Film student changed videogame designer Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro brings his influences to his sleeve. The last generation, the author of the video game, was the driving force behind the bizarre mortal premonition, inspired by Twin Peaks; now the special brand of narrative madness decorates the PC in the form of another murder mystery similar to David Lynch, called D4: Dark Dreams Do not Die ($ 14.99). The first season of this episodic PC game (also available on Amazon Xbox One $ 269.96) consists of an extremely short prologue and two longer chapters. In total this point-and-click adventure game clocks within 10 hours; maybe more if you are a hunter of performance. However, do not be turned off by the relatively short duration of D4. The game, with its supernatural elements, quirky characters and compelling investigative gameplay, is worth playing.
Peggy Sue is married
Taking advantage of the victorious metaphysics of Philip K. Dick, the surrealism of David Lynch and the classic point-and-click mechanics of LucasArts, D4 is far removed from the usual AAA range such as $ 99.99 at Amazon and Star Wars: Battlefront Best price at Amazon. It tells the story of a widower, detective David Young, who is obsessed with digging up the events that led to the death of his wife Little Peggy.
You dress David, you feed him, you prevent him from being thirsty and ask other characters to get closer to the truth about the death of his wife and the horrible death caused by the drug known as substance D. For this David comes in the past by touching the evidence of the crime scene and then going through his bathroom to investigate a mysterious disappearance in an airplane. Yes, D4 is a weird duck, and to say more, an intriguing plot that is worth living could spoil, despite an unsustainable end that might not be resolved soon because of Swery’s health problems.
The absurd world of the D4 is divided into two separate and navigable zones: the small apartment of David and the plane, where most of the research takes place. You are free to go back and forth between the two places at any time, which is good, because you have to eat David’s food such as beans, donuts and hamburgers to keep his stamina. The meter represents the fuel with which David can inspect the cabin of the aircraft and ask questions. If David withdraws from a lack of endurance, it is over.
While you can find food on the plane, you want to return home to share a meal with David’s retired friend and mentor, who eats food in all sorts of new ways (lobster tails on every finger is a favorite). Sharing a meal during these film scenes has two useful goals: it restores the health of David and gives you the opportunity to gather background information about the characters.
You can also buy items in the game, including new clothing and pieces of music, from a mysterious, dressed woman in the apartment who believes she is a cat or a cat that is depicted as a fool. that only David sees. D4 has no easy answer and it is good.
This is not the only weird character you come across; others will do everything to send you quick side missions and mini-games (such as an aviation quiz) to obstruct your inspection. They are all rather fantastic personalities, animated by charming cell-shaded graphics, well-written and entertaining dialogues and voices of a surprisingly competent voice. David’s burlesque accent, at first contradictory, is charmingly hilarious. Another lugubrious guy who remembers the huge Twin Peaks contributes to the lynchic atmosphere that Swery loves so much. Talking to these guys and interacting with the world gives David credits, which you use to buy food and other items.
You have to make sure that David also restores his fluids while he is restoring his sight, an extrasensory skill that emphasizes all the indications and specific elements that you can use to communicate in the environment. We have rarely used this ability because it is, in fact, a cheat mode. Where is the pleasure to click on bright yellow objects? Of course, this leads us to the pursuit, but we prefer to look around the slider by trial and error where you can communicate in the environment.
The research is interrupted by good fistfighting. One of the most memorable (and hilarious) sequences of D4 is that David mixes with a suspect at 20,000 feet. The fight, which consists of several Quick Time Event sequences (QTE), sees the pair of punches, kicks, suitcases, coffee makers and people dodge on the sound of exciting Celtic rock music. It is crazy, exciting and incredibly fun.
D4 has only a handful of editable PC settings. The number of pixels varies from 720p to 1080p and there are options to enable VSync and Dynamic Shadows. That’s all. The lack of options is disappointing. On the positive side, the action of D4 moves at a speed of 60 frames per second.
The game also supports Steam Trading Cards that you can buy, sell and trade, Steam Cloud Saves and almost 80 Steam achievements.
Somewhere in Time
Besides the memorable casting, the plot and the ridiculous tone, the best thing about D4 is the attention to detail. Swery filled the game with all his interests: pop culture from the 1980s, anecdotes from the film, rotoscopic animations, hockey and Japanese history. You can read everything from the magazines in the library of David or listen to the pontificate of a hostess about them and his love for James Bond.
D4 is a very personal game; one of the weirdest games and the best we played on PC. We hope that season 2 will be announced shortly, because three short episodes are not enough D4. We need more crazy cat ladies and detectives who disrupt the time in our lives, and if you’re looking for something unusual, then you do that too.