Dead Cells was a tough game to begin with, and apparently the "RogueVania action-platformer" is getting even more brutaler. The Brutal Update adds new levels, abilities, weapons and enemies as well as a re-working of the upgrade system. It's designed to make your choices harder, you see, putting more demand on both your fingers and your decision making skills. The early access update is live for anyone who buys the newly-launched GOG version, though owners of the Steam version will have to wait until Tuesday.
There's a trailer below that shows it all off.
I'm excited about wall jumping in particular. There was a point with Dead Cells where it properly clicked for me, and I could start sprinting and sliding my way through the levels rather than slowly creeping forward. It now feels like it's been designed to play that way, especially since they added a speed boost for killing multiple enemies in quick succession. The wall jumping looks like it should feed into that, making traversing each level an even speedier, slicker experience. Doubly so once I find that flying magic carpet item.
As for that upgrade system, it used to be the case that you'd find scrolls that let you choose to upgrade either your health (green), weapon damage (red) or skill damage/cooldowns (purple). They found that players would simply choose the weapon damage one each time (though personally I'd always go for a mix), so they've given the system an overhaul. Those type of upgrade scrolls are now rarer, and determine the stats of items in a different way. Green now both increases your health and the effectiveness of shields, while red increases your health by a little bit but substantially increases the effectiveness of weapons.
You can find all the details of what's changed and what's been added in the patch notes. In the meantime, enjoy this gif.
Alex Wiltshire recently spoke to the Dead Cells team about how weapon builds became one of the game's defining features, which also goes into a little more detail about the reasoning behind the changes to the upgrade system.
The update is live now on the GOG version of the game, which just released with a 25% discount - it can be yours for £10.49. It's not out until Tuesday for the Steam version.