- Final Fantasy
- Kingdom Hearts
Dead Cells may not shift the genre's trajectory or implement roguelike mechanics in any new or inventive way, but it remains a consistently exciting and thrilling experience, even when you've seen that rapier for the fourth or fifth time. It's one of those games that's a joy to play, but even more importantly, a joy to watch because it teaches you the fundamental truth about roguelikes (and maybe life as a whole): let go. Once you learn to let go—or in Dead Cells's case, once you learn to let go of life—you'll find that it's about the experience of the moment, about that run right now. It's kind of like Bukowski's epitaph: If you don't try as hard, you'll enjoy Dead Cells much more. Because its in this nonchalance that the game's systems, however trite, slowly mend together in what can only be described as the perfect run. Before you forgot to dodge.
That's a question Earth Atlantis doesn't have an answer for. Perhaps the point, the game would like you to believe, is the “thrilling” boss battles. But if that's the case, these battles should've been more engaging and memorable—adrenaline-intoxicating, if you will. It seems Pixel Perfex wanted to create a boss rush game similar to Acid Nerve's Titan Souls or Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus but tossed the flood of mindless enemies in to keep you from sinking into the abyssal depths of boredom. Unfortunately, it's too late, as Earth Atlantis doesn't so much sink in the depths of the ocean as much as it drowns in the boring and tedious repetition it's so engulfed in.
In the end, State of Decay 2 doesn't flip the script on the themes we've come to associate with the zombie apocalypses of our popular entertainments. Worse, the game doesn't even bother to make it seem like its characters even want to be alive in the world.