D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die (2014) - Unfinished - 7/10 (20/01/19)
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die is an episodic graphical adventure video game developed Access Games and published by Playism. The mastermind behind this game is Japanese multi-talent Suehiro Hidetaka, better known under his pseudonym SWERY. He has been involved as designer, director, planner, scenarist and writer in projects such as The Last Blade, Deadly Premonition and Lord of Arcana.
Let's address the elephant in the room. What you have got here is the so-called first season of the game, consisting of a short prologue as well as two very interesting episodes. Sadly, the game is missing a proper conclusion and Suehiro Hidetaka has left Access Games and has announced that there wouldn't be any more episodes of this game. Let's hope that he gives this decision another thought because this game has a lot of positive elements and would clearly deserve a proper conclusion.
The game revolves around main character David Young, a private investigator and former police officer, whose wife was murdered in their home two years prior to when the story takes off. David Young was hit by a bullet on that tragic day and can't quite remember what happened to his wife. The only thing he remembers is that a person called ''D'' seems to be involved in the crime. Ironically, many characters of the story have names starting with that letter and it's also the case for the main character himself. Throughout the game, David Young tries to find out what happened and eventually undo the crime in the past since he has the ability to travel back in time with the help of specific objects called mementos. The initial idea of the game should appeal to those who like mystery stories and recalls classic series such as Twin Peaks and The X-Files.
On the positive side, the game has a gloomy atmosphere and intriguing story for those who like mystery stories as much as I do. Still, the game also includes more funny, light-hearted and quirky moments thanks to numerous original characters and some situation humor. This is where the vivid Japanese anime and manga style somehow comes alive in this game. The graphics remind indeed of that genre and so do several fantastic characters such as a quirky catwoman. The game seems to find the right balance between serious and amusing notes as well as between classic Western and classic Japanese video games.
Another positive element are the game's numerous side quests. They vary from simple quiz shows over little games testing skillful reactions to original ideas where you must find or do something to impress and get help from other characters.
A special mention goes out to the different types of clothes and soundtracks you can buy throughout the game which are quite diversified, entertaining and funny.
What really drags this game down is that it doesn't have a proper ending. You must ask yourself whether the game is even worth to be played at that point. I certainly enjoyed the ride but if you expect a game with a proper conclusion, you will definitely be disappointed. Other than that, the controls are a little bit too simplistic for my taste. Finally, the side quests drag on for too long and end up being rather repetitive and distract from the intriguing main plot.
To keep it short, fans of mysterious stories who don't mind playing entertaining episodes while the main story doesn't have a proper conclusion should definitely give this a chance. If atmosphere and story are more important for you than controls and graphics, you will probably enjoy this game. If you look for a similar and finished game, you should try out Murdered: Soul Suspect.« Until Dawn (2015) - How much blood would you shed to stay alive? - 10/10 (20/01/10)DreadOut (2013) - Atmospheric horror video game from Indonesia - 7/10 (20/01/19) »