Death’s Door is very different from Titan Souls, the previous game from the same developers. The character now dies with more than one hit, instead of the “pixel” visual style – three-dimensional graphics, there are numerous characters reading short monologues. But the atmosphere of the projects is similar, despite the fact that in the new game it feels much better. The Acid Nerve team has taken a big step forward over the past six years and created another quality adventure.
The door is there
Like Titan Souls, the novelty surprises with how skillfully many elements are combined in it – from location exploration to the combat system, from graphics to the soundtrack. This is a very professional job (especially considering that only two people did most of it), and it’s hard to tear yourself away from the game. What can be reproached for is the lack of original ideas – strangers are successfully mixed (here the old Zeldas will be remembered, and analogues like Hob), but there really aren’t any of their own.
Previous game review about the game Road 96 you can read by click on the link.
The camera, which takes an isometric angle, hangs at such a distance that you never want to move it away or bring it closer during the entire game. The beauty of the locations is amazing, in particular, how extraordinary they combine bright and dull colors. It seems that the atmosphere is not the most cheerful, but the environment does not seem gloomy either, except for the “noir” central location, from which teleports open to all story areas.
Thanks to the beautiful picture and excellent style, you want to explore the locations, and Death’s Door constantly teases the player with hints. Either the camera, as if by chance, will pass by a platform hidden at the top with a collectible item, then you will run across the bridge, under which a new weapon shines, but you won’t be able to jump there. Abilities that allow you to collect everything at once are issued later – you can not try to blow up the fences or jump over the abyss if you have not received the appropriate skills yet. As a result, all these “gatherings” are not much needed (except for rare altars that increase health and energy), but it’s still exciting to hunt for them.
In the process of research, you regularly stumble upon opponents. They are varied enough that the fights do not get bored. Death’s Door does not overwhelm the player with a dozen enemies at a time, but prefers to put four or five against him, but completely different – for example, two fight in close combat, and two more shoot from a bow. Or here – one archer, one knight in thick armor and two teleporting wizards. When you are locked in a small arena and opponents begin to appear on it, you decide in a split second who to attack first; most likely, different players will have different tactics.
Capable Raven in Death’s Door
The combat system is very simple – regular strikes and rolls. There’s also a bow (and a later-released magic), but it’s more often used in puzzle-solving than combat. What makes no sense at all is charged punches and attacks after rolls – I only remembered them periodically. You can easily go through the whole game by bludgeoning your opponents with a standard attack. It’s a pity, because the design of the enemies and charming animations would decorate a slightly richer “combat”.
Another flaw is related to the pumping system – it is absolutely uninteresting. By collecting the souls of dead enemies and finding currency deposits in secret areas, you can buy upgrades in the central location, including increased damage, increased attack speed, and more. But these improvements are not particularly noticeable, so there is no desire to run to the teleport for them, and you don’t have to suffer with the choice. It seems as if this element was screwed at the last moment – its influence on the game is so minimal. But there are several types of weapons, although it is unlikely that you will often switch between them – it’s too inconvenient.
All this does not allow me to give Death’s Door the highest rating, even if otherwise it is amazing. Particularly interesting is the ability to shorten the path in case of death. When a character dies, he is transported to the nearest door. While you are exploring a location, you will often interact with buttons and levers – and those in some cases create platforms or lower ladders that allow you to quickly get to one place or another. It seems to be nothing special, but every time this mechanic pleases with a high-quality implementation.
The history is good too. We play as a reaper raven who arrives at the main office of the Reaper Commission and is tasked with collecting the giant’s soul. In the process, we have to do other things – look for three creatures and take their souls in order to use them to open the gates of death and get to the goal. Get ready to meet strange creatures, including the poor fellow with a saucepan for a head and a bard who writes a song about your adventures.
The best moments of Death’s Door are associated with the bosses – thanks to the fun gameplay mechanics and how the fights are woven into the narrative. After the death of the boss, a short memorial service begins – we are told about his motivation and why he became a scoundrel. The idea is brilliant, and the attitude towards death in this game is quite poetic – so much so that not a single “achievement” is connected with murders. There is plenty of humor here too, and the combination of such different moods, especially with such a luxurious soundtrack, makes the atmosphere of the game special.
After completing Death’s Door, additional content opens up and the player is offered to continue hunting for secrets in updated locations in order to reach the real ending. You should definitely see it, and it’s unlikely that you will have to force you to play further – the gameplay of the novelty is almost amazing, and you want to spend more time in it. Not all components have received due attention, but for the two developers it is in any case an impressive achievement – they managed to create atmospheric, memorable and very high-quality entertainment for a couple of evenings.
Pros: wonderful atmosphere and great level design; interesting locations with a bunch of secrets that you want to explore; excellent fights with bosses and ordinary opponents; very good soundtrack; there is something to do after passing.
Cons: unpretentious combat system; boring pumping; lack of original ideas.
Questions about this game:
According to the website HowLongToBeat, the average time to beat Death’s Door is around 10 hours for the main story, while completionists can spend up to 15 hours exploring everything the game has to offer. However, the actual time it takes to beat the game may vary depending on the player’s skill level and playstyle.
After defeating the Witch in Death’s Door, you need to head to the next area called the Garden of Love. To get there, you need to use the key that you obtained from the Witch’s mansion to unlock the door in the hub area that leads to the Garden of Love. The door is located on the left side of the hub, near the stairs that lead to the starting area.