Return to Castlevania is an upcoming Dead Cells expansion set in Dracula’s castle. But it’s kind of embarrassing it exists.
We don’t think Motion Twin will mess this up – Dead Cells is a superb game. It’s challenging, yes, but we still had a whale of a time with it. We reviewed it back in 2018, remarking that “… smashing multiple genres together with expertise, developer Motion Twin has created something rather special.”
No, what’s embarrassing is that, announced at last night’s The Game Awards, this is the first time in eight years that Konami has given us a “new” Castlevania experience. Yes, we’ve had the Castlevania Advance Collection, which is still an absolute steal and is currently discounted on the PlayStation Store. But that’s it.
Oh, wait.. we forgot. Konami did celebrate Castlevania’s 35th anniversary. How? With a collection of NFTs. Yes, in case you missed it, or wiped it from your mind as we apparently did, they marked this long-running and hugely popular vampire-killing franchise by selling JPGs that you never really own.
Still, now it’s in Motion Twin and co-developer Evil Empire’s hands, we hope we’ll get something that does the series justice. So far we’ve only got an animated trailer and a few screenshots, but they seem to have nailed the Castlevania vibe.
The (mostly) 2D Castlevania franchise did, in fact, inspire Dead Cells. So it’s appropriate, though still not a good look for Konami, that Motion Twin is handling this. Ben Laulan, founder of Evil Empire, stated:
“The original inspiration – the roots of Dead Cells – was born from a shared passion for the Castlevania franchise. We are so excited to bring this DLC to fans of Dead Cells and Castlevania early next year. It means so much to us to be bringing this to fans of both franchises.”
Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania will require the original Dead Cells game and is its biggest DLC to date. It’ll feature 14 Castlevania weapons and three bosses, Dracula and Death included. It’ll also remix 12 classic tunes from the game, which we can’t wait to hear.
We will, however, have to wait, because Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania doesn’t arrive till next year. Motion Twin has promised more reveals in early 2023 but, right now, there’s no solid release window. Still, that gives us plenty of time to shake our fists at Konami.