Early Access Review – Death Coming
NEXT Studio created something bright and colorful with Death Coming. Don’t let that fool you, however, as the game is much darker beneath the surface. You play the role of someone who is recently deceased. Essentially, you are working for the Grim Reaper, helping him send other bystanders to the great beyond. With that in mind, let’s look at what doing that actually entails.
As this game is currently in the early access stages, you start with three separate maps you can play on. One takes place in a city street, one in factory, and third in a museum. You have been given the Reaper’s Eye, something that allows you to see certain bystanders who need to be killed in order to move on. Part of the process, however, is by killing others as well.
Essentially, you do this by putting things in motion, or by staging accidents. On the city street, for example, you can remove a manhole cover just as a citizen walks over it, dropping them to their demise. In the museum, you can close the blinds and awaken a vampire from one of the exhibits to go around killing anyone in sight. These are some of the more colorful examples, but there are many others as well. People can die from being electrocuted, from falling objects, or by just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Figuring out how to clear maps is part of what makes the game appealing.
These maps play out like a giant puzzle. Sometimes using something in one scenario blocks you from really using it later on, and sometimes you need to use something for an objective citizen even if you could kill more with it another way. This requires you to look at patterns, to see how the people are moving, and plan their deaths accordingly. Later on, the difficulty of doing this increases as angels are sent down to patrol the map and stop you from killing bystanders. Not only can this affect your score, it can also cut your game short. This just piles on more layers of difficulty, forcing you to make decisive plays early, and to set things up for truly ideal moments once the angels arrive.
As gory as all this sounds (and is), the game’s colorful and simple graphics always keep you at arms length. Despite the fact that you are setting people in motion and luring them into deadly traps, the presentation, animations and music keep it all relatively lighthearted. It’s only when you stop to consider the what you are doing that the darker undertones really come to the surface. Even the Grim Reaper is presented in a somewhat silly way, and the means of death for some scenarios are downright laughable.
Death Coming, at the moment has a relatively low price tag. That’s good, because at the moment, there isn’t a lot of game to it. All three maps have good replay value, but they still kind of left me wanting more. After numerous playthroughs, the methodology for choosing your targets becomes static, and even the chuckle from ludicrous death scenes seems to diminish. This might be a fault for a full released title, but given it is still in early access, this provides players with a taste for a lot more.
Hopefully, this game will see many more stages before it’s final release. As strange a title as it is, Death coming is fun to play, and most of what has been revealed is well polished. If this is any indication of the finished product, it’s definitely worth diving into.