Behind the Door Review
A “deep horror experience” that doesn’t rely on screamers!! Oh Boy!!…oh wait…they lied…
Developer: Dio Alias Games
Publisher: Dio Alias Games
Release Date: August 16 2017
Reviewed On: PC
Behind the Door is a tale about a sceptical detective (inspirationally named John) investigating an abandoned house where a group of teenagers were killed.
Firstly…why is John so sceptical? I trawled through this game a number of times and couldn’t get to the bottom of it. Is he sceptical about the teenagers were murdered? Perhaps he believes there are squatters in the home so it’s not so “abandoned”? Perhaps it’s not even a home…but a small shed!
This may seem like a tangent…but after playing this game it leaves a questioning taste in your mouth…kind of like these benign questions…or eating chalk…why oh why have I just spent the last half an hour choking this down?
The game is more of a walking-sim…meets a waitering job. You walk back and forth through the abandoned house carrying objects and presenting them to the appropriate icon, praying they don’t get spat back at you.
An example of this is trying to enter the attic by repairing the broken ladder. This required finding nails, a toolbox and the broken ladder rung. Eventually John admired his handiwork and went back to place the fruits of his labour into position so he could venture into the attic. He did this by navigating over the miscellaneous…intact…wooden planks strewn across the floor of the house. Come to think of it one missing rung isn’t much of a life-threatening ladder experience…perhaps John is just a little cautious…especially being in a house where teenagers were…supposedly…killed.
Nevertheless, our hero perseveres into the attic, only to find a body…all nicely wrapped up for him. Does this deter our friend John? Are we prompted to rush from the house to tell the authorities that there was another murder? You got it…we continue on like this is an everyday occurrence for our character. This just shows the misleading statements the developers have made for this game. There’s very little story and the only thing that we gather from the end of this is that the character we play as must be some kind of Inspector Clouseau wannabe…blundering into a murder scene…discovering a body…witnessing the site of a ritual in the basement…and is he deterred? Oh, no…he searches on, hankering for that next icon to prompt him to fix something.
Gameplay wise…fix the sensitivity as soon as you open the game…I felt like I had cat-like reflexes…or was about to give John a severe case of whiplash if it turned any faster. The movement felt sluggish like poor old John was wading through mud. However, the shift key did allow you to sprint. Now a game that requires no running from enemies, but makes you move at a snail’s pace when just walking…why not just…you know, have a regular pace? Think of the poor pinkies!
Visually, well…there are visuals…just very few textures. When there are doorknobs missing you know there are going to be problems. Players are also given a flashlight to help navigate the house…what would a story driven, horror game be without a light mechanic?? Batteries are plentiful and unlike games like Outlast or Amnesia, you could probably sprint through this game without burning through too many.
In conclusion, we can sum this up alongside the developer’s statements:
“Deep horror experience”
Although the atmosphere was gloomy, it just felt forced. It looks like a tacky version of Outlast 2 or Resident Evil 7. There are the occasional chills…but they’re lacking in suspense.
“Find letters and solve puzzles”
Well, most of the letters consisted of riveting detail such as “get out” and “too late”. And the puzzles…well, the toughest one was finding the water source to stop a handle being too hot to use. Turns out the icon wasn’t placed for the water…also if there’s rope around a handle…apparently, gasoline and a lighter are a good fix according to this game.
“No screamers! Only environment, ambience and the story makes you fear”
This game got reactions from me purely from the 4-5 jump scares throughout…and no screamers?? The game quite literally ends on one.
“Interesting and catchy story”
John’s incredible adventure to complete home renovations contemplate life and other misadventures…I may have jazzed this up a tad.
I won’t be recommending Behind the Door. For the first attempt at a story-driven horror game, it just feels lazy. Even for the €3.99 (at time of release) it isn’t worth it. You could finish this in 20 minutes. Save your money for a movie ticket.
- It’s cheap
- It forces you to question why some people do the things they do
- You learn how to get rope off of a handle and fix a ladder
- Lacks depth and story
- Very short
- We’ve seen it done before and much better (budget and expertise are a factor here but this game honestly just felt like there was no passion put into it)