[Nintendo Switch] Death’s Door Review
You take on the role of a crow who reaps souls, but something goes awry, and now you have a much bigger task ahead of you. Check our Death’s Door review!
Reaping souls of the dead and punching a clock might get monotonous but it’s honest work for a Crow.
The job gets lively when your assigned soul is stolen and you must track down a desperate thief to a realm untouched by death – where creatures grow far past their expiry and overflow with greed and power.
Talon Sharp Combat: Utilize melee weapons, arrows, and magic to overcome a fantastic array of beasts and demigods. Mistakes are punished and victory is rewarded. Gain an edge by customizing your character stats and mastering the abilities and upgrades you obtain.
A Beautifully Bleak World: Venture beyond the Doors and explore a land full of twisted inhabitants and countless secrets, bringing hope to the weird and wonderful characters you’ll meet along the way.
A Dark Mystery to Unravel: Track down and defeat colossal tyrants with stories and motivations of their own. Experience a somber yet darkly comedic tale, uncovering the truths behind the flow of souls, the role of the Crows and the origin of the Doors.
Death’s Door from Acid Nerve and Devolver Digital was released to critical acclaim earlier this year when it dropped on PC. Even though it seemed like a great fit for the Nintendo Switch, we had to wait. The good news is that the wait is now over! The team behind this game also worked on the Souls-esque boss rush game Titan souls. I liked Titan Soul’s, but the game’s difficulty starts at the top and will never let go, which can feel a bit crushing after a bit. Death’s Door is a different type of game, and it’s one of the best games on Nintendo’s console.
In Death’s Door, you play as a crow who works reaping souls for the aptly titled Reaping Commission. Your job is to help souls that don’t want to move on. As expected, something goes wrong, and you end up being tasked with reaping three major souls, and it’s quite a task! While the game definitely shares some DNA with the Souls series, this one leans closer to the beloved The Legend of Zelda series, which makes for a very charming and entertaining experience.
You are on an isometric field with access to your sword, a ranged weapon, and a dodge roll. Combat feels quick and fluid. To make sure you don’t abuse your ranged weapons, you have a meter that limits your attacks, but damaging enemies or destroying breakable items will restore the meter. But what really sold me was the dodge roll. I love a good dodge roll, and this one feels great as I was able to get out of the way of my enemy’s attacks by using it at the right time, and boy, it felt great. As you progress through the game, you will get access to other weapons and spells, each with its own usefulness.
Each enemy has a different way for you to defeat them, and you’ll need to figure things out with a little bit of trial and error. You’ll have some learning to do, and you will die a bunch, but each time you’ll come back with more knowledge and be ready to take on enemies with a new set of skills. I also need to talk about bosses. There are a bunch of bosses in-game, each with a really unique visual design. These are the moments that stole the show for me. My personal favorite was the giant boss that was also a castle! All of the bosses have a unique visual flair helping them stand out from the rest of the world while also being super fun but challenging to beat.
Another thing I fell in love with was the world as well. I’ve seen games create big open worlds that feel huge but empty. Death’s Door went the opposite route creating a smaller world but filling it with secrets everywhere. Some of the secrets aren’t initially discoverable either, since you’ll need a new power-up to access them, similar to how a Metroidvania handles things. Each area of this world also ties so well into each other. You’ll find shortcuts as you continue to explore in ways you didn’t expect, making backtracking so much easier. If I did have one criticism, it would be that there is no world map. You will get by without it, but it would have been great to have it there, especially when you want to backtrack looking for extra stuff.
Finally, let’s talk about the characters themselves. The crow you control is the typical non-speaking protagonist, but all of the other characters around him are so zany and off the wall, with great dialogue – especially the smaller characters. Take your time when talking with characters to appreciate what’s before you. Death’s Door is full of dry humor, witty, and dark humor, so it was really right up my alley. It’s a game that might not be up to everyone’s alley, but I think for most of you, this is going to work. Just remember to take your time and savor the dialogue.
Visually the game is a stunner both in Docked and Portable Mode. It feels really great and responsive when playing with the Joy-con, and the game is just as fun when taking it for a sping with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller when picking things up on the TV. No matter how you’re going to play it, the choice in art style has made it possible for this one to look amazing on the big screen and the console’s smaller screen. I also want to shout out to the game’s score as well, since it’s quiet and subtle, doing a great job to complement the storytelling and the action.
Death’s Door is a treat that everyone should be checking out on Nintendo Switch. It’s a difficult but rewarding experience. It’s a smartly designed world, full of brilliant enemy designs and fantastic boss battles. You will die, but this isn’t a Souls-like game, so you’ll never be too far from where you left off. Death’s Door is one of the best games on Switch, so you better jump in and get this $19.99 masterpiece!
This Death’s Door review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Devolver Digital.