Fantasy roguelike Dead Cells has brought out the big guns for its latest update, adding a promised boss rush mode. You can now go head to head in a sequence of four stages, pitting you against familiar bosses and their enhanced versions. Oh, and there’s a humongous fancy statue to decorate for some reason. Get your dander up by watching the trailer below.
To get to the boss rush area, you’ll need to head through the basement door in the prisoner’s quarters. It’s where the training room and tailor are. Head down the corridor until you reach the third door along – it’s got a boss head alongside it. There, you’ll spot four more doors. Each one leads to a boss rush stage.
You’ll be able to fight either three or five bosses back-to-back. There’s another two doors that lead to either three or five enhanced bosses, too. That means extra limbs to smack you with, healing abilities, or just some friends who’ll help them pile on you. The bosses are randomly selected from three tiers of difficulty. You’ll be up against a Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 boss if you fight three in a row, or two Tier 1s, two Tier 2s, and a Tier 3 if you feel like taking on five.
You won’t encounter a boss in rush mode unless you’ve seen them on a run through the game first, although you don’t need to kill them. Before you fight the bosses, you’ll have the option to focus on Brutality, Tactics or Survival, which builds out your stats and informs what build choices you’ll have available. There’s a choice of mutations prior to your rush starting, too. If you beat a boss then you’ll get a breather to do some shopping, replenish your health or reroll mutations and weapons, and pick up some fresh items.
Progressing through boss rush stages unlocks some rewards, which I won’t spoil here. One cool thing to note, though, is the customisable statue of your character that’s kicking around in the main boss rush area. Defeating bosses means you can add various gubbins to the statue to reflect just how awesome you are, I suppose. The devs are also chucking in some more legendary gear ‘affixes’ with this update, including one that generates baby chicks to attack enemies. Aww.
You can read the full patch notes for the boss rush update on the Dead Cells site here, but if you don’t fancy reading then you can always watch this vlog about it instead. Publisher Motion Twin and devs Evil Empire put out a roadmap for Dead Cells back in July, sharing their plans for the rest of this year. The boss rush update was pencilled in for autumn, following the comedic Enter The Panchaku update in August. There’s still a winter update planned, but that’s very hush-hush for now.
Ed revisited Dead Cells back in January, four years on from the game’s release. “Now I see why everyone lauded this game back in 2017, and why it's still popular,” he said. “As a lapsed player, all this new "stuff" has proven a reawakening of sorts. My eyes have been opened to how moreish this game remains four years on.”