another feature in common – the more you explore in these games, the stronger character you can build through all the items and advantages you get from defeating new monsters and visiting new locations.

While at their heart both Dead Cells and Dark Souls is very similar, as video games, these are brothers in arms that want you to both enjoy, as well as root for each of these classic video games.


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