Quantcast
D4, Swery65's Xbox One Kinect game, is wonderfully weird - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


D4  




D4, Swery65's Xbox One Kinect game, is wonderfully weird photo
D4, Swery65's Xbox One Kinect game, is wonderfully weird

7:45 PM on 09.21.2013

TGS preview


Upcoming Xbox One title D4 was designed for use with Microsoft's Kinect sensor. Game director Hidetaka "Swery65" Suehiro made it a point to stress this during our Tokyo Game Show meeting. D4 can be played with a controller, but his personal preference is that you play it with Kinect.

When we saw all of the weird things you can do with your hands in D4, this makes perfect sense. D4 looks fun to play with Kinect controls. 

 

D4 (Dark Dreams Don't Die) is a TV show-like murder mystery where you play as a strange and cocky investigator, trying to uncover the details to explain your wife's murder, with the letter "D" being his only solid clue. Oh, and there's a game mechanic that lets the protagonist use found objects to time hop. Weird, right? It's got that cult hit vibe that Deadly Premonition had with its odd humor and funky production values. There's a sort of charming clunkiness about it. 

Swery65 (pictured above in a pose he gave for us following our meeting) gave us a live demo of D4 at TGS this week. In our meeting he said he wanted players to be able to sit and relax while playing D4, so while you're using your arms often, it's fine to take a seat. Most of the play involves using your right hand to manipulate the game's scenes. Swery says that hand shapes can be identified with Kinect, so open-handed movement works for movement, while closed hand moves work as a selection. Think of the motion as sort of virtually grabbing what you're looking to interact with.

Our first peek at the interface had the protagonist, David Young, in an airplane bathroom. We saw how swiping a hand left or right had the player's view changing, allowing him to look around the bathroom. By moving his right hand to move a cursor, he could explore and interact with objects. For example, reaching his hand out and closing it over the toilet's button allowed him to flush it. 

The entire demo was packed with scenes where contextual hand motions were required, so while you may be able to sit, you're going to have to do some moving. They can be as simple as moving your hands upward to wash your face, or pointing forward to move your character to an interest point. You'll look for clues with your hands, using motions to do things like open up luggage compartments and sort through them. One neat move has players touching their heads with their finger tips like some superhero to initiate Head Vision, a system that highlights points of interest. The moves become a bit more exciting in the action-heavy combat sequence we saw.

There is combat in D4, though it's not quite what you may be expecting. David ends up on this plane looking for a marshall that is somehow tied to his wife's murder. This marshall is with a known (and cracked out) drug dealer that completely loses it. The drug guy kicks the marshall to death, and then takes after you, complaining that someone messed his eye while he was sleeping. He screams, "My beautiful eye is fucked!" Yeah, I don't know. This game is weird.

This ends up being a hilarious circus of a brawl in the cabin of the plane between the two. You'll dodge kicks and punches via Kinect prompts, with misses taking a segment off of a life bar. Executing the proper movement will give you an advantage in the fight, but misses will show you getting your ass kicked a bit. 

It starts easy, with timed hand swipes allowing David to blocked flying purses and luggage. It becomes sort of a dance when he gets into it, though. Kinect movements have you pulling people out of the way, flipping over them, and even doing a quick waltz with one passenger, all while putting the hurt on the drug dealer. For all of these movements, a rhythm game-like scrolling meter at the bottom of the screen shows you that some required movement is coming. To put your mind at ease, these moves are less like quicktime events and more like reactions, if that makes sense.

Some of the fight had you pulling off what they call Synchro Stunts. The first one had the drug dealer picking up a softball to be used as a projectile against David. David picks up a mannequin leg to use as a bat to defend himself. The game quickly prompts you to take a batting stance. Swing properly and the ball flies back to hit the drug dealer squarely in the face, popping one of his (fake) eyes right out of his face in slow motion. Funny stuff.

My favorite Synchro Stunt had David pinning the drug dealer down in a seat with a megaphone in hand. Players had to scream aloud to get David to yell in the megaphone to hurt the drug dealer's ears. 

The fight devolves into a slap fest, with the player doing the hand movements via Kinect. It ends in a Synchro Stunt where a fighting stance is required for punches, but that only lasts a short while until David ends up being kicked in the crotch, sending him crawling to a nearby airplane seat. It looked as if neither won the fight.

These Kinect controls make more sense when you see them in action. And unlike some other Kinect-controlled games, I'm glad to say that they're not a drag in D4. The required movements for navigation and exploration looked completely natural, and the ones for combat looked to be a lot of fun. All looked to be very responsive, too.

Beyond this exploration and combat, D4 has another attraction point with its quirky charm. The characters we ran into in this demonstration were so weird! One flirty flight attendant that was a dead ringer for David's late wife falls into him following some turbulence, spitting her bubble gum directly onto his mouth. Gross! She starts out flirty, but ends up being quite scary, noting that David shouldn't even be on the flight. David ends up chewing that gum for the rest of the episode, by the way. 

The oddest encounter was in the plane's aisle with an over-the-top fashion designer named Duncan. He carries around a mannequin named Sukey that he seems to be in love with, and spews forth judgement on anything that he doesn't deem "avant garde." Duncan and his Sukey have matching green hair and distinctive sunglasses. 

I wasn't sure what to make of D4 when it was revealed earlier this year, but I had a feeling we were in for something pretty interesting when hearing that Swery65 was involved. My feeling was right. From this demo alone I was drawn into pulpy, peculiar world, wanting to see who David ran into next. The game rides that rare line that Deadly Premonition did, so if that kind of game speaks to you, this one will too. 

And then there's the Kinect bonus. I'd normally call Kinect controls in an action game unnecessary, but they've found a way to use them to make D4 more interesting. I was continually impressed to see controls that didn't seem gimmicky, and even more impressed to see that they worked properly. 

With this, D4 has shot to the top of my list of desired Xbox One games. I can't wait to get my hands on it. In front of it. Whatever.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
D4



9:30 PM on 09.17.2014
Here's Swery holding a monkey and standing next to a yellow plastic woman

Was that headline not descriptive enough for you? What did you think would be in this post? There's Swery nonchalantly holding a stuffed monkey next to a weird yellow plastic statue thing. He did that during the entirety of h...more



8:31 PM on 09.17.2014
Swery's quirky D4 releases worldwide this Friday

Straight out of TGS 2014, it's been announced that Swery65's quirky D4 is launching worldwide this Friday for $14.99 exclusively on Xbox One.  Seeing as this game is episodic, the prologue, episode one, and episode two a...more



4:30 PM on 06.10.2014
Swery65's D4 is all about finding D, dodging weirdos

Swery65 brought us Deadly Premonition, so you know D4 is going to be weird. In fact, Swery told me that he drafted six or seven different stories to work on next and in his partnership with Microsoft, went with the "most biza...more



8:00 AM on 11.27.2013
Swery continues to defend D4 Xbox One exclusivity

After being pestered by the millions of fans who don't want to buy an Xbox One for Swery's upcoming D4, the famed developer re-iterated that the game is in fact an exclusive. Once again speaking to Gaming Bolt, Swery had a fe...more



11:00 AM on 09.20.2013
Swery65 talks D4 Xbox One exclusivity, and more

I don't think I've ever heard a collective amount of cheers and sighs so loud as when Swery65's new D4 project was announced -- only to have it become an Xbox One exclusive seconds later. Microsoft had a chance to sit down wi...more



3:23 PM on 06.13.2013
Murder mystery D4 sure looks like another Swery65 game

The director of Deadly Premonition is back with a Kinect game called D4. Among the Xbox One exclusives shown at E3, this was right up there as one of the most attention-grabbing. After meeting with Swery65 and Microsoft Stud...more



12:00 PM on 06.12.2013
Swery65's D4 will be exclusive to the Xbox One

Swery65's intriguing new game D4 will definitely be exclusive to the Xbox One, the designer has confirmed today. It's a pretty odd development for sure, but if you recall, Deadly Premonition was exclusive to the Xbox 360 for ...more



More D4 News

Adventure Games

2:15 PM on 09.11.2014
Titan Souls is my PAX Prime 2014 game of show

Confession time: I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to the indie game scene. I love me some Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn, and Crawl, but it's not uncommon for me to have only heard about these games just before release or late...more



9:00 PM on 09.04.2014
Paradigm is a point-'n'-click game starring sloths and mutants

While adventure games are doing as well as ever, there's still not too many that hark back to the classic era games like Day of the Tentacle. They used to be really weird! Jacob Janerka's Paradigm seems to emulate that style...more



7:30 PM on 09.04.2014
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 hits Steam Early Access today

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is hitting Steam Early Access today. The sequel to the 2009 point-and-click adventure game was successfully funded via Kickstarter and looks just as charming as the original. I'm a huge fan of...more



View all Adventure Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more