Kazutaka Kodaka, who became famous for being the creative mind behind the Danganronpa series, is here with a new game, but this time it's not a regular visual novel. We're talking about Death Come True, an interactive thriller movie that surely won't go unnoticed by Japanese cinema fans.
Considering it's quite different and there aren't many games going for the FMV route nowadays, we had to try it! So, is Death Come True any good, or is it just a gimmicky live-action adventure? Keep reading to find out!
Interaction Adds Complexity to This Film
With a small but talented cast, Death Come True tells the story of an amnesiac serial killer who's trapped in a hotel. Of course, by playing the game, you'll soon learn that's not exactly true, and death will be the key to solve this mystery. Since it's an interactive movie, we never get full control of the characters, but we do get to help the protagonist every time he needs to make a choice. Thus, this is nothing but a live-action visual novel, with 2 different yet meaningful endings that are independent of your previous choices.
The main characters are the amnesiac serial killer, played by Kanata Hongo (Armin in Attack on Titan), and a female police investigator interpreted by Chiaki Kuriyama (Gogo Yubari in Kill Bill). Another famous face you'll see is that of Yuki Kaji, one of the most popular voice actors, this time bringing to life a secondary yet fundamental character called Navigator.
We don't want to spoil the story for you, not only because we think you'll enjoy it but also because it's too short and direct that giving anything away might ruin the whole experience. That being said, soon you'll learn that Death Come True's core mechanics don't care about you being perceptive enough to always pick the right path and avoid death. You will die! In fact, you'll die a lot! Dying is the only way to learn certain things, but it's also the only way to unlock new options. Death in this game works exactly as it did for Subaru in Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, so every time this serial killer dies, he goes back to being asleep at his room, but he gets to keep his more recent memories...
A Movie Come True
Other than experiencing the story as you'd do with a movie, you can also unlock several short videos documenting the making of. This is interesting because it adds another layer of value to Death Come True, especially because it's not a budget film made by some amateurs in their free time.
Thanks to Jiro Sato's sense of humor, one of the series we enjoyed the most is the one that parodies Minoken News, a TV newscast that plays an important role in the actual game. It features nonsensical jokes, farting, and everything you would expect in Japanese humor, so it's hard not to laugh about absurd situations and allegedly improvised lines. Perfect to balance Death Come True's dark tone!
We highly recommend you to buy this game given how well constructed the story is, and how Japanese everything looks and sounds. That being said, it’s only a couple hours long and once you get to watch both endings—there’s no such thing as a good/bad ending, though! Both are perfect yet sad in their own way—that’s pretty much it. Of course, you can always find someone streaming the game, but taking your time to think and explore really makes a difference here, as it does setting the mood and playing alone with the lights off.
Too bad this game is not 10 hours longer... Death Come True confirms how good of a mystery writer Kazutaka Kodaka is!