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Blasphemous meets Diablo with a roguelike twist in Dragon is Dead

Home » Features » Blasphemous meets Diablo with a roguelike twist in Dragon is Dead

Available now on PC thanks to Steam Early Access, Dragon is Dead is yet another roguelike for fans of the genre to keep on their radar. Even more so if they also happen to like dark worlds and loot. Think of a game like Castlevania or Blasphemous, add in loot and skill systems that you might find in Diablo, then liberally apply roguelike elements and you’re somewhat there.

Dragon is Dead lets players enter a world where all the dragons are dead except for one: Guernian. Having lost all of his kin, Guernian has unfortunately embraced his darker side, and now threatens all of humanity with a rift that he’s created. That’s where you come in: as a powerful Dragon Slayer it’s up to you to take Guernian down. But of course, you’ve got a long journey ahead of you.

As you can see from the screenshots on this page, Dragon is Dead is a dark but attractive-looking side-scrolling adventure, with moment-to-moment gameplay that should be familiar to anyone that has played similar roguelikes such as Dead Cells. Players make their way through locations, negotiating platforms and engaging enemies in combat as they go. Along the way, there’s loot to be collected, merchants to deal with and more. But should you fall in battle, it’s back to the beginning you go.

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Image: TeamSuneat

Two things make Dragon is Dead stand out, however, and one of those is its gear system. Like in most roguelikes, you grow in power as you progress through each run in Dragon is Dead, gaining perks and suchlike via items known as Artifacts and more. When you die these are lost, but year gear – equipped items such as weapons, rings, armour and more – remain yours. That means as you play the game and acquire better gear, you’ll start out more powerful when you fo fail.

Related: Roguelike dungeon crawler Shadow of the Depth is Diablo meets Hades

Skills are the other thing that make Dragon is Dead rather interesting. By killing enemies you acquire experience, and upon each level up you gain a skill point. These skill points can then be invested in a sprawling skill tree, much like those found in the likes of Diablo 4 where there are basic skills, core skills, and more. Over time, then, you acquire a wide range of skills that can help you in various circumstances. You can also choose to specialise in fire, ice or lightning attacks, or mix them up.

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Image: TeamSuneat

Having just entered early access, Dragon is Dead is far from finished. It feels relatively fleshed out and polished, though – the only thing that’s really bothered us so far is its scrappy writing. Over time, much more content is set to be added to the game, including extra chapters, new enemies, additional playable characters, and more gear. But even now there’s enough to get stuck into to make its asking price reasonable.

If you fancy getting stuck into a roguelike that will let you hunt down rare gear between runs and keep it, as well try out different builds to keep things interesting, Dragon is Dead might just be the one for you. It’s only just entered Early Access but there’s a hell of a lot to like about this offering by TeamSuneat already, and we’re keen to see how it grows and develops over the next year or so.

Dragon is Dead is available now on PC via Steam Early Access.

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