Developer Motion Twin's awesome roguelike action platformer Dead Cells has received another major new content update - its last before leaving early access later this year.
Update 6, also known as The Hand of the King, released on Dead Cells' beta branch last week but has now been polished up and is ready to take the spotlight in the main build.
It introduces a whole new level in the form of The Castle ("We know, it's a very risky choice for an action-platformer", says Motion Twin), as well as the game's final boss - the titular Hand of the King. "He doesn't go down easily", warns the developer, "try to bear in mind that we do love you, in spite of what that boss might lead you to believe."
The new update also includes two new enemies, a new melee option - making it possible to punch enemies to death - and a new four-cell "nightmare" difficulty, for those true masochists out there. This rewards far more Cells, but removes all flask refills.
Additionally, the dodge mechanic has been adjusted so that it won't halt certain combos, making for a pleasing increase in combat fluidity.
Last but not least, the Fog Fjord, Graveyard, Sepulchre, and Ossuary stages have been revised, making them notably shorter. This, says Motion Twin, is designed to help tighten up a single run-through of the game, making for a punchier, less flaccid experience. You can see some of these new changes, and hear the reasoning behind them, in the latest developer video below - and read the full patch notes here.
The Hand of the King will be Dead Cells' last major content update before the game leaves Steam Early access "later this year". Motion Twin has said that it expects to release several mini-updates, containing "challenge room re-works, more tinkering with the Forge mechanic, UI and cosmetic changes, balancing, QA updates, bug fixes" prior to full release.
Version 1.0 (which is also coming to PS4, Xbox One, and Switch) will introduce Dead Cells' so-far-mysterious lore, and a free DLC expansion will follow soon after.
For those that haven't yet had the pleasure, Dead Cells is an absolutely fantastic game, and well worth picking up if you're in anyway intrigued by the thought of a Castlevania-meets-Dark-Souls roguelike with unbelievably satisfying, gleefully crunchy combat.
And if that does intrigue, you might like to know that the game is currently 33% off on Steam until March 9th, in celebration of The Hand of the King's release.