Continuing from the first season of spooky episodic point & click adventure The Last Door, Season 2 aims to wrap up the tale of a Victorian-era secret society bent on peering into the world beyond our own where no mortal belongs. This time, the perspective has switched to Doctor Wakefield investigating the disappearance of his patient Jeremiah Devitt, the protagonist from the last game. Every clue takes the good doctor to numerous locales with the darkest of histories. Expect to visit poorly-lit dwellings and an island inspired by The Wicker Man, and don’t forget to rummage through people’s personal property to nab anything that looks remotely useful.
Upon taking one look at The Last Door, some might run off screaming for reasons other than the horror elements. It’s not a shameful thing to admit to bouncing off a game because of its art style, but in this case, the purposeful low resolution textures undoubtedly enhance the experience by using the player’s imagination against them. There’s no finer example of this than the opening scene of each episode where context is removed as you try to discern what you’re ordering a character to do, each increasingly apprehensive click of the mouse causing suspicion to grow until their disturbing intentions are finally revealed.
There’s a definite ending to The Last Door Season 2, have no fear in that regard. Even with some possible loose ends remaining such as the origin of Wakefield’s mysterious companion doctor Kaufmann, the game delivers a complete story. It’s a shame the payoff can’t quite match the build-up. We've been hearing for two games about the unspeakable horrors behind the curtain and never really get a proper glimpse. That’s somewhat understandable, as once evil has been quantified, it never quite has the same presence again.
The Last Door knows some things are best left unseen, so sound design remains its strongest aspect. From creaking floorboards to the sharp slam of a heavy wooden door, the sound effects are brimming with so much confidence that there are entire scenes set in complete darkness. Composer Carlos Viola returns to keep the quality and consistency of the music from the first season, working to create a foreboding atmosphere where a change in the composition is a reason to be wary.
Sadly unlike its predecessor, The Last Door: Season 2 is very light on actual scares. Puzzles are less morbid, and there are precious few (if any) opportunities for item interactions or combinations that invoke a dreadful certainty something bad is going to happen, despite not knowing exactly what. Forget dipping a lightbulb into the entrails of a dead deer or triggering a nun’s suicide with a music box, the puzzles are now rational and would be at home in non-horror environments.
Speaking of environments, those have changed from a single large area to an overland map. Jumping between several locations lets The Last Door showcase varied settings. The downside is that the atmosphere isn't given time to seep in. If a frightening occurrence happened in the first season, you’d still be trapped in the proximity, lending a feeling of trepidation at the prospect of exploring further. In Season 2, a click on the edge of the screen brings up a map, and suddenly you’re miles away at a different location. The Wicker Man chapter works well, but in my opinion, this format is detrimental to the other sections.
I'm disappointed some of my favorite morbid elements from the first season didn't transfer over and can only speculate as to why. Perhaps they were deemed too absurd and took some players right out of the game. Whatever the reason, their absence does not negate the fact that once again Spanish developer The Game Kitchen have demonstrated a keen use of sound and storytelling. The Last Door Season 2 is a solid continuation and finale of the series.
The Last Door: Season 2 was reviewed on Windows PC with a copy purchased by the reviewer. A free demo of the first episode can be found on The Last Door website.
While not as captivating as the first season, The Last Door Season 2 is a solid worthwhile sequel from a team who knows their craft.