D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die - Xbox One

Release Date:

September 19, 2014

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
8.0

Summary:

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die on the Xbox One was released by Microsoft after being developed by the team over at Access Games. D4 is an episodic murder mystery that found a home last September of 2014. Featuring an interesting premise, some quirky visuals, and a dark tone we were more than interested and seeing what was in store for us when we picked up the game for the Xbox One. Though we are not familiar with the devs at Access Games we were more than willing to give them a shot. What we found was an interesting tale that spun macabre in with a jumping timeline in order to leave us with more questions than we began with.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Access Games
  • Publisher(s):
    • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Distributor(s):
    • Xbox One Store
  • Release Date(s):
    • September 19, 2014
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Mature
  • Player(s):
    • 1
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A
  • Add-Ons:
    • Available

Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 8.81GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine:
    • Unreal Engine 3
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 11 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-07-16

Darren_Summerell

Writer

Xbox One

8.0

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die on the Xbox One was released by Microsoft after being developed by the team over at Access Games. D4 is an episodic murder mystery that found a home last September of 2014. Featuring an interesting premise, some quirky visuals, and a dark tone we were more than interested and seeing what was in store for us when we picked up the game for the Xbox One. Though we are not familiar with the devs at Access Games we were more than willing to give them a shot. What we found was an interesting tale that spun macabre in with a jumping timeline in order to leave us with more questions than we began with. While this was only the first episode in the series we were already sucked in. Keep on reading to see why you should give D4 a shot and be aware that we will show off some spoilers from the game.

Making a game that is both odd and enduring is a pretty tough idea to tackle as a developer with little name recognition amongst most casual gamers. If you want to make a game that is odd you have to keep it grounded somewhat in reality so that you can pull people in. Avante garde is avante garde for a reason. With that being said if you manage to find that perfect balance between insane and accessible then you will find a game that is both interesting and mind blowing. Enter D4. From the guy that directed Deadly Premonition comes the twist time traveling tale (alliteration comes easy) of a man who would do anything to find out who killed his wife, even if it involves using some precarious technology in order to find it out. Enter our murder mystery.

You will play as the Boston born Detective David Young. David used to work for the Boston Police Department and he is living in a future where he is reeling from the tragic and senseless murder of his wife, Peggy. The fact that his wife was murdered is bizarre enough but there are no clues as to who did it and he remembers nothing of the event outside of her last words, 'Look for Da'. Last words typically aren’t going to help too much but they are exactly what David needs in order to begin his investigation.

Looking at D4 solely from its premise, a retired cop and a dead wife, we can definitely get the feeling that we’ve been here before. And that feeling would be pretty accurate, at least at first. This superficial cop drama gets much deeper once David unveils his new power. He has the ability to look back in time merely by touching mementos that have important memories inside of them. He can go back to the past and experience the events that were important to them. Touching a bloody US Marshal badge will send Young back in time to a cabin inside of an airplane and here we begin with the first two chapters of the twisted and turning tale.

There is a new designer drug on the market that gives people almost supernatural powers once they take it and David believes that it is related to his wifes’ death. The drug is called 'Red Blood' and it serves as a focal point for much of our attention. There aren’t very many details regarding the drug in the early portion of the episode and all we really learn is that it makes the user feel like a God, all powerful with extraordinary strength and awareness in their environment. Eventually David tracks down a courier of the drug that he believes may be the key to understanding Peggy’s last words and unfortunately that courier disappears, mid flight, during a bad lightning storm. So Young has to use his memento ability in order to find out what exactly happened.

Throughout the adventure one of the highlights of the game, as well as one of its most bizarre aspects, is how interesting each individual character is. Perhaps it is because David is so normal (think of a sober/mentally sane Rick Grimes) that everyone else appears to pop off of the screen. You’ll meet a fashion designer who is romantically into mannequins that are dressed, well, like himself. You’ll meet people with severe and over the top OCD and you’ll even meet some folks that make you downright afraid. This is an odd world we’re playing through and the storytelling fleshes it out wonderfully.

Perhaps because it is a completely foreign IP or because we came in without any knowledge, but we never felt comfortable guessing in which direction the story was going to go. We were constantly surprised by the progression of the game and that sense of lacking balance served to help immerse us into the shoes of David, who must also feel pretty out of touch. We also liked that there was a ton of texture and depth to the world building on display. There is so much detail and respect given to passing moments that we begin to wonder if they have any surpassing relevance on the story or if they are merely well defined details (an omniscient and trippy giant makes several appearances, along with his knives).

Our favorite aspect of D4 was how capably the development team handled the jump between quirky dialogue and serious, gritty drama. There are the occasional moments where D4 goes all out on the cheese factor but they reel it in appropriately when the moment calls for it. But you need to be prepared for a dose of levity and quirkiness and hopefully it doesn’t take you too far out of the drama when it happens.

When we finished with D4 we weren’t really sure what to say about it. So much happened and at the same time so much happened that we couldn’t adequately describe. This is a bizarre experience that relies on people who are willing to think outside of the box and put up with some insanity. It’s definitely worth the ride.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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Jul 16, 2015
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By:

Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date:

September 19, 2014

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