Deadly Premonition, one of my favorite games from 2010 has finally made its way to the PS3 audience in the form of Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut. This enhanced edition of the original makes a couple improvements to the formula.
- – Improved Controls – The Resident Evil tank like controls of the original have been improved to make moving around, and combat much more fluid.
- – Driving Controls Improved
- – Added scenes.
- – HD Graphics. The game now runs in native 720p.
- – DLC
Deadly Premonition is a game heavily inspired by the David Lynch show, Twin Peaks. It takes place in a small town called Greenvale where the grisly murder of Anna Graham attracts the attention of FBI special agent, Francis York Morgan. The thing that makes Deadly Premonition so great is its quirky cast of characters. Everyone may seem normal at first, but as time goes on you will discover all of them have their secrets.
FBI Special Agent, Francis York Morgan or York as everybody calls him, is your main character. If you ever watched Twin Peaks, and loved the character of Agent Cooper, you will enjoy York as well. York is an FBI profiler who certainly seems to have a case of split personality disorder.
Throughout the game he will talk, and refer to his friend “Zach” constantly breaking the 4th wall. Zach is pretty much you, the player. He will ask your opinion, talk to you about movies, the town folks, anything. These are where most of the zaniest conversations can happen. While driving, York may start talking to you about his opinion on movies, actresses, the signs he sees in his coffee, or anything else on his mind. His very first conversation with you will be about the psychological aspect of Tom & Jerry, and their co dependence on each other. Awesome, right?
The majority of your time in the game will be spent riding around Greenvale in your cop car doing side missions, talking to the inhabitants, and even collecting trading cards. The beefiest part of the game is certainly in the games fifty side missions. You’ll be doing everything from reorganizing store rooms, to exploring the haunted locations of Greenvale. The game has a day and night cycle, and the time of day plays a big part in the game. Whether it’s a side mission that only happens between the times of 19:00, and 21:00 while it’s raining, to meeting your partners from the police force at the appropriate time to continue the story, you’ll always be relying on the clock. Luckily you can do the main missions whenever you please, and choose to put them off with only a stern talking to from the Sheriff as a punishment. All the characters in the game have their own schedule they follow. Whether it’s going to the store at a certain time or heading over to the bar at night, you’ll constantly be chasing them to different places depending on the time. The game also features changing weather in the terms of rain. Rain actually plays a pretty big part in the game as well. Some side missions can only be done while raining, and thanks to some local legends most of the inhabitants will stay safely in their homes, meaning all shops will also be closed.
Another thing that makes Deadly Premonition so great is all the little details. As Agent York you have to make sure to take care of your personal hygiene. If left a couple days without shaving, your character will grow a beard. If you decide not to change your clothes for awhile you’ll start to have flies buzzing around you, and earn the penalty of “stinky agent”. Nobody wants to be a stinky agent. You even have a hunger and tiredness meter so you have to make sure York gets enough rest, and food to eat. Aside from the side missions there are other little randoms scenes you can find throughout the game. Whether its going to the police station for lunch and getting to chat with your buddies at the station, or spying in peoples windows to see some silly antics. There is all sorts of little things to find.
The enemies in Deadly Premonition are kind of a mystery in the beginning. They appear to be undead, and will usually be seen coming out of areas of darkness in the walls and floors. Due to the overall weirdness of Agent York as a character it can be hard to figure out if these things are actually happening, or if it’s something entirely in your characters mind. It really adds to the overall mystery of the game. The shooting mechanics of the game are nothing spectacular. Although, the improvements made in this edition have certainly made it a more enjoyable experience. If you have played Resident Evil 4 you will feel right at home with the games combat system.
You will be doing a lot of driving in this game. The cars control kind of like a run away shopping cart, but you get used to it. Every location you go in the game will have random police cars sitting around for you to use. No “borrowing” cars GTA style. Even the cars in the game have neat features that, while completely useless, are still cool to have. Using the d-pad while driving you can turn on your wipers, or even use turn signals. Your police car also has a gas tank, and damage meter, so trips to the gas station to refill/repair will be required.
The music, and voice overs in the game really add to the experience. The music is usually very upbeat and a delight to listen to. The voice overs in the game vary from good to being ridiculously cheesy, and stereotypical. Honestly though, it all seems intentional and adds to the style the creators were going for. One problem I noticed in this version that wasn’t in the previous, are some sound glitches. Every once in a while the audio will produce a lot of echo. It’s very few and far between that this problem occurs though.
One of the much toted about features of this Directors Cut was the graphical improvement and what the creators were calling a “complete graphical overhaul”. I wouldn’t go that far. While some of the textures are certainly nicer, a lot were left the same making the newer graphics just stand out. Deadly Premonition was originally intended to be a PS2 game before moving development to the 360, and you can definitely tell. Don’t let that scare you away though, while the graphics can be downright ugly it just doesn’t seem very important when you’re actually playing the game.
Overall, Deadly Premonition is a Lynchian style game that is incredibly unique, and an experience you won’t find in any other game out there. While not for everyone, it’s full of a cast of unique and memorable characters, one of my favorite main characters, fun side missions, a good amount of scares, and a disturbing mystery to solve. The game may be easy to write off at first glance, but if given a chance you will find a deserving experience you can’t find elsewhere for a fraction of the cost.