The lights are on
When Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka "Swery 65" Suehiro announced D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die at E3,
he didn't reveal much other than it would be an Xbox One, Kinect-enabled adventure game that you could play casually while eating popcorn. People weren't sure
what to make of this, but from the trailer one thing was evident - Swery 65's
signature quirk is alive and well.
While at Tokyo Game Show, I saw Swery 65 demo D4
for the first time. It turned out to be one of my favorite games of the
show. Here's five reasons why.
Changing The Past
The premise of D4 invites plenty of intrigue, since it
involves warping into the past. You play as David Young, a man on the hunt to find his
wife's murderer. The only lead he has is a drug boss named, "D." He has no idea
who D is, but he seeks to change the past to resolve the case. This leaves
David inside a plane trying to not draw attention to himself. After
all, people might recognize that he's not supposed to be in the past, searching
for clues. Piecing together what's going on is part of the fun, but also there's
the tension of someone getting the lead on David's mission. You never know just
who's going to confront you. As told to us by a character in the demo, "This
case is going to take you places you don't want to go."
If Swery 65 has taught us anything, it's that he knows how
to make zany characters that leave an impression. It looks like D4 is keeping
the tradition alive. A normal-looking flight attendant quickly turns from a flirt into a woman issuing a stern warning that she's on to you by
saying the flight doesn't welcome "uninvited guests." But the star of this
demo, was none other than the green-haired fashion designer Duncan and his muse
- a gold mannequin he named Sukey. He's
frighteningly obsessed with Sukey, to the point of considering her his lover.
Duncan spews phrases like "avant garde" about his ambitions and makes
vogue-like poses. Let's just say Duncan has a flamboyant nature and doesn't
exactly seem to have it all together. See treating his mannequin like a person.
The action is hardly a passing fancy and short-lived. A
fight sequence broke out with a drug smuggler in our demo, where he threw
suitcases, punches, kicks, and mannequin legs. The only defense you have is to
sync with the Kinect actions on the screen.
You'll push objects out of the way by waving your arm to the side, or raise your
arms up to grab a ledge. The turbulent flight also sent characters flying with
more obstacles. The voice commands even made their way into the action by
taking a megaphone and yelling, "Hey!" to startle the opponent. Perhaps the
best touch was being thrown a mannequin leg (sorry Duncan!), and swinging it
like a baseball bat to knock out our adversary's glass eye. Swiping your hands
can only throw slaps and punches. Too bad David ended up getting kicked right
where it counts. But one thing was certain, I wasn't bored during this entire
sequence and even found myself laughing as my enemy called me, "Mr. Point Break."
Keeping The Kinect Fun
I'm not a big fan of the Kinect, so I was a bit worried when
I heard this was a Kinect game. While D4 does offer the option to play with the
controller, the game is created around Kinect, so much so it feels like it'd
be a disservice to play it with a controller. Swery 65 even said he prefers you
play the game with the Kinect. I actually could see the enhancement of the
Kinect, it brings you right into the moment and none of the controls seem gimmicky. Searching for clues and actually being able to reach your hand out to
touch or raise objects just seems natural. Even the voice commands find their
place, as you say the phrase you want when prompted with choices. You raise
your points by choosing the response that best fits the character. The game is
casual and doesn't make you overdo any of its motion controls, which gets you
involved but at a leisurely level.
Making You Feel Like You're In A TV Episode
Swery 65 emphasized his desire for each sequence to play out
like a TV episode. You're looking for a momento to get you to the next scene.
Between the Kinect controls and role-playing with dialogue selection and voice
recognition, it makes you start to feel like you're the character on screen. You're
warped right into the intense scenes by being a part of them, doing actions
similar hand gestures to the character you're portraying. Watching somebody get
beat up is one thing, but it's another to actually perform the motions like it's
you in the scene. I have a feeling this will up the engagement level,
transporting you to these vital moments.
After my demo, I was left with wanting more. Swery 65 just
may have another cult hit on his hands.
What do you think about an adventure game using Kinect
controls? Will it take the genre to a new level?
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Interesting article, I wasnt sure what to make of D4 when it was announced, but I have been looking for a game to get me excited about the new kinect and this sounds like it could be the one!
Awezome :3 This makes me feel like kinect may really evolve this generation. Finally im beginning to see xbox's vision a bit more clearly. Ths reminded me of persona a bit :3
Definitely getting this when it comes out!
Main character David...mysterious killer D....time travel..."places you don't want to go..."
It can't be that simple, can it? That's like a Scooby-Doo tier plot twist
Thank you for the write up Kimberley. I look forward to giving this wild ride a try.
Wait, a game that utilizes the Kinect, doesn't feel gimmicky, and actually works well? I call shenanigans!
This is good news. Hopefully more develops can utilize it properly. As long as it's not an "on-rails" experience. I prefer to be able to explore.
Sounds really cool.
I am glad to hear that there is a controller option for the game, even if it is built for the Kinect.
Yeah, I'd definitely say this will be quirky alright...