The first Dead Cells Castlevania gameplay makes me wish it was a full game

Dead Cells' upcoming Castlevania DLC has a new teaser showing the first glimpses of gameplay, and it looks every bit the dream crossover we've been expecting since the expansion was announced.

The roughly 30-second teaser doesn't give away much, with only a brief intro animation followed by even briefer flashes of gameplay, but what's there is tantalizing both for Dead Cells players hungry for more content and Castlevania fans eager to revisit the iconic IP in a different light. 

In these split-second cuts, we can see the Dead Cells protagonist fighting his way through candlelit corridors using classic Castlevania weapons like the whip, throwing axe, and Shuriken. Since this is a Dead Cells expansion, the combat looks decidedly more frantic and fast-paced, but the aesthetic - not to mention the score - is all Castlevania.

The only negative here, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, is that such a harmonious crossover will be contained in a DLC-sized expansion when there's more than enough goodness for a full game here. All I'm saying is I would play the crap out of a sequel or spinoff fully exploring Dracula, Alucard, and the Belmonts' relationship with The Beheaded, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

The DLC, launching in the first quarter of 2023, will feature two new biomes, a new boss fight, and new enemies and weapons, all inspired by Castlevania. The crossover will also add an alternative soundtrack including 51 original Castlevania tracks which can be played over the whole game, not just the DLC. Dead Cells developer Motion Twin also reimagined 12 classic Castlevania songs – including Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears, and Divine Bloodlines – in the style of Dead Cells specifically for the new DLC levels. It sounds like the studio wasn't kidding when it said 2023 would be the biggest year for Dead Cells yet.

Here are all of the new games of 2023 we can't wait to check out.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.