Death Coming Review
Death Coming is currently in Early Access. All points raised in this review are current at the time of writing the review, however features, bugs and technical issues are all subject to change over the course of the Early Access process.
Disclaimer: PC Aficionado was provided with a code for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are the writer’s own, and are not influenced by the developer and/or publisher in any way.
Have you ever wanted to play as the killer from classic horror movies, like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Alien? Well of course you have. That’s why games where you play as a slasher, terrorizing innocent civilians with your overwhelming power have been getting more and more popular these days. But what about a game where you play as the faceless villain of the Final Destination franchise: Death himself? No, I don’t mean running around with a scythe, slicing up your victims; instead you would use your subtle control over the physical world to kill each of your targets in more “natural” ways, when it’s their time to die. Or… sometimes when you just want someone dead.
Death Coming is a fun, unique indie game, where you do just that, as you attempt to meet your quota of kills by slaughtering entire neighbourhoods of (mostly) innocent humans, without ever directly touching them at all. The way you kill these often adorable NPCs rarely ceases to be entertaining. In fact, I was originally afraid that there were only so many times you could watch something heavy fall on a civilian’s head before it stopped being charming, but the amount of unique ways to murder these cute pixel-people is, honestly, nothing short of astonishing in its sheer creativity.
The situations that the game sets up for you are so varied, and so ridiculous, that even with its extremely simple, repetitive premise, the game never quite got stale. Though, that’s something you’d expect from a game that allows you to show a picture of a full moon to a security guard, only to find out that he’s a werewolf, who proceeds to annihilate half of the remaining citizens. Or, in that very stage no less, when you complete a ritual to revive Dracula himself, lord of the vampires, to suck the blood from everyone within biting distance. Many of these fantastic events, you’ll find completely by accident, as you click on everything to see what could possibly be lethal, in a macabre “Where’s Waldo?” of bloody murder.
Death Coming also simply looks and sounds amazing. A true indie game, it makes liberal use of stock sounds, and low detail pixel art, but everything comes together so perfectly and so naturally, that nothing really feels out of place in this fun, wacky world that the game has concocted for the simple sake of killing everything in sight. In fact, despite the game constantly reminding me that it was incomplete, in early access, it never really felt unpolished in the slightest. The gameplay works perfectly as intended, and aside from a couple minor text issues, nothing about the game’s visuals was short of fantastic.
The closest thing to a complaint that I might have about Death Coming lies in its requirement to slaughter as many innocents as possible. I understand that that’s the purpose of the game, but the dialogue seems to imply that your goal is only to kill your three, specific targets, and leave the innocents alone, though the game doesn’t even let you proceed until you’ve killed the majority of people in the area. This wouldn’t be even the slightest bit of a complaint if the game proposed a lore-based reason as to why you have to kill an entire neighbourhood, or if killing the few specific targets weren’t where the game truly shined, making the rest of the slaughter feel dull by comparison.
Yes, the act of killing your specified targets is where the Death Coming truly lives up to its blurb’s advertisement of “Final Destination style” deaths, with the amount of careful planning, setup, and usage of several traps to finally get the kill. These targets are where the game changes from a “murder simulator” into an engaging puzzle game, with some of the kills being noticeably difficult to pull off, requiring very unique problem solving skills. So, naturally, the first thing I do upon entering a level is find each of my targets, and plan out how to kill them; which is honestly extremely enjoyable, as there are often several ways to get the job done, with a game that properly rewards creativity. However, once all that has happened, the game is usually finished with its complex puzzles, and the rest of the level does boil down to “Click on everything until people die for the next few minutes”, which somewhat halts the pace of the game. This is, however, a fairly mild complaint, next to how legitimately enjoyable those puzzles are, while they last.
All in all, Death Coming is a fun game, unlike anything else I’ve ever played, and due to its complete originality, and lack of precedents, I can easily forgive a few nitpicks and personal issues, that rarely stop the game from being enjoyable.
- Fantastic style and charm
- Extremely original concept, executed well
- Rewards creativity and planning
- Only one gameplay mode, without much room for diversity
- The pacing within that mode is very inconsistent; you'll either love it or you won't
- Not much content at the moment, but that's likely to change as the game moves through early access