Death’s Door is a top-down action-adventure game with similarities to other games like The Legend of Zelda and to an extent the Souls-Bourne series. Its fast-paced combat combined with intriguing puzzles, amazing soundtrack, and gorgeous environments makes Death’s Door a must-have.
You start the game as you arrive at the Reaping commission’s headquarters. This is essentially your hub world where you can do pit stops to do upgrades. The beginning part of the game is basically a tutorial of what you will expect from the game. It is laden with puzzles for you to solve that will help you unlock doors and shortcuts enabling you to navigate each area quickly.
You “a crow” are but one of many reapers tasked with traveling to distant worlds to collect souls. You then get to fight a tutorial boss that will basically tell you how boss fights will work in this game. One thing that you will instantly notice in this game is that enemies won’t have a health bar for you to keep track whether you are near to killing them or not. However, the bosses will have visual cues for you to let you know that you are nearing to defeating them. The bosses will start having visible cracks that becomes more and more apparent the longer you fight them.
The gameplay is fast-paced, providing you with no shortage of weapons and abilities to get past wave upon waves of enemies as you travel the lands between trying to reach your target. The attacks you are able to perform with the weapons, however, are few and usually tied to a specific weapon, sometimes I wish I could do more but it’s just the same old combo which adds a little monotony to the game, this can be remedied with switching weapons to whatever you fancy. These weapons and abilities also help you in solving puzzles, from shooting explosive canisters to destroying walls to lopping fireballs at a furnace to turn it on for you, there are enough puzzles to keep you occupied.
Just like in most soulsborne games, dying in Death’s Door resets the enemies in an area. However, I feel like it’s more forgiving because you don’t lose the “souls” that you collect when you die. There is no checkpoint in the game though but you will get to unlock shortcuts in each area that will lead you back to the starting point in which you will have access to the door that leads to the hub.
The souls you collect can be used to buy upgrades for your character. There are four stats that you can improve and the higher the level, the more souls it requires to be unlocked. I do feel the amount of customization when it comes to playstyle feels a little bit few. However, an indie game like this with such an ambition seems fitting to have such minimalistic features.
There are a vast numbers of enemies, each with their own special traits. There is an enemy with a huge skull in its back used to charge at you or enemies which are living pots and vases that attack you when you least expect it. There are also a vast number of NPC, each and every one of them unique in their own way and with quirks that make you feel a sense of genuinity. I just wish the game had voice acting.
Environments are vast and highly detailed which to the game’s premise leaves you a little feeling of melancholy coupled with the amazing soundtrack as you journey on in search of souls. One thing that I would have liked is if you had some sort of map so you can mark out places that you’ve been to so you won’t be endlessly backtracking.
The art style is very reminiscent of the Claymation genre in animation which in turn is very beautiful but sometimes you see the same model of a tree or a pole over and over again and eventually, you’ll get the feeling that you’ve seen one bush, you’ve seen them all.
Overall, Death’s Door is a wonderful game that has it all, from high-action combat to intriguing puzzles to a plot that makes you just want to know more and more of. You will surely enjoy your time reaping souls.