I’ve been playing an indie game called Death’s Door by Acid Nerve. It had been on my radar because of the gorgeous graphics and the fact that you’re a crow with a red sword. I mean, that’s really all I need to know because I’m simple like that. It’s an action adventure Metroidvania with more than a dollop of Dark Souls frosting. I am not just making that up in my fevered Elden Ring-starved brain, either. Both streamers I’ve watched who were playing it mentioned it more than once. There’s even a character who is highly reminiscent of a Dark Souls fave, not to mention one who is similar to an NPC in Sekiro. I will, of course, get to that later in the post.
Side Note: I have finished the game so there will be spoilers throughout the post. Fair warning to turn back now if you want to play it unspoiled.
First, I need to rave more about the environment of Death’s Door. It’s moody and dripping with atmosphere. The crow is wearing a jaunty little scarf and you can find a Discarded Umbrella that is shit as a weapon but is a great accessory. I love the crow’s quick little walk and the head tilt when they think there’s something interesting. They are a silent protagonist, but they exude so much personality.
Before I get into what I like about the game (and there’s a lot to like), I need to talk about one big thing I don’t like right from the start. It’s the combat. I’ll get more into it later, but for now, I’ll say that it’s the combination of too many mobs, not enough variety, the need for twitch responses, and not being able to heal during combat. Oh, and having 4 hit points. That’s right, 4. There are ways to boost it, but only up to 6. I’ll get more to that in a bit.
The premise is that I’m a reaper crow who is going out and getting souls. In the beginning, I’m dropped off at the Reaping Commission Headquarters. The security guard is called Baul Plarth and I know I’m in for some droll humor. There’s a typist named Agatha who just loooooves typing and Chandler the Handler who is a hard-bitten crow who is a middle management type who is constantly worried about his job being harder. Then there’s the mysterious Vaga who has a book on his head and makes cryptic statements about a better life out there.