Doors are really hard to pull off in game design terms. Recently, the co-director of The Last Of Us: Part 2 discussed just how difficult doors are to get right on Twitter. Doors cause loads of problems for AI path-finding because it totally changes the shape of each combat encounter. Doors can be opened, closed, or locked — and each state changes a load of in-game variables. Door might seem like a simple rectangle on hinges, but when it comes to video games, they’re absurdly hard to pull off.
Today we’re going to celebrate doors. These are the most memorable doors in video games — which is a thing I just said, yes. Doors are more iconic than you think! Some doors lock us out, and some doors give us plenty of opening options. The simplest mechanics sometimes deserve the most praise, and a properly-done door can make a game feel that much better. Grab your keys and warm up your handle-turning hands, we’re diving into the best video game doors.
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Different Ways To Open Doors [Resident Evil 4]
The door opening animations from the original Resident Evil are so iconic, it’s probably one of the only doors in video games we collectively remember. By the time RE4 rolled around, doors didn’t need to mask loading time anymore. The doors of Resident Evil 4 are totally functional, and they can be interacted with more than most modern video game doors.
A simple tap of the button will open a door carefully in RE4. That’s great and all, but if you double-tap (naturally, we’re in a rush here) our hero Leon will instead kick the door open. It’s such a basic bit of functionality that actually anticipates how players will react when you’re being chased. Those different door opening methods also have gameplay repercussions — quietly opening a door won’t alert enemies, where a noisy kick will. Kicking open a solid door will also send any enemies standing on the other side flying!
Oh, and wooden doors can be torn apart — you can shoot tactical holes in doors to blast enemies on the other side while you’re barricaded, or push furniture over doors to slow enemies. Its a simple fact, the doors of RE4 are some of the best.
Tactical Door Opening Simulator [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare]
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare does so much to bring the standard shooter series into the next-generation — even more than the actual first COD game on PS5 / Xbox Series X. The movement and shooting in Modern Warfare is slower but more deliberate, and Aiming-Down-Sights (ADS) has been retooled in subtle ones. We can see one example of the next-gen-y-ness in how players can interact with doors.
Doors are a funnel in modern shooter terms. A doorway is a death zone, and entering a guarded location normally puts you at a huge disadvantage. That’s where the door mechanics kick in for Modern Warfare — while ADS, you can peak open a door, then lock onto the edge like cover. You can carefully maneuver around the edge of a doorway, throw a grenade through the crack, push the door open slowly to catch your opponent off-guard, or just burst through the door in a sprint. And doors aren’t exactly great protection from bullets, so it’s all about concealment.
Doors are such a challenge, games like Rainbow Six Siege removed doors entirely from their maps. Here’s hoping more FPS give us all the basic options Modern Warfare gives us.
Grab your keys, we’re unlocking more doors. Check out more of the best doors in gaming on the next page.