We're obsessed with Death's Door, a top-down hack and slash game about a grim reaper crow. It was released a few days ago, and it totally deserves all the praise it's getting. In case you missed it, or if you still have doubts about it, let's talk about Death's Door and its challenging gameplay!
Knock, Knock, Knocking...
In this game, you play as a crow who works for the Reaping Commission. One thing we love about it is that all characters working for the Reaping Commission have names, which makes it all—apart from the silly puns, like Chandler the Handler—feel deeper and closer to us. It just encourages you to explore every single corner of the building, looking for clues, pieces of environmental storytelling, or just more puns.
When these creatures are "working," they cross a door to the mortal realm, searching for their designated soul. If they don't come back in time, they will age and eventually die, so it's not like these grim reapers are free of worries. As you can see, there's a lot of lore to this game, and we didn't even get to the actual gameplay yet...
Difficult? Yes. Unfair? Not Really
If you read any reviews of Death's Door, then you'll see that everyone is comparing Death's Door to the old The Legend of Zelda adventures. That's incredibly accurate, considering it encourages you to explore beautifully designed areas full of things to break, simple puzzles, and bosses. However, the whole atmosphere is the opposite of a Zelda game; it's gloomy, depressing (but in a good way), and you always feel like these little monsters will defeat you if you're not careful enough.
That perfect balance between quiet places to explore and small rooms full of challenging foes is what keeps you going—you're always reminded of Death's Door nature, but you rarely feel like enemies get more difficult just because. Ultimately, Death's Door is a game about precisely timing your attacks and learning your enemies' attack patterns.
A Crow Left of the Murder...
Finding shiny things (that's how the game itself calls the collectible items) is entertaining enough, an extra for the completionists. Maybe you don't even care about collectibles and your only goal is to complete the story, but the level design is just so good that once you find a shiny thing, you can't help wondering how many more you can get. Full of hidden paths that may or may not lead to something, Death's Door also invites you to do some back-tracking in the form of locked doors you can only open after getting certain upgrades. Is it a new mechanic? Not really, but the execution is flawless.
To be honest with you, our time with Death's Door was all about immersion. The music, the color palette, the scarce yet powerful interactions between characters... Death's Door is better enjoyed if you really put yourself in the mood for this grim adventure, and it's not even a long one! You can finish it in under 10 hours, and that's if you stop every now and then to enjoy the view or your fighting skills are not that good.
We're in love with Death's Door's art style, but luckily for all of us, the gameplay is on point, too! We wish it was a little longer, with more areas and boss fights, but also with some more pieces of info about this interesting world and how the Reaping Commission functions.
If you're willing to give Death's Door a try, it's currently available on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.