D4 is an “adventure” game from Access Games. I put “”s around adventure because it’s a bit of a unique experience. The game is series of episodes that rely on finding clues, solving puzzles, and a series of QTEs. It’s a bit hard to compare it to one game, or genre of game.
D4 follows David Young, who is a private investigator. He is very talented at his job, due to his ability to travel through time. Being able to do so allows him to influence and solve crimes. However he got this ability on the night that his wife was murdered, and David himself can remember nothing from that night. David is asked to help solve a case for a liaison from the police department. In doing so the new case starts to connect with his wife’s murder, driving David. It is worth noting story wise that D4 was never meant to be a stand alone game, so the story is not complete by the time you finish it.
D4 was designed for the kinect, which kind of turned me off of the experience. However the game is easily played without the kinect, and the controls work well. They aren’t as tight as they could be, but you won’t be punished for choosing to just sit down and play. That is a major thing in favor of this game. Most of the gameplay involves you using David to find clues, or complete QTEs. Clue finding works the way any other game like this would. You look around the area, collect various things, and you have a special vision to help if for whatever reason you can’t solve things yourselves. QTEs will come up when fights happen, or David has to get through a tight spot.
While looking for clues to solve cases, you meet various other characters. Most of them have side quests for you, some will want you to solve puzzles, others answer questions. The most unique aspect of gameplay is David’s ability to dive in and out of time. Some cases actually require it. You will be asked to search for something and have to dive to another time period, then go back. It’s a pretty interesting idea, that is sadly not used enough in game.
Gameplay aside, what really stands out with this game is just how zany it is. D4 comes with a strange cast of characters, over the top story telling, and many moments that will just leave you speechless. The characters range from a cat woman (like a woman that literally behaves and seems to be a cat), to a riddle telling strange man that follows you around, and a drug taking rage heavy flight attendant. Everyone you meet is just as in your face and over the top as the last. The art is done in cell shading, which works perfectly for the game. The overall graphic look punches up the crazy moments that never seem to leave you alone.
It’s actually really hard to find the words to describe this game. It’s crazy, yet charming. Ridiculous, yet compelling. If nothing else, from start to finish it manages to be entertaining and rather unexpected.
The largest complaint I have about this game, is that the sequel is likely to never happen. The game ends on a massive cliffhanger, and frankly I want more. It’s short enough that all the craziness never gets to be too much. You can play it easily in one or two sittings, then decompress from it. It’s a solid adventure game, that is unique and interesting. I just wish I could know how it was all meant to end.