D4, with its brief title, episodic nature, Xbox One exclusivity, and the mind behind Deadly Premonition, has been intriguing since its debut a few days ago. At E3, Deadly Premonition and D4 director Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro was on hand to try and explain his new game as best as he could.
Swery begins by saying that the game is a modern mystery designed to be played with the Xbox One’s Kinect. There will be an option to play the game with a controller, but Swery recommends the Kinect as it allows you to play the game intuitively and you can play the game while eating popcorn without having to wipe your hands to pick up the controller.
Swery is so adamant about the fact that you can eat popcorn while playing D4, pointing it out many times, that I wouldn’t be surprised if it appears as a feature on the marketing materials for the game when it releases.
Just because the game uses Kinect doesn’t mean it will require broad gestures or even a standing position. This is another reason you can eat popcorn, Swery points out, because no one eats popcorn standing up. The game will also allow you to use voice commands.The game is designed to be played sitting down and uses the Xbox One’s advanced Kinect to track smaller movements.
Swery prepared a video demo of the game, but he warns before the video even starts that if you are familiar with his previous game, Deadly Premonition, then you will know that this games are weird. He promises to explain details of the story after the video is over, because it will be confusing.
We see the game’s protagonist, David, standing in front of the mirror of an airplane bathroom. David explains that he can witness his past memories by touching certain objects. There was an ambiguous incident where he lost all his memories, but gained the aforementioned power.
David accidentally bumps into a flight attendant while blowing a chewing gum bubble, knocking her over and getting gum all over his face. The two converse as David pulls gum off of his chin. There are three dialogue options, and it appears as though placing your hand over the option you want will select it, but it also looks like you can speak the dialogue option out loud in order to make a choice.
David sees a bald man with gunshot wounds on his face sitting next to someone who looks like a rockstar. I know that the wounds are from a gunshot because a small on-screen pop-up appears defining them as such. David is trying to reach the rockstar, a man named Antonio Penny Zapatero, sitting next to the bald man on the plane, but baldy isn’t having it.
The video then cuts to a scene, presumably later in the game but still on the plane, of Antonio beating up the bald man. The bald man is knocked unconscious and David intervenes. Antonio and David get into a fight, and a Kinect controlled series of quick time events begin. Motions like raising your right hand in the air, or moving your left hand from the top left of the screen to the bottom right are requested to continue the fight. David shouts, “Give me that evidence! I don’t know what it is, but I need that evidence!” The fight moves in and out of slow-motion as the two throw luggage and fire extinguishers at one another until a giant bolt of electricity rushes through the plane and Antonio disappears into thin air. It’s confusing, and nothing makes sense, just as Swery promised.
Swery stands up to explain what we witnessed. David can dive into the past to see his memories, and he is trying to solve his wife’s murder. Swery says it’s very complicated, but David is trying to prevent her death, even though he knows he can’t change the past.
There is a little known series of games for the PlayStaiton and Dreamcast called D and D2, but Swery laughed when asked if this game has any relation to those titles. D4 has two meanings. The game allows you to look at your memories of the past, essentially allowing you to manipulate the fourth dimension, and the full title of the game is Dark Dreams Don’t Die. D and its successor D2 have nothing to do with this game.
D4 is an episodic game coming to Xbox One, and although Swery and his team have a plan for the game’s distribution, they were not ready to share it.