STAFF REVIEW of Don't Knock Twice (Xbox One)


Thursday, September 21, 2017.
by Brent Roberts

Don't Knock Twice Box art What if movie company made a horror movie that no one went to see? What if a game developer then decided to make a game that ties into the this movie, again, that no one went to see in the theaters. Would people want to play it? It's an interesting question and something that makes you go "hmmmmm". Well, this very situation is what we have here with Don't Knock Twice from Wales Interactive Ltd. Based on the horror movie with the same name, Don't Knock Twice sets out to be a psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire game. However, we all know the abysmal history of games based on movies, so does that mean that Don't Knock Twice follows the same mantra? Well, how about we look inside and find out what this $9.99 indie game has to deliver, if anything.

From the beginning the game, it goes without saying that if you didn't see the movie you will not have a single clue of what's going on in the game. There's no loading cinematic or any clue what so ever to give you some background, who your character is, or generally anything pertaining to the story at all. Stevie Wonder has a better chance of telling you the color of your eyes than you do in deciphering the story in Don't Knock Twice. They should have at least summed up the movie's events, given that this game is based on it. What's even worse is when you finally start putting the pieces together, it becomes so bad that you just don't care anymore.


Normally I try to be objective as I can be, but I have to ask: "What has happened to the horror genre?" I know this is going to hurt people's feelings, but I feel that horror was better decades ago in the old Hitchcock and classic Stephen King era. They were known to be more 'mentally and psychologically focused with their suspense, however, you can't keep rehashing the same generic tactics and expect people to wet themselves over the horror you've tried to create. This leads to serious issues with Don't Knock Twice's story; there isn't one. Well, I shouldn't really say that because there actually is one, however it's hard to determine which is shorter, a total solar eclipse experience or this story. This mediocrity is brought upon by many other factors outside of the plot.

First, your character has limited movement abilities and most of them are irrelevant for a vast majority of the time. Sadly though, you find yourself navigating linear pathways of doors and getting caught within a repetition of actions. Walk to the only door that will open, move forward into next area and scour everything, find the only open door from there, move forward and repeat over and over again. What is incredibly disappointing is how the fright and suspense try to build upon you throughout the game, yet it never really delivers, thus turning the game into one big hunt for collectibles.


Thankfully, these collectibles shimmer in the dark, which is helpful. Why you ask? Well, because whenever you tend to enter a new area you can streamline your time spent within the game by going to the collectible, picking it up, examining it, and then going forward through the now newly opened door to whatever lays in wait for you. The item is probably a magazine or something... probably.

Sometimes you'll find that before accessing these doors you will need to experience something before they open. Case in point, I was out in a courtyard and walked around the area for over fifteen minutes trying to examine everything to get the door to unlock. When nothing happened, I finally started to look everywhere, including areas that just didn't seem like they had no relevance in the first place, and when I looked up I saw lights flickering in a window of a room, then magically the door unlocked. This is the type of nonsense you can expect from this game. I hate to sound so discouraging, but man, stuff like this is frustrating in a game of this nature.


Now the graphics are decent, but nothing to note, as they managed to "get the job done" and you can see, and decipher, what is going on as you play. The high point for me was the audio because it was at least tolerable to listen to, as you could hear the ambient sounds such as a fire crackling, the rain hitting all around you when you are outside, and so much more. I guess in many ways the overall presentation manages to convey what you are looking at, and listening to , in terms of the game's on screen action, it's just that it does not do anything that really stands out in this area.

Don't Knock Twice doesn't offer much more that would constitute any sort of positive reinforcement for picking this up for any reason what so ever, which is sad, as a good 'scare game' is something that can be fun, as Halloween is approaching. Even at the admission price of $9.99, it's unfortunate that I would have to say you should avoid this game entirely. It suffers tremendously from numerous faults and setbacks that prohibit a truly horrific experience. Regrettably, the only positive that I can see is that the game does offer a lot of easy achievements to obtain, so if you want a "cheevo" boost then this might be for you. Games based on movies never tend to work well, and unfortunately Don't Knock Twice is yet another example of why titles like these should be avoided. Forget knocking twice, just don't knock at all and go play something else.




Overall: 4.0 / 10
Gameplay: 3.0 / 10
Visuals: 3.8 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10

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