Games

Free game updates are awesome for everyone except new players

dead cells

You wouldn’t complain about a free lunch, would you? Well, maybe you would – if lunch was something you’d never eaten before and it came with paraphernalia you’d never used before and no one told you how to actually consume it. That’s kinda how I feel when I pick up Dead Cells for the first time. Although it is technically the second time…

I played Dead Cells for the first time long before it came out. I happened to be at a French indie game convention and there happened to be these two French game developers looking for journalists to try their game in development and I happened to be the only journalist there. They sat me down at a table, opened a laptop and showed me a game called Dead Cells.

I remember feeling a bit distracted. Most of the time when someone corners you at an event it means they don’t have a booth and that means they don’t have the resources to have a booth and that means it’s probably their first game and it’s not them does. I do not have much money. It doesn’t Necessary means the game is bad, and this particular case proves that, but it makes me a little more cautious.

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Oooooooh, preeeetty

I didn’t have to be careful at all. It only took me a minute or so to forget what I had done before because I had never seen a game that looked like Dead Cells. It’s got this gorgeous, detailed, rotoscopic-looking pixel animation that’s fluid and expressive despite its aesthetic limitations, and it’s excitingly colorful without being overwhelmingly saturated. I haven’t played long but it stuck in my head.

When it came out, I quickly realized that Motion Twin, the developers, needed nothing from me – the world loved them at once. So I put off playing for a while. A long during. It’s always on sale here and there, always getting new DLC, always getting massive free updates, even four years after release, so I thought, I’ll just wait a bit longer and then it’ll have the most content. It makes sense to play it according to All content is there. Right?

There’s nothing wrong with having too much choice and too much learning, but it is a lot

I bought Dead Cells in a sale a few weeks ago and once I had started to let go of my Slay The Spire obsession I gave it a try. I was immediately overwhelmed. There were billions of weapons, tons of choices, and tons of new content added before I even got to know most of the old content. It felt like showing up to a small family dinner, only to find it was actually a three thousand course mega buffet. There’s nothing wrong with having too much choice and too much learning, but it is a lotand I wonder if discovering everything as it was released would have felt more exciting and organic rather than all at once.

For the record, I’m enjoying it immensely… I just wish I could enjoy it at my own pace, rather than feeling like everyone has about 20 updates worth of content behind them. And just check out the patch notes! They are very confusing for a poor Dead Cells idiot like me!

Dead Cells is far from the first or worst example of this. Many games these days, especially the mega-successful ones, are kept alive with updates galore, and you’ve probably had the experience of booting up a game only to be greeted with 50 messages about all the DLCs and patches and new content came with it.

The worst example, and I hope you’ll forgive me for talking about a non-Nintendo game on this Nintendo website, is destiny 2.

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This feels like reading the first page of a sci-fi novel series (Image: Destiny 2)

I don’t play a lot of MMO-style games, so maybe that’s common, but opening Destiny 2 for the first time was like going into a PhD class in theoretical physics. I didn’t understand any of the jargon. All I wanted to do was shoot aliens with my buddies. But my buddies had more levels than me, better weapons than me, and were about thirty seasons ahead of me in content, and Destiny 2’s onboarding is about as beginner-friendly as the cockpit of an airplane.

Opening Destiny 2 for the first time was like walking into a PhD class in Theoretical Physics

I wasn’t allowed to do anything until I hit a certain level cap. I did not know it how hitting the level cap because it didn’t tell me what to do to get XP. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my friends until I did some tutorial levels, but I had no idea what tutorial levels those were became because my quests were full of confusing update stuff. Also, there were too many currencies, too many NPCs to talk to, and I just wanted to wear cool space clothes! Gah!!

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One of the systems added in Dead Cells is this one which I don’t understand yet

I feel like a minor complainer, Colin, for whining about having too much free stuff, but I’m wondering if the further developers will move away from the release as they get further from their new players. It’s probably a lot easier (and more fun) to take care of your existing player base, add new features, expand loved ones, nerf hated ones… but sometimes I just want a chance to learn how to play the game with a bog standard, play Sword and Shield before unlocking the Double-Exotic Super Master SteelFlame Shotgun Halberd +5 With 80% Knockback On A 22DPS Parry. Please.

Have you had this experience? Do you think games should update their tutorials alongside new content? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

https://www.nintendolife.com/features/soapbox-free-game-updates-are-fantastic-for-everyone-except-new-players Free game updates are awesome for everyone except new players

Fry Electronics Team

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