While there has not been an official announcement concerning a PlayStation 5 release for the newest Dead Cells/Castlevania crossover expansion — Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania — a recent update of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website listing indicates that this fourth major expansion of Metroidvania will soon be available on the console.
The game has received a T (for Teen) rating for PS5 on the ESRB website, with the title featuring “Blood and Gore, Language, Violence.”
In the game, players assume the role of a revived corpse seeking to break free from an island-based prison in this action-packed platformer game.
The game features a side-scrolling perspective, where players navigate through platform-style environments and engage in fast-paced and intense melee combat with otherworldly creatures such as skeletons, giant leeches and goblins.
The rating summary notes that defeated enemies emit large splatters of blood and may break apart into bloody pieces, with blood also staining certain game areas.
ESRB describes that players can defeat enemies using various methods such as punches, kicks and gadgets like flame-thrower traps, grenades and arrow turrets.
The downloadable content (DLC) incorporates various elements from the popular Castlevania franchise, such as characters, enemies, weapons and items.
Looks like Dead Cells is getting a native PS5 release / physical bundle for its DLC "Return to Castlevania"
"Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania Edition" rated for PS5 by ESRB: https://t.co/sBluaxiBJZ
— Gematsu (@gematsu) March 26, 2023
The game’s previous three expansions — The Bad Seed, Fatal Falls and The Queen and the Sea — have been highly lauded by critics and players alike.
Originally released on March 6 for PS4, Xbox One, Series X/S, PC and Nintendo Switch, many also consider this fourth expansion a prime example of successfully executing a crossover.
“It’s one of the most polished and well executed of the game’s post-launch content,” Russ Frushtick of Polygon said.
Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania allows players to step into the shoes of Richter Belmont and other iconic characters from the Castlevania franchise, such as Maria Renard and Soma Cruz, as they embark on a new quest to invade Dracula’s Castle once again.
Once the DLC is unlocked, players discover fresh content, including new biomes like the Castle Outskirts, Dracula’s Castle, the Defiled Necropolis and Master’s Keep and new outfits and items to collect.
The game also features beloved creatures from the Castlevania universe, such as the Axe Armor, Werewolf, Vampire Bat, Harpy, Bone Pillar, Medusa and formidable bosses like Death and Dracula.
This DLC also features 13 new achievements for players to unlock. In addition, fans can also expect the inclusion of 14 iconic weapons from the series — which are dropped from enemies — such as Alucard’s Sword, Medusa’s Head, Holy Water, the Holy Cross, Throwing Axe and the legendary Vampire Killer whip.
To obtain these weapons, players must hunt down rare enemy drops to acquire the blueprints.
One of its most impressive additions is the soundtrack, which boasts over 60 songs. These include not only 51 original tracks from the Castlevania series but also 12 covers of classic Castlevania songs.
Yoann Laulan, the composer of the game, said he was thrilled to contribute to the iconic tracks of Castlevania, which are significant in the history of video games.
“But at the same time, [it wasn’t] that easy, because it’s something that’s kind of sacred. I wouldn’t say it was an easy task to do,” the composer said.
When choosing which songs to include in the game, Laulan noted that some, like “Vampire Killer” and “Bloody Tears,” were obvious choices.
As Castlevania: Symphony of the Night significantly affected Dead Cells’ development, Laulan picked some tracks from that game, too, including the theme for Dracula’s castle.
Laulan aimed to create faithful renditions of the original tracks. He began with a base as close as possible to the original for each track and then generally went with two different interpretations.
The composer said he replicated the original tracks as closely as possible for the primary action-focused levels.
These songs have been reinterpreted to create a more relaxed atmosphere. For instance, Laulan’s version of the music from the first level in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse was reconstructed with classical instruments such as the cello and piano.