Do you like Marmite?
Marmite has become well known as something people either love or hate. There is no real middle ground, you either can’t get enough of the thick black gloop on your toast, or the very idea of putting the stuff anywhere near your mouth will send you running for the safety of the hills. Amongst gamers, Deadly Premonition seems to have much the same effect.
First making an appearance, and waves, back in 2010, Deadly Premonition has been released on Steam as a Director’s Cut by Rising Star Games. Having already managed to gather a firm following, and perhaps just as many haters, the game is now available on Xbox360, in its original form, and on PS3 and PC as a Director’s Cut, so there will be no excuses for anyone who hasn’t already formed an opinion on the game to try it. With such polarizing views, Deadly Premonition is a game that cannot be judged until it has been played.
Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut can be split into two halves, the good stuff and the bad stuff. It comes down to the individual player to decide which outweighs the other and, although changes have been made for the Director’s Cut over the original game, the same holds true for the Steam version.
Feeling like an open-world Twin Peaks game, the player takes on the role of Special Agent Francis York Morgan of the FBI, or York as he seems to be known, as he travels to the rural town of Greenvale. He is charged with investigating the murder of a local girl and the links to a serial killer known for leaving red seeds at the scene.
So, Deadly Premonition is an open-world, survival horror adventure played in the third-person. One of the incredible things about the game is just how much there is to do, which happens to be even more than before thanks to the additional content included in teh Steam version of the game. There is Resident Evil style combat against creepy, zombie-like things. There is driving, although the less said about that, the better. Then there is the town itself and all of the secrets it holds. Hell, the player can even go fishing! The fact that the game can occupy for as much as twenty hours is pretty impressive.
Perhaps the most compelling feature of the game, besides the twisty, turny story that will keep you guessing all the way through, is the cast. Deadly Premonition manages to pack in a wealth of interesting, fully fleshed out characters for the player to discover. From the random ramblings of York himself, and his mysterious friend Zach that no one else seems to be able to see, to the residents of Greenvale who go about their business, day and night, and even occasionally offer York a side quest to further keep him busy, this is a cast of characters who will not be easily forgotten. They are all brimming with personality and really help the player to get immersed in the game. Greenvale is a living town and one which just begs to be explored.
But then, to offer a voice to the less than impressed, Deadly Premonition also has plenty of downsides. The graphics are a good starting point and a place where many gamers will simply switch off. The look dated, like something from the last generation of consoles, and that is after they have been given an HD overhaul. The fact that the resolution has been locked will no doubt infuriate the high-end PC owning gamers.
And the problems don’t stop there. The game mechanics are clunky in the extreme, and the lack of controller support is just strange. Then there are the sound effects – Oh God, they sound awful. The voices and backing music isn’t too bad, but that just makes the weak sound of a gun being fired seem even worse. It is not even as if the game is bug free either, describing it as a glitchy mess would be fair.
However, Deadly Premonition is an experience that has to be taken as a whole. The faults and issues with the game are part of the charm, the little quirks are what makes the game so endearing. In case you haven’t realised, I am in the “Pro Deadly Premonition” camp. It is certainly not for everyone, and an open mind is required before even starting the game. But if you do decide to give the game a try, the PC version with all of its extra content is undoubtedly the best version to try. While I can’t give the game a high score because of its faults, I can certainly recommend that everyone at least give the game a try. Whether you like it or hate it, you won’t forget it…