Our Score: 9/10
In Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea, battle your way through a horrible shipwreck. Climb a flaming lighthouse, and face your most dangerous foe yet. Maybe you’ll finally be able to leave this god-forsaken island if you make it through all of that.
What is Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea?
With The Queen and the Sea, the final installment in Dead Cells’ trilogy of paid DLC releases. The Beheaded appears to have reached the conclusion of their quest. This latest update is a no-brainer for long-time fans of developer Motion Twin’s fascinating action-roguelite. Providing a hefty variety of unlocked weapons and outfits, as well as an intense late-stage encounter unlike any other.
Make no mistake: this new addition contains an absurdly large amount of brand-new Dead Cells material. Which is always a Very Good Thing. With new story content to find, fearsome enemies to fight down, and new biomes to explore, this is late-game content that will both please and punish the most dedicated players.
The new lighthouse area is especially noteworthy. It provides an intriguing new concept that adds a fresh wrinkle to Dead Cells’ growth – as if the game wasn’t already stressful enough.
New in Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea DLC
Breadcrumbs will bring gamers to the new material and include some recognisable faces, including some from Dead Cells’ early days. It’s a sea passage that leads to The Infested Shipwreck, a decaying location with destroyable platforms and a new Armored Shrimp monster, a multi-tentacled monstrosity that actively pursues the Beheaded once stirred. Thankfully, The Queen and the Sea includes Dead Cells’ newest pet/familiar The Leghugger, a gentler version of the Armored Shrimp that moves similarly to the creature at the center of last year’s indie smash Carrion – but much cuter, with a lovely sound cue for each leap.
The Leghugger is a powerful pet that attacks adversaries with tenacity and eventually grows into a more powerful variant. It’s the most powerful new weapon in The Queen and the Sea, which also features a projectile shark, a deadly impaling trident, and three unique items wielded by the Queen’s protectors in the second biome, The Lighthouse.
It’s a comparison born of Dead Cells’ long history of fond references and nods to other games, all spun via its irreverence and charm. The Queen and the Sea maintains the same level of attention to detail seen in each of its iterative upgrades; for example, eagle-eyed players may notice allusions to The Queen’s bodyguards in a late-stage level of the main game. The Lighthouse fight is unquestionably the highlight of this DLC – and one of the most exhilarating encounters in the entire game – but it ultimately boils down to must-have content for longtime fans.
Dead Cells: The Queen and the Sea is a phenomenal DLC that is an incredible addition to an already fantastic game. This is the perfect send-off as the final DLC. It’s also exactly what veterans of the game will enjoy, especially since it adds such great content.