Now this is a complete recipe for a failure. Picture this: a first person survival horror game, based off a poorly received independent horror movie very few people heard about, originally released for VR, but now ported to a Nintendo handheld. Yeah, I should have seen that coming from a mile away. Don’t Knock Twice isn’t a good game. Let’s have some fun talking about it, shall we? Because that’s the only type of fun we’ll ever have involving this game.
While Don’t Knock Twice is considered a horror game in theory, it barely plays like one. It felt more like a very short adventure (or better yet, a walking simulator), with easy puzzles, very little tension, and just a jump scare every now and then to remind me I was playing a horror game. It’s definitely not an engaging title. The story is all over the place and usually placed in pictures or an eventual text message. You can see the huge Silent Hill influence given the big presence of grief in order to set up the story, but that’s where the comparisons stop. Fun, setting, overall quality, that’s all missing.
As previously stated, Don’t Knock Twice was originally released as a VR game. As we all know, the Switch is not a VR console. Put 2 and 2 together and you’ll realize the controls were probably never meant to work properly with the already uncomfortable joycons. The biggest offender in this aspect is the overuse of the ZR button alongside other buttons, like R or B. ZR works both as a general action button as well as the button you use to drop currently held items. Given the game’s precarious aiming, the fact you carry an axe for more than two thirds of your total playtime and the fact there is a lot to aim at and touch, let’s just say you’re going to scream at the game a lot, and not due to jump scares or moments of tension. Everything is extremely sluggish, from your movements to your camera. You can clearly see how translating VR gameplay to this game was a colossal failure.
The game’s main offender, however, is its visuals. Oh my, they are ugly. Unacceptably hideous. Playing Don’t Knock Twice on the Switch felt like playing it on a PC with the lowest settings you could come up with. Bland textures, terrible lighting (I know this is a horror but c’mon) and a framerate so inconsistent it reminded me of the equally bad Troll and I. To prove how cheap the visuals are, if you pass by a mirror, you see absolutely no reflection whatsoever. Either you’re a vampire or this is just cheap programming. I’m leaning more towards the latter. If there’s one passable well of solace in this game, I’d just say the sound department isn’t exactly awful. Then again, that alone won’t help save the game from being a disaster.
I haven’t played Don’t Knock Twice‘s ports for other platforms, but I’m pretty sure they’re nowhere nearly as bad as this Switch version. It’s nice to see a more mature and horror-prone title for Nintendo’s console, but that’s still not a reason for you to look forward to this title. Bad visuals, bad controls, bad story, there’s nothing in this game that’s positive enough to convince anyone to spend the ten bucks the publisher is asking for it. If you’re craving for true horror, just stick to the upcoming Resident Evil Revelations ports. Sure, they’re cheesy and not exactly scary per se, but we’re talking about proper games at least.
Also available on: PS4, PC, Xbox One