Publisher: D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA)
Developer: Vicious Cycle
N Amer - 08/28/2007
Pre-E3 2007 Hands On Preview
Fred’s having a rough day. After being brutally killed by a nasty mobster type, Fred Neuman wakes up on a doctor’s table with a brain in a jar where his head should be. His memory’s gone, but he still wants to uncover the mystery behind his murder as well as claim his missing head. So begins Dead Head Fred, the upcoming PSP third-person action game from D3Publisher. The game combines a quirky noir narrative laden with dark comedy with some cool gameplay elements, making it an inventive, original title for Sony’s handheld.
Dead Head Fred is essentially an action-combat game with some platforming in the mix. The way the game distinguishes itself from the rest of the action-platformer crop is by giving you the ability to change Fred’s move set and special moves when ever he switches his head.
In the preview build, we could change between Fred’s normal head (the jar with a brain in it), to a Skull (capable of belching out nasty gas) and a large stone head that made Fred walk a bit slower but pack a powerful punch. Each of these heads offered a unique approach to combat and several ways to play.
Another element in the game’s formula is rage attacks that you can perform when your rage meter gets full. These vary depending on the head that you’re using, but each will provide a focused and powerful attack against your foes.
Graphically, the game has a definite Tim Burton look to it, although a bit grimier than similar fare, like Death Jr. The character models look good, maintaining the quirky, dark humor feel of the storyline and the environments are pretty detailed.
On the sound front, the music is pretty good and keeps well with the game’s theme, and the voice of Dead Head Fred as performed by John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox from Scrubs!) is spot on and done with the acerbic wit that McGinley has honed so well in his career.
Dead Head Fred is shaping up to be a quirky and clever action platformer with some cool elements. Check it out later this summer.