EARLY ACCESS: Wut da … is Doorways: Holy Mountains of Flesh?

Argentinean horror series reaches its final chapter.
Argentinean horror series reaches its final chapter.

The Doorways horror series ran into some obstacles on the road to recognition. Critic views on the first three chapters have not been outstanding. Fan appreciation, in contrast, has increased with each game release. Developer Saibot Studios is aiming to make the final chapter, the ultimate horror experience. I haven’t played the previous three chapters, so I’m jumping into Doorways: Holy Mountains of Flesh with no background knowledge. I’m excited and intrigued to play through this early preview. Mainly due to the handful of fantastic Spanish indie thrillers films I’ve been watching as of late. Despite being a newcomer to this series, it was easy to pick up and understand what you need to do.

Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger!
Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger! Stranger Danger!
Ah yes, just like the playgrounds I used to run around in as child.
Ah yes, just like the playgrounds I used to run around in as child.
Creative puzzles like this one, are a definite highlight. PS-There's a monster in the room trying to eat your inner salsas.
PS-There’s a monster in the room trying to eat your inner salsas.

It seems odd releasing a progressive horror story of any kind on Early Access. Once you know there’s a monster behind door Number 3, playing it again after an update will have diminished thrills, right? The developer’s have reasoned, that by gathering valuable feedback from players, they can shape Doorways IV into a far more captivating horror experience. That hope is evident as you playthrough release updates and seeing some of the games puzzles being streamlining into more solvable scenarios; all thanks to player comments. Drawing players in to the fullest, is what this development team wants. That’s why they have even added Oculus support with each game release, visually engrossing game fans further. It’s clear they are upping the ante for this release. This suspenseful live action trailer was created by Saibot Studios to heighten anticipation for the release of Doorways.

 

You play as Thomas Foster, who works for a non-governmental organization (NGO) named Doorways, as he tracks down four serial killers into their nightmarish domains. Holy Mountains of Flesh has you tracking the fourth and final killer, named Jeronimo. With the game’s initial early access look, you begin in a twisted dark infested school.  As you soon discover, this is the school the man you are hunting attended as a child. A letter in the library states that young Jeronimo not only suffers from severe mental handicaps, he was also disfigured and grotesque. The product of an incestuous relationship within his family (this better be a lesson to all of you in incestuous relationships!). He was ridiculed by other kids and naturally returns to unleash horrendous and unspeakable atrocities; you know, because when you are deformed and mentally challenged your selection of hobbies becomes severely limited.

Messages in Spanish left by the killer, "Drown sweetness drown!" "My Best Birthday" "Who's laughing now?"
Messages in Spanish left by the killer, seems like a nice guy. (English messages now available in game)

This last update however introduces That’s why they have even added Oculus support with each game release, visually engrossing game fans further if they have the hardware. It’s clear they are upping the ante for this release. They have even created a suspenseful live action trailer to heighten anticipation for the release of Doorways. an entire new starting point before the school area. You now begin in a fiery cavern. I am still not sure what is real, imagined, or if you are trapped in Dante’s Inferno. The initial area appears incomplete but offers more main story details. For example, a dossier on Jeronimo from the Doorways organization is found early on. At the center of the mysterious town is a door that bars the way to the fleshy Mountain- that is perhaps the namesake of the game. This door appears to require four pieces to open, and a new pathway leads to the school that was the initial early access level released. Judging from the layout and makeup of the town you will need to head into four areas related to Jeronimo’s past find one of these four pieces. Before progressing to the divine tower of human salami.

promisingEA

As game development continues, we are expectant that some issues will continue to be addressed. The highest graphical setting can run a little poorly at times. There is also no SLI support at this time, it would make a nice addition to allow some gamers to keep details max at the high resolution. It’s probable that this Unity based game requires optimization and tweaks, but these can be taken care of before full release. There is not much going on in the new starting town, that may change. A lot of empty homes with a cutscene or two doesn’t create as much atmosphere or theme, we hope there’s more planned for this rather large and spacious area. Finally, there’s the thought of giving too much away. I’ve already played the school chapter, after tweaks and updates it is still the same school chapter. Will more jumpscares, puzzles, and surprises make their way into previously released sections? Will they keep some of the closing chapters close to the vest until release?

I’ve enjoyed aspects of Doorways already, and I can say it has been interesting watching this game progress. Yes, there are areas that could be polished and more that can be added; but what is there already has been interesting and entertaining to play. On one of the more memorable areas I realized that the mysterious disfigured creature that assaults you in the school only resides in darkness. By moving a series of carts around I was able to illuminate the room a bit more, forcing the creature to retreat deeper into the room. The creative puzzle elements intertwined with this hideous abomination trying to devour you makes for interesting gameplay. We look forward to more Doorways and remain curious to see if fan feedback does indeed lead to a more refined and creative horror experience.

fixesEA