With only a brief glimpse of D4 – or Dark Dreams Don’t Die – at Microsoft’s E3 conference, it’s been unclear as to what this Microsoft-published Xbox One exclusive is exactly. In a preview on IGN, D4 director Hidetaka “Swery65″ Suehiro gives us a glimpse of the game’s mechanics, character, and narrative – as well as information regarding its use of Kinect.
Directed by Swery65 and developed by Access Games, D4 follows David, an amnesia-ridden detective out to solve his wife’s murder. Unusually, though, David is able to “jump back in time” – in that he is able experience memories – to solve crimes. His story will be in a digital-only format, which is to be released on a episodic basis.
“The episodic structure should work well given David’s memory-hopping ability,” said IGN’s Cam Shea. “It’s likely that each episode will take place within a different memory, with its own set of self-contained objectives, as well as an important tie-in to the main story.”
Compared to “a modern point and click adventure” – with a reference to Telltale’s The Walking Dead – D4 reportedly has a focus on investigation and interaction with the world. In the demo’s passenger jet, for example, David is able to interact with passengers, and retrieve information about the various objects around him. Action sequences are “choreographed,” with the outcome dependent on the player’s ability to react to on-screen cues.
Said to be designed from the “ground up” for the next-generation Kinect, players copy the on-screen action, and can speak their conversations – perhaps not unlike Mass Effect 3’s Kinect functionality on Xbox 360. But the game is also playable with the Xbox One controller. The game is also designed to be played sitting down, Swery noted.
David has to touch objects if we wants to explore the memories attached to them, but “he actually understands that he can’t change the past,” according to Swery. And when prompted about the notion that merely travelling into the past may change it, the director said, “I can’t give you many details just yet, but I think that being in the past was meant to be that way.”
“The day little Peggy died I managed to survive, through some miracle,” David tells the player. “In exchange for my memories, I got this skill. This has to be some kind of revelation, but I plan to use this skill to find a memento that can take me back to that day, so I can save my wife.”
This “weird” and “bizarre” title, like Swery’s cult classic Deadly Premonition before it, still remains a mystery. From why David developed his power to what it exactly allows him to do – although it sounds similar to Ellone’s power in Final Fantasy VIII – it seems as though D4 will turn heads and scratch brains upon its release date, something else which is also clouded in mystery.
Watch the game’s debut trailer below.