Death's Door - try

Death's Door - try

If Devolver is involved, it happens all too often, you have to get over it: love at first sight is lurking. The company that has risen to the headlines in the indie news especially after the incredible success of a game that has become a cult like Hotline Miami, is now a force impossible to ignore. A force that moves in parallel with the AAA industry in a desecrating way and highlighting its distortions almost with a real satirical campaign which, however, certainly does not rely only on jokes and criticism of the many contradictions. Fortunately, it also rests on games. And What You Play.

Featured at an ID @ Xbox event and at least at Microsoft's exclusive console launch, Death's Door is an isometric / top-down action-adventure crafted by a team that's as small as it is to hold. 'eye. With the launch set for July 20 that is fast approaching, we had the opportunity to try firsthand a preliminary version of the game that kept us busy for about 4 hours full of fights, absurd characters, humor at the right point. and a lot of exploration with the ultimate goal of defeating the game's first real boss.

It must be said that the interest in Death's Door is high not only for the publisher Devolver but also for the team behind the project. The duo that forms the core of Acid Nerve, Mark Foster and David Fenn, are in fact struggling with their second effort after the excellent Titan Souls and have decided to aim for a much more layered and complex experience by going beyond the structure from game boss rush (made up of boss battles only) to embrace influences from great classics like old school immortals The Legend of Zelda.

Watch on YouTube. Our test began in the role of the little feathered protagonist, a "reaper crow" who shows up at work to meet the requests of his superiors and collect the soul whose time has now come. A chore, nothing particular for a crow like our alter ego except that suddenly the unthinkable happens: a shady figure opens a door on the battlefield out of nowhere and steals us from under our noses ... sorry beak , our sweaty booty. A reaper crow cannot leave a job unfinished if it does not want to risk being forever stuck in search of the soul by aging and exposing itself to an unpleasant existence at the mercy of time and death.

Death's Door

Developer: Acid Nerve Publisher: Devolver Digital Availability: Available from 20 July on PC (Steam), Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One Tested version: PC A thief hunt has thus been triggered that already in this first portion game has seen us cross a good number of environments putting us face to face with enemies who were little more than meat but also with minibosses, environmental dangers and bosses capable of sending us mercilessly to the creator. Death is not too punitive but forces us to start again from the last door in the area, a real portal that in simple terms acts as a link between the headquarters of the crows and the various areas of the game world.

For now we have already been able to discover a dismal lost cemetery but also a sumptuous villa of a witch fixed with assorted tureens and pans that was in effect the first main boss of an experience that unlike Titan Souls definitely rests more about exploration than the punitive battles typical of rush game bosses.

The reaper crow has stamped the card. Especially in the first few bars, Death's Door is an action with far from frenzied rhythms and which devotes a lot of attention to the exploration of secret dungeons and enigmatically inaccessible passages. By unlocking special skills and gadgets we have already had the opportunity to retrace our steps to venture into new areas characterized by puzzles related to our renewed abilities. Exploratory phases that for now have given us excellent sensations.

We are however aware that from the exploratory point of view this is only the tip of the iceberg since we have to walk towards areas so far only hinted at or glimpsed and discover gadgets that ( like the grappling hook shown in several trailers) are currently not part of our arsenal. An arsenal that relies above all on a melee weapon with an attack rate, damage and number of chainable blows to be taken into consideration to best meet our fighting style.

The sword for example is a good weapon, rather standard for the reaping crows but the daggers instead sacrifice some damage for a higher attack speed and a doubled chain of attacks. Then there is that particular abandoned umbrella which as a weapon will not be anything special but seems to have a more important role than we might think. Who knows?

A stolen soul and goodbye quiet work day! To enrich the clashes a fundamental roll to get away from the most dangerous situations and a magical attack that for most of our test translated into a sort of arc with limited shots that can be reloaded, inflicting melee damage or destroying crates and urns scattered throughout the levels . All elements mentioned so far that can be improved thanks to a hint of the role-playing component that allows us to trade the souls of the eliminated enemies with upgrades to different aspects of our crow.

The last clips of our first taste have in fact shown us how that fight started with the handbrake on can reach important rhythms and difficulties that will surely be able to rise further with new skills and new enemies to defeat. All set in a level design that offers some sections that between puzzles and monsters bring a lot of meat to the fire and raise the level of difficulty.

The Guardian of the Door is the first real obstacle. But beyond this aspect, it is above all the game world that intrigues us and arouses good impressions. Supported by a narrative that, although it is not the supporting element, has a very good potential thanks to a well-conceived lore and several crazy and charismatic supporting actors, world building can be labyrinthine and complex, prompting us to ask ourselves if it is not appropriate to insert a map of a some kind to help out in exploration.

The developers' will, however, seems to push players to get lost in this visually and artistically truly delightful imagery by encountering surreal npc like a man forced to live with a bowl-shaped head due to a curse. The artistic sector is a further advantage of a game that, even in the simplicity of the raven protagonist, knows how to express style and inspiration. Between graphics, animations, artistic refinement, music and sound effects, an audiovisual set is created that really defends itself.

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The host of monstrosities ready to fight us are not made up of only bosses. We have only scratched the surface of Death's Door and we can't wait to discover every secret and to master every skill, weapon and equipment useful to raise the bar and the satisfaction at the base of fighting and exploration. Just when the work was starting to get serious we met the end of our test and we just have to wait for the release for the final evaluation. Devolver Digital could have in its hands an action-adventure that winks at Zelda capable of deserving the role of gem of absolute prestige in the collection of videogame pearls of the publisher of Hotline Miami and associates.

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