Death’s Door First Impressions – Don’t Fear the Reaper

I recently got a chance to check out Acid Nerve’s upcoming action-adventure Death’s Door, in which you take on the role of a winged (but relatively flightless) Reaper, tasked with sending souls to wherever it is they go when they die. The game melds familiar mechanics with a refreshingly unique fantasy world, to excellent results, and the few hours I spent playing as Death’s Door’s cute (but deadly) little Crow left me wanting more.

Acid Nerve’s previous title was Titan Souls, a boss-fight focused pixel-art game that was very well received back in 2015. But whereas Titan Souls was basically a boss-rush, Death’s Door is a full-fledged adventure game, with plenty of NPC dialogue, varied environments and enemies, and a well developed plot that tantalizingly unfolds as you play.

deaths door screenshot swamp action
The action is fairly fast-paced, but readable

Combat is tight — the Crow is responsive and feels satisfying to control. Deaths that occur feel like player error, and the enemies I encountered in the preview build I played always felt fair to face. If anything, I was slightly underwhelmed by the challenge foes presented: I beat the first big boss without dying, which honestly felt like a bit of a let-down after an exciting lead up to the encounter. I did still find myself staring at the DEATH screen on more than one occasion, and most players will find plenty to challenge them here.

deaths door first impressions death screen
Thanks, I can see that

The game is also pretty darn funny. Most of the interactions with NPCs gave me a good chuckle or two, and the drab, gray 9-5 vibe of the game’s hub world is almost too accurate. Unlike some games where I sometimes find myself ignoring opportunities for dialogue, I was always eager to see what the denizens of Death’s Door had to say for themselves.

deaths door first impressions secret giving NPC
Some NPCs give you hints about where secrets can be found

I said in a previous article on Death’s Door that it looks a lot like a cross between A Link to the Past and Dark Souls, and after playing it, I have to humbly admit that I was right. It’s got the timing-based combat of the Soulsborne games, and it also has the exploration and secret-hunting of classic SNES adventure titles. Death’s Door releases July 20th, with 15% off until the release date. Anyone whose enjoys similar isometric action-adventure games ought to keep an eye on this one.

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Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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