Death’s Door gameplay trailer showcases ‘tight 2D pixel-art action’

Death’s Door, announced by Devolver Digital in March, is probably one of the most fascinating gaming concepts I’ve come across in a long time: It tells the story of a crow with a sword who harvests the souls of the dead. Most of the time, it’s a rather mundane, repetitive job, but every now and then, someone swipes a soul, and that’s when things become interesting.

We only had a quick taste of gameplay in the announcement trailer, but developer Acid Nerve dug deeper into the action at today’s Summer Game Fest Kickoff with a gameplay video showing off “intense, fast-paced brawls, where mistakes are penalized and talent is rewarded.”

“Our background is in tight, 2D pixel art action, and we’ve been cautious to keep it responsive,” producer and designer David Fenn noted. “The world is completely explorable and handmade. All of the individuals and enemies you encounter have distinct, twisted designs. Death’s Door is full of high-octane action, but it’s also about learning the mysteries of its unique environment and solving this enigma.”

While the underlying plot is clearly unique, Fenn claims that the “structure and scale of the gameplay” most closely resemble The Legend of Zelda, one of the developer’s “oldest influences.”

“You have a difficult task ahead of you, but you will also provide hope to the unique and amazing residents who are attempting to find their way in this unusual area. The location and circumstances are depressing, yet the exchanges between characters are lighthearted and upbeat.”

To be honest, I’m conflicted: I’m bad at high-speed fighting (and, honestly, have little time for it), yet I adore the aesthetic of Death’s Door and the promise of the setting and plot. I’m hoping it has some type of story mode so I can enjoy the experience even if I’m not very good at it. (Because, sure, I am going to play it.) I couldn’t help myself!)

Death’s Door is set to be released this summer. More information may be found at playdeathsdoor.com.

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