Dead Head Fred
Vicious Cycle is about to unleash a classic tale of murder, corruption, revenge and... interchangeable heads.
Without trying to get too editorial, it wouldn't be shocking to suggest PSP could use more original games. It's certainly an opinion that boils beneath the surface of many gamer's minds. So it's in this vacuum that Dead Head Fred makes its appearance. But it's not merely in this context the game deserves attention, because behind this is a unique premise that blends multiple genres and ideas and creates a very compelling videogame.
Taking many of its influences from "Film Noir", the opening of the title introduces us to Fred Neuman, a private investigator who upon uncovering the dirty secrets of a mob boss is murdered and dumped into some radioactive waste. After he is recovered from the pit by a scientist named Dr. Steiner, another problem arises. Fred doesn't have a head anymore. His brain and eyes were saved and put in a jar and attached to his lifeless body, and it's with this starting point that the game erupts into an adventure developer Vicious Cycle describes as "a classic tale of murder, corruption, revenge and... interchangeable heads."
It's from the "interchangeable heads" ideas that this game reveals its most unique aspect. Along your journey, you'll encounter nine different heads which all have abilities which enhance your skills. From absorbing liquids to providing means for communication, these heads are the foundation of the title and provide countless opportunities for puzzle solving and enemy killing. In addition, each head has a special rage ability that can injure one or more enemies at once in different ways.
Dispatching enemies normally involves unleashing regular attacks with the square or X buttons. You'll also occasionally get to use a finishing move, which is performed with the triangle button. If you're getting overwhelmed by the zombies, monsters and other unmentionable creatures of the night, you can once again use one of your heads to give you the advantage with the rage abilities mentioned above. Using these moves drains some of the "rage meter", which you can fill up by killing more enemies.
All throughout the game more of the story and mystery will be unveiled, which is shown through the use of clever humour and the talents of John C. McGinley (Dr. Perry Cox on TV's Scrubs), who voices Dead Head Fred himself. Taken together it creates a extremely interesting title that promises to be noteworthy not just for being an original piece of software for the PSP, but for being a fun and innovative game. Dead Head Fred is definitely looking to be a fantastic addition to the PSP library when it releases on August 28th.