I love a good first person horror game, but I feel games that solely remain on jump scares aren’t as strong as those that create a tense atmosphere. Luckily for me Doorways: Holy Mountains of Flesh created a terrifying atmosphere that’s as frightening as Alien: Isolation. Holy Mountains of Flesh is the fourth game in the Doorways series, but I was able to get into the story without feeling that I was missing some crucial story points. The experience is also enjoyable despite this just being a taster of the horrors to come, which bodes well for fans of the Doorways series when the full game is released.
I cannot do justice for the atmosphere just through words, you have to pick it up for yourself and let the horror begin. The way this game creates the tension is very similar to Alien: Isolation, the gameplay is also somewhat similar too. You are basically hiding all the time when the monster is near, which makes it tense because you have nothing to defend yourself from this beast. Although the hiding isn’t exactly the same, I assume being early access having the ability to hide under desks wouldn’t be finalized yet. It is also similar in the death scenes, the monsters get close enough to you for it to get a good look then murders you after a few seconds of inspection.
Doorways: Holy Mountains of Flesh may just seem like a way to ruin a decent pair of boxers, but like some horror games recently, it also has a complex and interesting story behind it if you choose to read into it. Meaning you can’t expect everything to be explained to you bit by bit, you need to pay attention to the notes and such you find in the game. The game is divided into different acts: The School, The Mansion and The Temple; each of these settings is as unnerving as each other.
The graphics are very impressive considering it’s early an early access game. When playing a your view is slightly obstructed or it’s just straight up too dark to see, this adds to the ambience as even the slightest thing moving from the corner of the screen can send a shiver down your spine. The creature I mentioned earlier is your biggest worry, and these monsters are more or less only way you can die. The first time you meet this beast it’s just harmless twitching under a solitary light, a musical queue also sounds so that’s how you know everything else before this was just a walk in the park.
After completing the game, players can always replay it if they wish to get all the story or while they wait for the full game to come out. There is an impressive 6 hours of gameplay to this early access game, which shows it has a lot of potential in its final form. However, there are a few problems to tweak, at certain moments the sound queues were a little bit off time. But this is understandable due to it being in early access. Little problems like these is what early access is all about, so developers have the chance to iron out the creases before the game is “done”. It also offers full controller support which is a big bonus for those who feel more comfortable, or those who usually play on consoles.
I believe Doorways: Holy Mountains of Flesh, considering it’s still in early access, deserves an 8. It’s a good effort although in early access, and it has similar styles to great horror games like Alien: Isolations. At times these “familiar” scenes do feel a little too similar, but it’s what help makes the game as scary as it is. I would personally recommend it if you enjoy having your socks scared off, and obviously to fans of the Doorways series.
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