Death's Door

Death’s Door – Review

A world in which no one dies can only lead to misery. In Death’s Door, you are sent as a crow from the underworld with a sword to restore order to a world without death. The game from developer Acid Nerve borrows a lot from other games and partly because of that turns out to be a nice adventure to play.

Death's Door

Fight and explore:

In Death’s Door, you have complete freedom to explore the game world. However, you can’t just go where you want, because, in order to overcome certain obstacles or gain access to certain areas, you must first have certain skills. Think of a fireball to light fire bowls, which in turn open a gate, or a grappling hook to bridge canyons. To progress, you will also regularly have to solve a, usually small, often simple puzzle.

Still, these puzzles and exploration aren’t really the main focus of the game. Most of the time you will be fighting. In combat, use one of the main weapons that you have acquired throughout the game and alternate attacks with that weapon with some magic, such as a fireball or a bomb. You can dodge the enemies that come to attack you in large numbers with a roll or in some cases counter with a well-timed swipe. The setup is simple, but because you often have multiple enemies in view at the same time and can only be hit four times (in the beginning), the fights are a challenge. That ensures that it doesn’t get boring, even if you notice that the number of different enemies is not very large. 

Death's Door Fighting

The boss fights are the icing on the cake. This is where everything comes together that you had to use just before. And to beat some of these bad guys you’ll even have to pull your platform skills out of the top hat. Just like during the regular battles, you will usually die a few times, but the nice thing is that you quickly get to know the attacks of the bosses, so that you eventually think it was quite simple. 

The battles in Death’s Door provide you with souls in addition to entertainment. In the overarching game world, you can spend these to make your character stronger. You can invest in strength, agility, speed, and magic.

Ingenious, beautiful world:

The Death’s Door game world consists of an overarching world that gives you access to the actual game world. You can divide that game world into three regions, all of which are managed by a final boss. In each of those ‘regions,’ you work towards this final boss. They are also again divided into two or three smaller areas, some of which resemble the dungeons in Zelda.

I don’t make that comparison for anything, because Death’s Door’s game world resembles the older Zelda games in terms of structure. You experience the game from (obliquely) above and you continuously have a good overview of the area in which you are located. You will soon notice that behind every corner there is a secret passage. Because work takes place at different heights, the seemingly compact world is nevertheless one in which exploration pays off. If you look a little further than your nose, you might find a large number of souls, a shard with which you can expand your health or magic in the long run, and sometimes even an optional boss. I can already tell you that especially the rewards with those bosses are worth it.

The world is compact, but it is nevertheless ingeniously put together, because of the aforementioned height layers. You regularly return to a recognizable point, but from a place that you could not reach before. If you then just throw down a ladder, or if you pull a lever, in most cases you create a shortcut for the next time. If you lose out in one of the many battles, you’ll be back a lot faster. Incidentally, you gradually unlock doors to the overarching world, with which you create a kind of fast travel. That’s welcome because your crow just isn’t fast enough to make walking from one side of the world to the other bearable. Also, add that there is no card.

Death's Door Environment

Despite the fact that the world is well put together and you have a reasonable amount of freedom, you don’t really need the map for the main game either. The routes to the bosses are often fairly straight forward and by just going in a logical direction, you usually end up at your destination automatically. 

Death’s Door’s game world is beside the ingenious design also beautifully beautiful. The cell-shaded graphics match the atmosphere of the game perfectly. From cemeteries to forests and from harbors to dilapidated castles: it all looks great. The music also fits well with the game. Exploring and puzzling is usually accompanied by soothing (for me personally boring) music and during the fights sometimes epic, combative metal is blasted out of your speakers.

Conclusion:

Death’s Door is nowhere head and shoulders above the rest but offers you an adventure that actually scores more than satisfactory in all areas. It’s a game that challenges you but never frustrates you. It is simply a nice adventure, no more, no less. 

Plus

  • Compact, ingenious world.
  • Offers sufficient challenge, but is not (too) difficult.
  • Atmospheric.
  • boss fight.

minus:

  • Puzzles on the simple side.
  • Perhaps a little too little freedom for the real explorers.