Kinect 2.0 for the most part is great, there I’ve said it. I’m so used to the voice commands now that everything is seamless, it won’t be long before the Xbox will turning the lights off in the lounge or turning the heating up your house, I wouldn’t have to move, it would be amazing. The one thing Kinect has been missing is a decent game, Kinect Sports Rival was alright and Xbox Fitness does work really well, but there isn’t much else, until now.
Dark Dreams Don’t Die, is a TellTale’esque point and click Graphic Novel developed by SWERY, famous for games such Deadly Premonition, the biggest difference is the fact that the point and clicking is all managed through Kinect, and I’m pleased to say it works really well. The game starts you off by ensuring you are sitting correctly, once you are in the right position you can raise your arm for the game to begin.
David Young is a Private Investigator who has his world turned upside down when his wife, Little Peggy, was murdered. At some point he sufferers a trauma that means all he can remember about the incident is Little Peggy telling him the killers name begins with the letter D. Despite not being able to remember anything if David gets holds of a ‘moment I’ he is able to travel back in time to an incident that hopefully will let him remember again.
As you arrive at each investigation there is plenty for you to find out and interact with. Playing the game with Kinect works brilliantly. You start of in David’s apartment which will get you used to the controls, at the most basic level you point and click your way around, if you go to open a door you are asked to perform a door open motion, you can raise your hands above your head to give you an overview of what there is to interact with as well as where there may be clues to allow help you move on with the story. You have a stamina bar to keep an eye on too, every time you interact with something your stamina reduces, if you don’t find food to eat before the bar empties its game over. The focus bar will also deplete but that just means you can’t scan area for clues when you are stuck. If you can’t find any food there is normally a cat somewhere to sell you items to add to your stamina or focus. You can also return to David’s apartment where you’ll be greeted by Forrest Kaysen who is always around to help you with case files.
Although you wouldn’t expect it there is some combat in the game and it works very well thanks to Kinect. There is one part early on in the game where you end up in a fight scene on a plane that is really well executed. It’s essentially a QTE game but it works so well with Kinect I found myself wanting more of it in the game. It’s a great looking game that is packed with things to do and explore. As expected from a SWERY production the characters are quirky to say the least, one of David’s neighbours, Amanda, thinks she is cat and just prowls round his apartment whenever she feels like it, you’ll meet an international fashion designer whose partner is a mannequin and a huge dude that…. Talks… really… slowly…. He is a bit of pain to be honest.
The general pace of the game will put some people off, there is very little urgency to what you do and you can spend a hell of a long time searching around for things to interact with, there are side missions of you to solve so there is plenty of things to do in game. If you are prepared to put the effort in you’ll be rewarded with credits that can be used to buy new outfits, unlock parts of the soundtrack or buy items from the shop to go towards your stamina etc.
Unsurprisingly Kinect can be its own worst enemy at times, if the lighting in the room you are playing in isn’t good enough it will struggle. It didn’t happen very often to be fair but when it did it was pretty frustrating as selecting things just stopped working at times. You can play this game with a controller but to be honest it just doesn’t feel very natural.
It’s a real shame that Microsoft released this game with no fanfare as it’s actually really good, most of have Kinect and don’t use it, frankly this is a great reason to spend some time playing with it, the fact that it got such a quiet release suggests they won’t be pushing many more episodes of this which is a shame. For £12 it’s definitely something different to play and is worth your time.
MLG Rating: 8/10 Format: Xbox One Release Date: 19/09/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of D4 by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of a week on a Xbox One. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.