by Maddison Leeding
reviewed on PC
As the crow flies
Quoth the raven, just keep rolling, rolling, rolling, as the saying goes. Or at least I think it does. What were we talking about? Oh right, Death’s Door is an action RPG from the talented people over at Devolver Digital.
Death’s Door has gamers taking the role of a reaper tasked with, well, reaping souls. You’re just a regular working crow trying to do your job when the soul you’re tasked with reaping, is stolen from you. It is then your task to get it back. But let me tell you, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Players get to traverse through various different areas and meet a bunch of fun characters along the way, from other reapers, to the iconicly named Pothead, who literally has a pot for a head.
Players will start the game with a sword and a magical bow and arrow and that’s your lot. Oh, and the true MVP; the roll button from Dark Souls fame. A lot of the game is rolling around and doing a quick bit of damage before rolling away again to do it all over again. The combat isn’t overly difficult to learn, but it takes some practice to get proficient at it. As with all RPGs, players gain experience from killing the different beasties and can use that to upgrade their weapons, magic or speed to give a boost in battle.
However, the game can be pretty unforgiving, which won’t work for everyone. It may not be to the same level of unforgiveness as games like Dark Souls, but there can be some quite frustrating moments. Health, for example, doesn’t regenerate unless you manage to plant one of the flower seeds you can pick up around the map. Players only have four bars of health, so if you take some stupid damage from an enemy, you have to hope to find one of the flowers you’ve planted as soon as you can.
As you progress further in the game, you unlock more powers to help you beat more challenges the game throws at you. Extra powers include being able to shoot fire from your hands, erm, wings. The game also features a nice variety of puzzles for you to sink your beak into, a lot of which then link back into the newly unlocked powers. For example, in one of the first areas you go to you only have your trusty bow and arrow with which to light fires. This can can be used to burn your way through the zone. Of course, this requires you to have access to an open fire to even light the arrow up which you don't originally have the ability to create. But after trawling through the Urn Witch’s mansion - which breaks so many fire safety laws it’s insane - you unlock the ability to just summon the fire, no open flames needed.
The game has this delightful, dark sense of humour that really adds to the mood of the game. And combined with the gorgeous art style, gives Death's Door the sense that it has been lovingly crafted in every detail, even down to the main character’s little crow-like head movements. The character designs are varied and give off the feeling akin to if Tim Burton and Hayao Miyazaki had been involved in a collaboration. The music too suits the dreary atmosphere to a tee.
Definitely a game to crow about
I honestly had a blast with Death's Door, with the only major problem I ran into being some save file problems. Admittedly, playing a pre-release version of the game could have had something to do with that. The game is not phenomenally long, sitting at around twelve or so hours, with the chance of it being even less if you have fewer issues with the somewhat unforgiving nature of the game. There’s also no difficulty scaler which may turn off some players who want a slightly less difficult playthrough. If you too like to roll on the darker side of life, or death if you will, give this game a chance!
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Unique story and world, Fun combat
Save issues, no difficulty options