The latest Dead Cells update does things a bit differently and makes the game accessible to a much broader audience. The update, called Breaking Barriers, is Dead Cells’ first accessibility update, which Motion Twin and Evil Empire first started testing in January 2022. The developers worked closely with charity AbleGamers to make it possible for those who previously couldn’t play the roguelike to enjoy it.
“We had feedback during beta testing that some people who don’t ‘need’ Assist Mode will use it regardless and the result is that they won’t play Dead Cells as a challenging roguelike,” An Evil Empire spokesperson said. “We’ve put multiple messages regarding this in-game, but in the end it’s up to the player how they want to enjoy the game. However, we will not disable achievements for players who use these options. We are not going to make it possible for people to play the game and then take achievements away from them.”
The Breaking Barriers update comes in two parts. One is a set of changes to various parts of Dead Cells, including alterations to the UI size and font size, customizable controls, and background color filters. These all live in the new accessibility menu.
The second part is Assist Mode, which includes a suite of additional options, such as multiple lives. This feature lets players tweak just how brutal Dead Cells is by choosing 1, 3, 7, or infinite lives, but not just because the game can be challenging.
“This is targeted for players who have involuntary movements or activity, such as muscle spasms, to have another chance if their run is ruined by something that is out of their control,” Evil Empire said.
Assist Mode also lets players adjust trap damage and toggle an auto-hit feature to reduce the number of inputs required during combat.
There’s a substantial amount of other improvements in both features, which you can check out on the Breaking Barriers patch notes page. And there’s more on the way. Motion Twin and Evil Empire previous promised a year of free Dead Cells updates at the end of 2021, and they reaffirmed more biomes and other new content are still planned for later in 2022.