Straight from the Tokyo Game Show...
Surprise announcement time! D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, the Xbox One exclusive game from quirky Osaka-based developer Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro's studio Access Games, will be released this Friday across the globe.
The download-only title is an episodic adventure optimised for Kinect, though it is also playable entirely with a controller. The initial bundle will include the prologue plus episodes 1 and 2 for $14.99 in North America, and 11.99 in the UK.
In a presentation at Tokyo Game Show today, Swery showed us a playthrough of part of episode 2. The hero of the game, David Young, is investigating the murder of his wife by going back in time and inhabiting the bodies of different characters, Quantum Leap style. In episode 2, set in the cargo hold of a plane, he must solve environmental problems such as a sliding puzzle or by wiping dust off the surface of a control panel, using corresponding hand gestures to interact with the world as point-and-click-style gameplay.
"We started developing the game for Xbox 360 and we tried to find interesting ways to use Kinect," Swery said. "We made several iterations, such as a free-moving version, a first-person version and so on, and then we chose the play style that worked best. Then when we changed platform to Xbox One we started again with the new devkit."
Action sequences set to high-octane music test the player's reflexes, with the surreal visual touches you'd expect from the Deadly Premonition director. For instance, when David misses a prompt, a piece of heavy cargo equipment squashes him flat in comical anime style. Rather than forcing you to replay tricky parts of the action sequences, the game simply carries on, giving you several misses before you see a continue screen.
Further episodes have yet to be announced, and Swery said he is still discussing the schedule with Microsoft. But "every week we will collaborate with other games to distribute costumes, announced each week on the Monday and then available for free on the Wednesday."
Swery said that the last-minute release announcement was intended to give Tokyo Game Show visitors a surprise.
Click through the gallery for the latest screens.