Dead Head Fred – PSP – Preview

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