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Doorways Chapter 1&2 PC Review

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Doorways Chapter 1 & 2 is a Steam Greenlight success story that adds a nice take on what I call “Clueless Horror”. That is a genre I created to describe this game. You don’t know what is going on in the game. You do not know what character you are playing as, what your goal is, what the world is like, or why you are going through all these different environments. That is what adds the “Clueless” part is. The horror part is the eerie atmosphere each area gives off, not to mention the occasional jump scare. This game is a horror game because it has a good atmosphere, like classic Slient Hill. It isn’t RE6 or Dead Space when you see all of the “scary” things coming from a mile away.

When you play through the game you get a basic goal to work towards, but there is the present feeling that you are working against yourself, which is a great way to tell a story and play a game in this genre. You play as Thomas Foster, an agent that must track down several psychopaths. However, these people seem to be up to something much more supernatural.

The story is well written, nothing award winning, but it is nice. You slowly learn about the area you are in and the people you are tracking down through notes and various items you gain through the game. You learn as the character learns in the game. That is what makes this horror game so good. It helps you immerse yourself as the main character, and that helps create tension.

The gameplay is simple, basic movements and an action button. The game is played out through a large assortment of puzzles that you must solve with seemingly no hints whatsoever. This is where we get more of that great atmospheric tension. The character doesn’t know how to solve these puzzles right away, so why should you?

The level design is great, but these days, it isn’t hard to beat. I mean you have more than one hallway and you immediately have a more complex level design than a majority of AAA titles. Outside the puzzles, that is all the game has to offer gameplay wise and you continue playing to find the psychopaths and what the hell is going on in the place you are in. The story plays out well enough to give out a great psychological thriller vibe.

The visuals are nicely done as well for being an indie title. Sure it could use some more polishing and areas seem to be a bit “too dark” so it makes traversing certain areas difficult even with the torch burning bright. The other problem with Doorways is the conveyance issue. While it works in with the genre of not knowing what to do tehre is very little done to point you in the right direction. Especially with the puzzles. There seems to be an unhealthy amount of “What do I do? Where do I go?” being said while playing the game.

Doorways is somewhat short when reflected on. There are plenty of secrets to discover so the replay value is moderate. The game isn’t breaking any boundaries, but does a nice job for being a horror game with a correct atmosphere. I give Doorways a 7.5/10. You can pick it up on Steam now.

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