REVIEW: Death’s Door, everything that is born dies

by Kelvin
Review: death’s door, tudo que nasce morre

With elements from the Zelda and Souls franchises, Death’s Door is one of the highlights of the indie scene with an adventure that mixes corporate world and sword and sword adventure

Neil Gaiman, back in the late 1980s, was the first author to work the figure of death in depth. More than that, Death in Sandman is one of the most charismatic and beloved characters in the comics. From then on, other works reimagined death in new perspectives. death’s door is one of those cases. Here we are a crow who works as an employee of a public agency, where the absence of death is the big problem in this universe.

Developed by Acid Nerve and published by Devolver Digital, death’s door it’s an adventure game with puzzles, inspired by the 2D games of the Zelda franchise, with dungeons and mazes in isometric perspective. There is also a slight inspiration in franchises souls and metroid, but all this without losing its own identity.

  

Story

The crow we take on the role is a novice in this department responsible for collecting the souls of dying creatures. Obviously, something goes wrong and the soul we were supposed to collect early in the game ends up escaping. This traps our hero in the world of the living, making him mortal. The adventure is basically for him to get out of this world, for that he must fulfill some goals until reaching the soul he ended up losing. That simple.

the coolest of death’s door it is precisely this protocol way in which death is treated. After all, imagine the chaos of a world where death no longer exists? It’s curious to think that our job — taking lives — is, in addition to being fundamental to achieving order, transforming what is common nonsense to game heroes — killing enemies — into something acceptable.

Progression

The game asks you to use arrows, magic and swords in each “phase”. As you progress, the goals gradually become more challenging and tactical nuances are needed in order for us to move forward. But this is where the influence of the franchise souls is highlighted. Since, despite these upgrades, we never truly feel that our character evolves. In fact, the game only gets harder as we improve as players. So, although there are improvements in our crow’s abilities, you can only finish the game if you can improve as a player.

This is a factor that can drive away many people who were enjoying the experience of death’s door until then, given that, for many, after fighting so hard for a upgrade, and even if it’s not as effective in game progression, it can make the experience unrewarding. as well as the checkpoints about the game. Each area has only one door, and as you explore, you open several shortcuts that allow you to return to it. Going through the door transports you to the office, where you renew your life and can level up in one of four categories. This also resurrects all enemies, with the exception of bosses, arenas and special monsters.

Atmosphere

If in the design of environment death’s door it may seem full of life and very rich, not everything here is explored to the full, whether in the characters or in the expansive possibilities of this universe. Maybe it’s on purpose or for some budget limitation, after all, let’s remember that it’s a game indie.

Art direction

When I talk about budget constraints, at no point do I mean that the game is poor or that the Acid Nerve team has sacrificed some aspects of the game to get it published. On the contrary, this is one of the most polished titles of recent years among the indie, balancing technical and narrative aspects like few others.

Every gaming experience can be subjective according to who is playing, but there is unanimity about death’s door: your art direction. The aerial camera’s tilted view of 3D landscapes allows you to appreciate the surprisingly detailed, yet quite simple architecture and character design, as well as its rich shading work, really above average for a game indie.

The visual style is not exactly like the claymation (animation technique based on models of plasticine, clay or similar material), but it still has that panache. All this fused to a dark color palette, highlighting gray and moss green, present even in outdoor environments, which helps a lot in immersing this lifeless world.

Sound

Contributing even more to “entering the little world” the sound mixing of Death’s Door is another technical highlight of the Acid Nerve team. Alongside the art direction, the sounds help to create this atmosphere and, if necessary, the game also has a beautiful and melancholy soundtrack, fitting as a take on the plot and scenarios presented.

Gameplay

This simplicity in the evolution of the protagonist’s abilities, the lack of depth in the characters around him, and even the gameplay aspects, as mentioned above, make the game very close to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past, the Super Nintendo classic.

Another source that Acid Nerve drank while building the game is Hades; even not being a roguelike, he has a much greater fluidity of combat than his own A Link to The Past, being a kind of middle ground between the two games mentioned.

It is worth it?

In the market of indie a common path is that some titles end up falling into the field of mediocrity under the weight of their own influences. In death’s door, Acid Nerve combined excellent combat and level design of universe, which manages to evoke the best of Zelda and Dark Souls for a journey that feels genuinely new, if not entirely revolutionary. This is undoubtedly a game that will appeal to fans of the genre and could break the bubble of indie.

death’s door offers between 8 to 10 hours of gameplay, with extras after zeroing and a factor replay rewarding. It is available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

Also access other similar content on the showmetech. Check out our Beta review of Back 4 Blood, the spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead.

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