I Can’t Believe They Released This Game, Zach

Deadly Premonition gets a little less deadly with The Director’s Cut.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: June 26, 2013
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Swery65. Sounds like some rock festival where your grandfather saw The Rolling Stones for the first time. In actuality though it’s the pseudonym of Hidetaka Suehiro, Writer and Director of Red Seeds Profile, known in the West as Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut. For the first two and a half years after it was released on the Xbox 360 in the United States it FINALLY makes its way onto the PS3.

Deadly Premonition is a close approximation of what you’d get if David Lynch made a video game. That’s not just because the story is so similar to Twin Peaks that rumor has it some changes had to made to avoid the danger of a copyright infringement. Sure, the zany narrative revolving around a series of bizarre murders in the remote woodland town of Greenvale might involve Francis York Morgan (call him York), an eccentric FBI agent who spends his time talking to his invisible “partner”, the protective local sheriff and his very opposite deputies York has to work with, messages in the coffee, quixotic locals and even a woman who always has a pot with her known as “the pot lady”. But even more than that, the actual gameplay is so sublime and such a perversion of what would be considered “mainstream”, so much so that understanding what the game wants you to do and dealing with the bizarre pacing is almost a chore. Admit it, that’s what David Lynch would do if he made a video game. You’d have to watch a separate film that might answer your questions about the game if you watched it enough and compared it to his previous work.

There are a lot of reasons NOT to play Deadly Premonition. I can list just a few right here:

- The graphics are simply terrible. Textures? Who needs ‘em!
- The shooting mechanics in this game would have been dated a decade ago. Anything involving gunplay is a dull, repetitive chore, and each shooting section is 30-45 minutes long with very little rewards (except a fantastic cutscene).
- The world is fairly large, but it isn’t very populated and travelling between places is terribly slow placed and extremely hard to navigate even with improvements in this version.
- I can’t make this clear enough, almost every mechanic and UI choice in this game is questionable.
Despite that, despite the fact that I may never have spent as much time with a game that had this many flaws, despite everything this game does to make it hard to play I still recommend this game to everyone I know that loves game.

You see, the thing about Deadly Premonition is just how amazing the interactions between people are. Whether it is a long dissertation with the Sherriff on why he named his weights “Arnold” and “Sylvester” (hint: he named them after his favorite actors), York soliloquizing to Zach about John Hughes films or pretty much anything that happens at the Heaven and Hell gas station, every conversation in this game is dripping with character and clever little references that show a sort of passion you don’t find often in video games.

Not only that, despite all the issues this is really a vibrant and dynamic world. You might be able to grab lunch with the hotel owner if you drop by at the right time, see Thomas baking his biscuits at night (oh those biscuits!) and putting on his favorite record. Later on you can swing by the nightclub and here Anna sing a torch song. Better get back to bed before you get too tired though, or else you might collapse outside late at night and you DON’T want to know what happens then. The next day you may literally pass the deputy as she drives to work and you are heading to the convenience store to make sure you meet someone there before they head out to the art dealers house. Every one of these citizens has their own quirks and stories that are absolutely fascinating.
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