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Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut Review

by Diogo Miguel April 26, 2013

Deadly Premonition got mixed opinions when it was released on the Xbox 360 What is clear is that it still managed to garner a dedicated fan base. Those who don’t own a 360 have been begging creator Sweary and publisher Rising Star Games for a PS3 release. A special Director’s Cut edition was announced to reward them for being so patient over the years. Was Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut worth the 3 years or so wait?

Deadly Premonition on the PS3 is pretty much the same as the original Xbox 360 release. But for those who have been living under a rock though the game is split into 3 distinct areas(exploration,. combat and investigation).

Most of the time is spent exploring the town of Greenvale, where Agent York gets to know the locals. The town itself is huge and there is much to see as more areas become available with progression.

The locals are interesting characters with their own stories that makes it worth getting to know them. It literally feels like each of them has his/her own life. Following a particular person will result in being able to see the various intricate details that person gets up to on a typical day.

For example, York might enter a smaller dining room in the hotel and find that local art gallery owner Diane decided to come for dinner with the resourceful hotel owner Polly.

It’s this attention to detail that will keep the player focused on finding out more about Greenvale and its residents.

The residents themselves are very unique characters. It’s easy to make such assumptions, when the town has a woman who insists on walking around with a warm pot. It’s not some bizarre euphemism either as she will often ask York to driver her as quickly as possible – so her pot doesn’t get cold. Perhaps what is so fascinating about it is trying to find out what is actually inside this all important pot.

The on-going clashes between York and the story’s mysterious Raincoat Killer is captivating. However, it is also the less important stories that will often prompt the player to investigate and literally just spend hours exploring everything else Greenvale has to offer.

The story itself is like a homage to Twin Peaks – a cult TV show that has a lot of fans all over the world. It’s easy to just dive in and try to figure out just what is going on in Greenvale. York himself has a few surprises up his sleeves, and so fits right in the town of Greenvale. The Director’s Cut part in the title means players are treated with extra cut-scenes that expand upon some of the story points.

Combat consists of using guns to get through Otherworld locations filled with undead like enemies. York can also pick up other weapons, such as pipes, but these work best at destroying fences and other obstacles in the way. The ability to automatically target a nearby enemy really makes combat more enjoyable.

It also takes into account factors such as head shots when it comes to rewarding players. Most of the enemies found will bizarrely try to shove their hands down York’s throat. A strange method of killing someone, but there is no reasoning when it comes to these undead types. Some of the tougher enemies faced later on prove to be far more formidable foes. A creepy undead girl that enjoys crawling on the ceiling is perhaps one of the toughest monsters found.

The Otherworld locations often have puzzles that players need to solve, in order to keep going. Puzzles are also found whilst exploring the town of Greenvale. Some of these are enjoyable as they are quite unusual. It’s also a nice break from what players are used to doing.

Greenvale is a big town and so it’s best to drive around in the police cars provided. Driving around using the traditional control scheme is fine. However, it is not recommended to use the newly introduced motion control scheme, since it’s unreliable and very difficult to drive properly.

Motion controls do make it easier to evade the Raindcoat Killer, since it just involves shaking the PS3 controller. Hiding from the killer is usually a nail biting moment. Specially as this killer has a habit of making a flashy entrance whenever he crosses paths with York – like opening doors with his trusty axe. However, running away from him is automatic and sometimes it becomes awkward. This is because York may get stuck behind boxes and he will start pushing them, instead of whacking them with a crowbar.

At certain points York will make use of his skills to investigate certain areas. This tends to happen mostly in Otherworld locations, where he gathers up clues, to get a better idea of what happened. It’s a nice touch as it means the player is finding out more about a crime scene at the same time as York.

York can only continue events during certain time periods. Anyone that just wants to focus on the main story can just sleep at certain locations to fast forward a few hours. However, there are many entertaining side quests to focus on during these spare hours.

It’s the attention to smaller details that sometimes make Deadly Premonition such an unusual experience. York’s beard will grow if the player doesn’t get him to shave. His clothes will get dirty if not washed and he must eat(bar representing his hunger) or he will lose health.

There isn’t much of an improvement when it comes to the visuals. There seems to be a bigger focus on character facial expressions and their overall look. But otherwise, it just seems more or less the same as the original Xbox 360 release.

This release contains some minor graphical issues and a few occasions of frame rate drops. There are also some occasions where there seems like there is an echo in background when characters speak. These are minor issues that don’t really ruin the overall experience. It just seems unusual given the time spent bringing it over to the PS3.

Against all odd, it’s impossible not to forgive some of the minor flaws that would have otherwise spoiled the experience. Deadly Premonition has a fascinating story that will surprise players on many occasions.

Fundamentally it’s still the same game, but hardcore fans of the Xbox 360 release will surely want to see the extra story material. Otherwise it’s a treat for those who own a PlayStation 3 and never experienced Swery’s unique take on the mystery murder format. It’s easy to recommend playing through Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut just for the story and characters.

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