Also on: Xbox One
Publisher: AGM PLAYISM
Developer: Access Games
When Swery makes a game, players generally sign up for the weirdness. So much, in fact, that the technical issues and poor design from something like Deadly Premonition are usually given a pass when weighed against the game's personality. That's fine for console games, but things get a little different when porting to PC. Players like to have options, for instance, and hope for a loyal port in the process.
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die premiered on the Xbox One about a year ago, as a game best played on Kinect. On PC, it's one of the most literal ports one could hope for, with the mouse replacing your hand, using its buttons for different tasks. There's some slack on the cursor, however, causing a looser feel similar to what one would experience on Kinect. It also supports gamepads, as the original version did.
The tradeoff to using a mouse is that the hand cursor is persistent through the entire game, sitting awkwardly on top of a cutscene when console players could simply lower their hands. It's a small nuisance, but one wonders why it doesn't fade away at times of user interactivity — or why it can't be hidden away beyond the screen edge.
Visually, it's choppy on a mid-tier card, and has virtually no graphics or system options. Once again, the port is as 1:1 as we could hope for, and that's a double-edged blade. This constitutes system requirements that seem unusually high, and because there's no way to adjust for your hardware, scenes that frame multiple angles at once will see tremendously different framerates within each one. The game just doesn't render things well.
In this way, it's the worst-case scenario for PC gamers who expect at least a suite of resolution options, or even a 3-tier (low-med-high) graphics setting. Some (okay, most) players will want to optimize a PC game to make best use of their hardware, but D4 is either obstinate or lazy in the lack of control players have in menus.
All that said, it's a goofy ride that Swery fans are likely to sign up for regardless of technical issues. I had a great time getting sucked into the game world, and it's for that reason that anyone would play D4. This is a review of the game as a port, however, which is marred by technical issues and a lack of tools to help players adjust to those hurdles.
D4 plays quite well with a mouse, and is a much more accessible experience than its Kinect version, making this the most enjoyable way to play the adventure game. It also sucks for those expecting a PC port that will allow them to change essential settings, and in no way accommodates more than the Xbox One version would have offered. If your PC meets the hardware requirements, then you're getting a 1080p game that may or may not suffer performance issues based on how powerful the computer is — end of story. It's more or less what Xbox One players got, so with those warnings, continue ahead if you must play this Swery game.