D4 Dark Dreams Don’t Die Review

After playing Deadly Premonition last year and loving it ,despite the PC version being probably the single worst PC port I have ever seen, I was very excited to hear that the next game from designer Swery was being ported from XBox One to PC.  I was a little apprehensive at first because on it’s original XBox One platform, D4 was a very Kinect heavy game so was unsure how well this would transfer to a mouse or controller alone.  Read on to find out how well pleased I was with the entire package in my D4 Dark Dreams Don’t Die Review!

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

Things start off weird and only get weirder

The best way to describe this game is simply as total and utter madness all the time.  Everything and everybody is ridiculously over the top, quirky and wacky to the extreme.  And while some may think this would make it tiresome, it really does not.  It just makes the different characters, locations and events stand out as they are all very memorable and original.  They also all have their own mannerisms and quirks so you are unlikely to forget anyone or have difficulty differentiating between people.

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

You’re unlikely to forget or mix up any of these larger than life characters

Most of the gameplay consists of walking around areas and interacting with objects and people to extract and piece together information in your hunt for the infamous D who you have vowed to hunt down on someone else’s behalf.  The sheer amount of interactivity is staggering and almost every object and person you come across can be interacted with in some way.  You can use your “vision” (kind of like a sixth sense) to easily figure out what the key objects and people you need to interact with are but pretty much everything has some beneficial outcome for you examining it and half the fun is to just explore and investigate everything so you can find more comedy gold and weirdness.  Almost all objects and people can be interacted with and many of them will give you side-quests to perform to rewards you with items or boosts to your health and other statistics.  As expected, these quests are also ridiculous and can range from racing around checking creaky doors to answering airplane trivia.

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

Examine every little thing. You never know what benefits you may reap.

The other part of the gameplay which is much less frequent is a series of quick-time events which usually take the form of extremely over the top fight scenes where everyone involved pulls off nigh on impossible acts of co-ordination, gymnastics and grace.  Again, these are totally ridiculous and will have you in stitches as you struggle to make sense of the telemetry of it all.

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

The fight scenes don’t happen to often but when they do, they’re great

There are many dialogue options ranging from purely provocatory to straight-laced straight man and you are given extra rewards to “stay in character” as a serious cop.  But this can be quite hard to do at times as it’s not always clear what kind of tone you should be taking as it switches regularly between flippant and serious.

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

What would you say to this guy if you were a Boston detective?

Your main goal throughout the game is to find important objects filled with memories called “Mementos” and use these to dive into the past to search for clues to help you find the mysterious “D”.  Doing this, you spend a lot of the game in the past searching for clues and the parts that take place in the present day are centred around finding more of these mementos to investigate the past further.

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

Find mementos in the present and dive into the past to investigate!

One minor complaint is that the controls can be a little awkward with the right stick being used to both look around and move forwards and backwards which is done in an “on rails” fashion only allowing you to move between designated spots rather than totally free roaming.  This is most likely done to have more artistic control over the set pieces and how you get to see them.

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

Movement is not free and is guided along set waypoints on paths

You never get to stop completely because even during cut-scenes there are small quick-time events that will give you more bonus points and money for examining things during cut-scenes so if you want to get as much as possible, you have to stay on the ball at all times!

D4 Dark Dreams Don't Die Review

Apparently cats operate shops on airplanes in the past

D4 Dark Dreams Don’t Die Review Summary

Dark Dreams Don’t Die is a total riot and is enormously entertaining start to finish with little to no let up at all.  The only problem is that this is going to be an episodic series and only season 1 is available so far.  It is also not a terribly long season at maybe 3-4 hours going quickly and about 10 if you want to do and see absolutely everything so you will be left begging for more by the time you have finished it!  Can’t recommend this one enough.

Final Score: 5/5

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