Chunky post but I played a ton of Dead Cells over the weekend.
It’s a Roguelite game and you’re constantly unlocking permanent upgrades even when you get bad runs.
I like it a lot so far, some of the unlocks act as ways to take different paths through the game, for instance the first level has three exits that lead to three different levels but you have to get unlocks through the first path to get to the other level sets.
Your permanent upgrades are new items in the pool, more healing vials, random items on starting, permanent damage upgrades on existing items in the pool and the ability to retain some gold between runs.
Equipment has different levels which affect damage and effects that always come with that particular type of equipment but all equipment also can have random effects such as piercing shots, throwing a grenade on use or triple jumping.
It’s “Early Access” currently, they’ve released it and it’s got a bunch of content but they’re gonna be constantly updating so it feels a bit more like Nuclear Throne or Vagante at the moment with how they’re handling Early Access. If you’ve got a policy to never get Early Access games though then wait on it.
One minor thing is it’s Dark Souls inspired or at least that’s what a ton of people are saying but aside from parry & dodge mechanics it really does not give off a Dark Souls vibe at all.