XBOX One’s D4 to make Kinect Relevant At Last?

Let’s face it, Kinect failed to light fires. With Microsoft putting heavy emphasis on XBOX One on Kinect 2.0, they need to turn things around. Thankfully, D4 by Hidetaka Suehiro and Access Studio might finally make Kinect work.

Will D4 (Dark Dream Dont Die) make Kinect 2.0 on XBOX One a hit?

Hidetaka Suehiro is famous for making weird games, ranging from Spy Fiction to Deadly Premonition, the latter of which earned itself a healthy cult following with its replica of Twin Peaks. Now, Hidetaka Suehiro is making D4 for XBOX One and Kinect. The game is an episodic title to be released in installments. It’s an imaginative and surreal adventure game that takes the humour of Deadly Premonition to its extreme.

Dark Dreams Don’t Die (D4) is very similar to Deadly Premonition. There are many ties between the two games. The game starts David Young—which is a nod to the protagonist of Rainy Woods, the title of Deadly Premonition before lawyers got involved— and Forest Kaysen makes an appearance. Perhaps the best thing D4 has going for it is the fact that Hidetaka Suehiro and Kenji Goda (writer) are clearly hitting full swing with their creativity and seem to be making D4 an awesome piece of video game narrative.

D4 is Hidetaka Suehiro at his best. You play as protagonist David Young, who can travel through time, a skill which you will need to use in order to solve the mystery of the death of your girlfriend. The episode we’ve seen was set on a plane in flight. It had a graphical feel reminiscent of Heavy Rain but packed full of hilarity.

Access Studio’s take on the graphic adventure theme is a lot more direct than Quantic Dream’s, but with gameplay that, thanks to Kinect, truly sets it apart from the pack. You can use Kinect to look around the scene, using your own hand like a mouse cursor. You can interact with the environment, moving and using objects and pushing around the crew and passengers on the flight. The variety of motions you make with your hands adds realism to the gameplay. When in front of a sink, for instance, you can brush your hands upwards to splash water over your face.

Kinect is also used as a storytelling device too. You can read out your narrative choices, you can shift your head a little change view and you can make a fist to grab items. D4 truly makes intelligent use of XBOX One’s Kinect 2.0.

When you get into a fight you’re engaged in QTEs that are actually action packed and that allow for all sorts of choreographed action that will have you laughing your ass off.

It’s extremely exciting to see such inventive and intelligent use of XBOX One’s Kinect 2.0. This is the type of gameplay Kinect was made for. Hopefully Dark Dreams Don’t Die / D4 will begin a long line of top notch Kinect games on XBOX One.

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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