By Spencer . June 18, 2014 . 1:36am
There wasn’t much talk about Kinect at E3, but Microsoft and Deadly Premonition creator SWERY have been working on a Kinect game for Xbox One. Dark Dreams Don’t Die or D4 is a mystery game where you play as David Young, a private investigator trying to solve his own wife’s murder so he can travel through time and prevent it.
The D4 demo I played started with David in a bathroom and was entirely played with Kinect. Waving my hand with an open palm moved a cursor on screen. I had to close my palm to inspect objects. David’s power is introspection, so every time you inspect an object he uses a little bit of stamina. Most of the dialogue in the bathroom scene was back story about how David pined for his wife.
Dark Dreams Don’t Die has a scoring system. When you inspect objects, the camera moves around and story continues. Sometimes you’ll see other objects that flash and you can inspect those to increase your synchronization with David and your score.
Kinect motions are used to turn the camera too, you move your hand in the direction you want to turn and then quickly swipe in the other direction as if you were grabbing an object and turning it. That worked out well, but walking is tedious. David can only walk along a trail of white dots. When you want to take a step forward you have to move your hand over to a dot and then close your hand to confirm the motion. Want to take another step? You do that again. Moving David is kind of like playing hand Pac-Man. I think Access Games could make this easier by letting players jump dots instead of moving to each dot.
While walking didn’t feel natural, Dark Dreams Don’t Die’s gestures are generally intuitive. After leaving the bathroom, I walked into a kitchen. David sat down and I had a choice to pick up a photo or a bottle of agave tequila. David mentioned that was his favorite drink so I went for the bottle. D4 has players follow a motion as if they were taking a drink and then slamming the glass on the table.
Later in the demo, Amanda knocks on the door. When I opened it I got into a "swipe fight" where I had to swipe left, right, and use both arms to keep Amanda from… sweeping David. David catches objects that Amanda tosses at him in over the top ways like catching and spinning a mug with his index finger. The fight ended with a grab and pull motion that worked well with the animations. A little tidbit about Amanda, David actually has a cat in his apartment also named Amanda. The demo ended after the swipe fight leaving attendees to speculate about the relationship (if any?) between the two characters. All we know about Amanda the woman is she suddenly started living with David.
As mentioned earlier on Siliconera, Dark Dreams Don’t Die can be played with a controller too. The game is slated for release on Xbox One later this year with three or four episodes planned for this season.