Deadly Premonition (EU/JP) Reviews

  • geckothelizardgeckothelizard97,049
    01 Feb 2011 01 Feb 2011
    38 5 12
    In 2003 Tommy Wiseau wrote, produced, directed and starred in “romantic drama” The Room. To say this film is bad is to give it too much credit – the inappropriate X-Files-esque music; the never-ending sex scenes; the ridiculous dialogue; the plot holes; the bizarre, scaly screen presence that is Tommy Wiseau; … every element is awful to the extent that it adopts a Zen-like quality. Critics have called it “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.”

    Deadly Premonition is The Room of bad videogames.

    The brainchild of one Hidetaka "SWERY" Suehiro, Deadly Premonition is ostensibly a survival horror game set in the Twin Peaks-aping town of Greenvale following the murder of one of its residents. You play as FBI Agent Francis “Everyone calls me York” Morgan, following up leads and taking trips into a dark version of Greenvale where you shoot at zombies. The premise is sound, but the execution is where things go awry…

    I can imagine SWERY’s pitch – “I want us to make an open-world Silent Hill, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money” – and that’s exactly what we have here. When gamers say a current-generation title has PS2-quality graphics they invariably mean that the texture quality is a bit lacking on their 40” HDTV. Passable facial models aside, Deadly Premonition IS a PS2 game. The introductory cut-scene opens with some truly awful 2D tree sprites, and it gets worse from there. The soundtrack seems to comprise of around 4 different tracks, from soft jazz to THAT whistle theme, and even with this meagre palette the background music is often wholly inappropriate in tone (chirpy jazz playing over discussions of a masochistic serial killer, for instance). Whilst the combat controls are a perfectly serviceable Resident Evil 4 clone, the driving is food-for-thought for anyone who thought GTA4’s car controls were “a bit sluggish.”

    But then you play it some more, and it works. The limited and contrary soundtrack harks back to the most disarming aural moments of Twin Peaks. The presentation is so consistently bad that it becomes part of the universe. It’s comforting that York uses the same protracted door-opening animation when entering his hotel room as well as when escaping an axe-wielding maniac. You almost feel that the moment things start to hang together is the moment I realise I’m playing this on a £200 supercomputer, and the illusion will be broken.

    The biggest draw is York himself – initially he seems like a chain smoking Agent Cooper, but he was just a conduit for the problems of Twin Peaks, whilst this story is deeply personal. York spends the bulk of the narrative talking to imaginary companion “Zach,” and the forays into the dark Greenvale are never mentioned to the other residents. By the third act the murders are the least important thing going on, and it’s refreshing to see a game follow this sort of storyline through to the end without compromising or treating us like idiots.

    Released 6 years ago this would have likely received good reviews across the board as an over-ambitious Survival Horror, but in the age of your Heavy Rains and your Alan Wakes it’s likely to remain in obscurity, despite arguably having a better narrative. Transport yourself back to 2004 and enjoy a hidden gem.
    4.0
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    MachineGryphonI wanted to write a review for this game, but since your review was so well-written and encompassed pretty much everything I had to say, there really is little point in it.
    People who can't see past the flaws are really missing out with this game.
    Posted by MachineGryphon on 31 May 11 at 01:51
    the games mastaI just compelted this game, and find myself agreeing with your review completly.

    for anyone yet to play it - do so, its worth the experince (right Zach?)
    Posted by the games masta on 17 Jul 11 at 14:18
    Pookie TExcellent Review for an excellent game!!! Just completed it on normal, gonna be a while before i have enough stamina to go through it twice more tho... Maybe Zach will do it for me...
    Posted by Pookie T on 26 Jul 11 at 18:39
  • The DiscThe Disc1,155,290
    17 Aug 2011
    26 0 8
    First things first Deadly Premonition is a complete marmite game & you will either love it or hate it. It divides opinion across the board & has been reviewed with scores of as high as 10/10 & scores as low as 2/10. If your interest has been peaked enough to come & read this review of the game then that is definitely a start. Happily I fall into the category that rates the game very highly... I love it. I didn’t always, when I first started playing the game I couldn’t believe what I was playing. “This is an Xbox 360 game? It looks like it belongs on the PS2”. “This story makes no sense”. “Are those trees?” These are just a few of the thoughts that went through my head when first playing the game. I won’t lie, I thought it was awful & someone had made it for a laugh. Thankfully I decided to continue playing & all those bad thoughts were quickly erased. They didn’t go anywhere.... they just didn’t matter.

    The story takes place in the little woodland town of Greenvale where FBI agent Francis York Morgan (please, call me York everyone does) has been sent to investigate the murder of one of the townspeople by a killer that is steeped in legend – the raincoat killer. With the help of York’s ‘friend’ Zach he will have to delve deep into the history of Greenvale to uncover this mystery. Everyone is a suspect & no-one can be trusted.

    Onto the review then: I’ll split it into the sort of questions I would normally ask about a game & hopefully it will answer all of your questions.

    What kind of game is it?
    An open world 3rd person action/adventure. You’re given free reign of the town & are only bound by the towns’ opening hours & during some missions a timer. You have to give York food & let him sleep. Additionally for no other reason than it looks good York will grow a beard of a period of days if you don’t shave & will begin to smell if you don’t change his suit & wash them (clue is flies buzzing around him). The games enemy areas are effectively dungeons – you go in & have to complete the objective to leave. Normally this means collecting a number of evidence items.

    How does it look?
    There is no getting away from it, the game looks average. The backgrounds are made up predominantly of trees with it being sent in a woodland town & they look awful with one area looking like another. However the characters look great & are very detailed showing scars & marks on faces. The enemies that exist in the game also look good, decidedly creepy enough even if they get rehashed on a regular basis. Without giving away anything in the game you will come to a chapter late on that will make or break your opinion on how you think the game looks, for me I was convinced the look was perfect for the game. (9/10)

    How does it sound?
    At first you will laugh at the strangeness of the music in Deadly Premonition. It’s random & rarely matches up the scene that’s playing out, often a deep & meaning-full scene will be playing out while some hyper jazz-esqe music plays. It’s very strange but has a charm about it that you can’t help but love. What surprised me was how memorable the music was in the end, I could hum some it right now. Don’t let the description fool you though, there are times when the music is haunting & matches the scene perfectly. Those moments will take your breath away – not since a Final Fantasy game have I seen a game get the music so spot on. (10/10)

    How does it control?
    Ha ha ha can you see a theme here? Yes it doesn’t control well, the over shoulder cam when moving ala resident evil 4/5 doesn’t work as well here. To turn it’s the old running on the spot job although using weapons is fairly straight forward. It’s not so bad however driving is not so much fun, go at speed & the car has a tendency to drift to the right, hitting something as innocent as a leaf is enough to stop you in your tracks here. What makes driving bearable? The banter between York & Zach & other characters that join York in the car. It’s enough to make a 5 minute driving journey fly by. (8/10)

    How does it play?
    Like a dream. You never feel under pressure to do anything & any timed missions are very generous. You can play through the game without touching a single side-mission which there are a large number of. Each side mission will reward you in some way (improved weaponry etc) so are well worth going after. The freedom of the town is something you can’t help but take advantage of & you will find yourself letting days pass by without doing anything related to the main mission just because there is so much else to see. One complaint: the map is difficult to navigate & takes getting used to. (9/10)

    What’s the story like?
    Ah onto the whole reason to play this game, the reason why it’s got 10/10 scores & will get one here as well. I would argue that there isn’t a game anywhere that can rival Deadly Premonition’s story. The amount of time & investment the creators put into it shows why other areas are lacking. So many games rely on style over substance nowadays (looking at you call of duty) it’s refreshing to play something that plays out like a movie. It has twists & turns all over the place, I would be very surprised if you saw many of them coming. It’s heart-breaking & awe-inspiring at times. They take a murder story & turn it into something spectacular that will leave you open-mouthed. An absolute joy to experience. (10/10)

    Is it worth playing?
    In every way, yes. A game like Deadly Premonition will not come around often & it is now gaining a massive following. As you can see from the above the game is littered with faults but as I have already said none of them matter. You will barely notice them in the end; they just make the game what it is & it’s all part of the charm. If you judge a game on how it looks then this isn’t the game for you but if you want a gripping & compelling gaming experience that isn’t ashamed of how it plays out then buy/play this game.

    Deadly Premonition (10/10)
    5.0
  • BigFriendlyGeekBigFriendlyGeek227,099
    15 Mar 2011 16 Mar 2013
    18 1 4
    Low budget. Cheap. Unwieldy. Clunky. Dated.

    All these things can be (and have been) used to describe Deadly Premonition.

    However, you could also describe it as: quirky, funny, compelling, charming, absorbing, addictive and most definitely weird.

    Deadly Premonition is all of these things and more, which gives it an overall charm that makes it one of the more stand-out titles of the last year for different reasons to what we’re used to. It’s probably best described as an open-world, survival horror title, but beyond that it defies explanation. So naturally this is the point where I try to explain it.

    If you’re familiar with the cult 90’s TV show Twin Peaks (and if you’re not then Wikipedia it like a normal person), then you’ll be right at home with Deadly Premonition as it doesn’t wear it’s influences on its sleeve, so much as wear them as a full length coat and goes around flashing them at unsuspecting passers-by. At risk of dating myself, I never got into Twin Peaks myself – I was only 9 when it was released in mid-1990 – but I know enough about it to know where the correlations are.

    In Deadly Premonition, you play as Special Agent Francis York Morgan (“Call me York, everybody does.”), a chain-smoking, coffee addicted, split-personality FBI agent with a penchant for B-movies and punk rock. He is assigned (or rather chooses) to investigate the grisly murder of a young woman called Anna Graham, in the fictional town of Greenvale. Assisted by the local law enforcement Sheriff George Truman and Deputy Emily Wyatt, York attempts to uncover the truth behind the murder and starts to discover that all is not as it seems in this quiet, backwater town.

    While the plot seems quite straightforward at first glance, as you progress through the game, it becomes more absorbing and more bizarre as you progress. To the game’s credit, despite a real B-movie feel to it the story is really very compelling and keeps you wanting to move onto the next chapter of the game, rather than save the game at that point and move onto another game.

    If you were to just pick up Deadly Premonition and pop it into your console and start playing, initial impressions probably wouldn’t be favourable. The graphics look like something from the last gen of consoles, the music is bizarre with a weird light jazz style to it that repeats itself through most of the games, which seems oddly out of place with some of the game’s darker moments (of which there are a lot), and the controls can feel cumbersome and difficult to get to grips with and the vehicles handle like boxes on wheels.

    Also, the prologue of the game does not give a clear indication of the game of what is to come gameplay-wise. The first segment plays through like a budget (there’s one of those words) Resident Evil title, and if an individual were to base their impressions solely on that first segment of the game, they could be forgiven at first for turning the game off and looking for their entertainment elsewhere (then ridiculed mercilessly later for judging a game on a half an hour’s worth of playing time).

    Once you get past the by-the-numbers prologue, which does give a good feel for the strange tone of the rest of the game, the game with let you loose into an open world format that is rarely (if ever) seen in Survival Horror titles. And while the town seems quite sparse at first glance, you won’t find yourself short on things to do. Besides the main investigation, you’ll find a lot of your time spent doing side quests for the town’s residents and getting to know more about them. They’re a varied, and often over-the-top bunch, ranging from a middle-aged rocker, to a near corpse-like cemetery keeper, to a wheelchair bound millionaire who won’t leave the house without a gas mask.

    The mechanic that sets Deadly Premonitions open world style apart from most others is that the day passes by in one-third real time, with 24 hours of game time taking approximately 8 hours. During this time, the various establishments of Greenvale will open and close (with shops open during standard shop hours and bars open from late till the early morning) and residents will be in different places during different times of the day. Also, most missions and side quests are only achievable within certain periods of the day, though fear not, if you miss the allotted time period, then you can simply sleep and attempt it during the same time slot the next day. While these side quests are not particularly challenging, they will provide some insight of the minds of Greenvale residents and provide some nice rewards for you to use in the game, so they’re well worth doing. Plus you also have a “book” of trading cards to fill in as your progress which is a nice distraction.

    This passing of time also affects York in various ways. As well as the need to sleep, you’ll have to make sure that York is kept fed, unless you want him to starve to death and put a premature end to your case, and you’ll also have to make sure that he’s kept well-shaven and changes his suit regularly, otherwise you’ll be fined for being a “stinky agent” (seriously). However, none of this feels like a chore, as York is such a strange, interesting character that you’ll want to take good care of him. His unique personality traits I mentioned earlier on are also interwoven into the gameplay quite nicely. You can pass the time in the game quicker by smoking one of York’s “Heavy Brand” cigarettes, get glimpses into the future and stave off tiredness by drinking coffee, and the biggest intrigue of the game is York’s other personality, “Zach”. York will constantly talk and refer to Zach during the storyline, and on long car journeys York will talk to Zach about movies, punk rock or York/Zach’s life up until now. But the best thing about this is that the game treats the player as “Zach”, so when York asks Zach a question, then it will require you to give an appropriate response. So in essence, you “are” Zach. It’s a nice way to take what could’ve just been a weird character quirk and make it into a large part of the game’s charm.

    As well as the weird character traits, York is an entertaining character from start to finish, as are most of the other characters of Greenvale, and York’s interaction with them and the story and character development are what make the game. It’s a weird story and it won’t win an awards, but it is compelling and it will drive you to see where it will take you. Without giving anything away, the ending, and game in general, will provide many “what the hell happened there?” moments, but at least it will keep you thinking.

    It’s this strange, compelling story, bizarre, interesting characters, weird idiosyncrasies (from the characters and the game itself), and charming B-movie feel that make Deadly Premonition a unique experience that will make you overlook the dated graphics, frustrating controls and repetitive (although extremely creepy) enemies. And for less than £20, you can’t really turn your nose up at a good 20 – 30 hours of gameplay that, for better or for worse, you won’t ever forget.

    Positives

    + Wide open town to explore
    + Pseudo-real time days make things interesting
    + Characters are unusual and memorable
    + Unusual, yet compelling plot
    + 50+ side quests and hours of gameplay
    + Genuinely creepy
    + Jazz soundtrack that will get stuck in your head...

    Negatives

    - ...and sometimes doesn't fit in with the darker moments
    - Voice acting isn't brilliant
    - Controls are clunky
    - Action sequences are fairly generic
    - Graphics are dated
    - Little enemy variety

    4 / 5
    4.0
  • ryanlegend95ryanlegend95188,642
    28 Jun 2012 21 Aug 2012
    10 3 2
    HI. Lets get to the point shall we Zach?

    Deadly Premonition is undoubtedly the most criticized game on Xbox 360 and PS3 but it's only because some people don't like the cover of the book and just brag about instead of seeing what it's in the package.

    Sure that the game doesn't look good nor sound good but you are forgetting one thing though, it's a budget game so of course there are going to be a lot of flaws but from what it's accomplished from such a small budget, it's actually impressive, you just have to be willing to play the game instead of judging it by it's cover.

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    The game is basically about a mythical serial killer in Green Vale (where the game is based in) and the way how the killer kills his/hers victims links to some of the previous crime investigations that Detective York Morgan (the main character) have solved in the past and his job is to catch the killer before he or she kills another person. Whilst chasing the killer, Detective York will encounter paranormal activities which may have something to do with the killer's and Green Vale's mysterious past.

    Graphics.
    This is probably the worst thing about the game considering that it looks like a PS2 game. the game has terrible textures, bad transparent effects and really bad facial animation, especially when Detective York Morgan smiles.

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    Although, that said, there are some good character models and character animations despite the very limited animation selections and at some areas of the game it will look fantastic where is the other locations may look ropey.
    I give the graphic score 5/10

    Sound.
    The first time you hear the games enemy voices will make you laugh until you cry but then it will grow on you. The voices sound silly but at the same time it's creepy and fits in with the weird creepy scenery. Voice acting is solid but the soundtrack feels like it shouldn't fit in with some cut scenes e.g. a dramatic cut scene with a jazzy melody. Despite that the soundtrack has it's moments but some can be annoying but yet you will be humming them in your sleep.
    I give the sound score a 7/10

    Gameplay.
    The gameplay may seem very familiar to those who have played the resident evil series considering that it's a third person over the shoulder game which doesn't allow you to move while aiming with just a laser sight to aim with. very much like resident evil but deadly premonition allows you to strafe while aiming and will also allow you to lock on to the nearest enemy with a visible crosshair to let you know that you are locked on.

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    Unfortunately the controls are a bit clunky. The game itself allows you to free roam around the town with secrets and lots to do. The game surprisingly doesn't have many glitches and are mostly unnoticed. The enemy AI works well with minor detection issues.
    I give the gameplay score 8/10 despite it being a bit of a rip off from resident evil.

    Storyline.
    The story is possibly the best on Xbox and PS3 so far. The story is compelling and has a unique sense of mystery accompanied by good sense of twisted humor. The characters also feel like they are real life people because of their unique personality.
    I give the storyline score a whopping 10/10!

    Summary:

    Good
    -One of the most compelling storyline around.
    -A brand new iconic character.
    -Over 25 hours of charm.

    Bad
    -Really bad graphics and sound.
    -We want a second one now!.
    -Why isn't anyone playing this.

    Overall this game is definitely worth a punt despite its minor draw backs but at £10 you will be getting a 20-40 hour game here.
    I give this game an overall 9/10.
    5.0
  • ryanlegend95ryanlegend95188,642
    15 Dec 2012 16 Dec 2012
    7 1 4
    Zach. Can you hear that? It sounds like ryanlegend is rewriting his first ever review. Lets take it slow.

    Yes folks I'm writing another review for the critically acclaimed cult classic called Deadly Premonition. Deadly Premonition is one of the most unique games I have ever played in a long time. Simply because it's an original concept.

    You play as FBI Agent Detective Francis York Morgan (Please call him York. Everyone calls him that) who is a very odd fellow. He is not an ordinary man. He sees Premonitions which are deadly hence why the game is called Deadly Premonition and he is accompanied by his imaginary friend called Zach. York and Zach are like Bangers and Mash. They're best friends even though they don't see eye to eye. The reason why he has an imaginary friend is because he is lonely and doesn't connect well with others. However in this game he sort of has a crush on Emily Wyatt who is Deputy sheriff. The Sheriff on the other hand is a mean middle aged bastard called George Woodman (Please call him George.) He doesn't really like York because he is a city folk and he believes that city folk are people who degrade the poor and such.

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    York will have to investigate the small town of Greenvale along with the sheriffs to solve the ritualistic Murders that are caused by the legendary Raincoat Killer. Will York trust anyone and hopefully be social for once. Well play the game and find out for yourself.

    Probably the most talked aspect of the game is the graphics. The reason why it causes such commotion is because they are terrible. I do agree but terrible graphics doesn't make a game bad. Sure that the graphics could've been better but Swery (The master mind of this game and a restaurant owner) gave Access Games (Developers) a very small budget. Hence why it looks like this but from such a small budget like this the graphics are impressive. Personally I would've thought it that it would look like a cheap indie game on the Xbox Marketplace. Thankfully it's not. In fact the main reason why it looks like this is because the game doesn't support High Definition. If it was in HD then the game would look a lot more better with the extra detail on the textures and character models. Mostly the game does look like an old PS2 game with all the bland textures and grainy resolution but the game does have some pretty areas though. The characters are actually pretty detailed and the animations are quite smooth despite their limitations. Also the atmosphere is very charming and creepy at the same time. It also looks like the very popular TV show called Twin Peaks. Never seen the show but I have looked at some images and Deadly Premonition looks pretty identical which is a good thing right. Plus there are worse looking games. Maybe not visually but in technical reasons. The only thing that Deadly Premonition suffers is pop-ins and slight stutter. Other games like Alpha Protocol however suffers from clipping, screen tearing and a short draw distance. Deadly Premonition doesn't suffer from any of that and the draw distance is actually pretty good. You can say what you like about the visuals but it is NOT the worst looking game on Xbox.

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    Another talked about aspect of the game is the sound design. I do agree that the sound effects are cheap and there are some audio problems like poor surround sound or glitchy volume output but it is better than the visuals though. Mainly because the voice acting is solid and the dialogue is well written and despite the soundtrack not fitting in with the correct tone of the cutscenes I do rather enjoy them. When I mean the soundtrack not fitting in I mean that there might be a serious cutscene and yet the soundtrack is playing a jazzy melody.



    As you can see the soundtrack is all over the place. But at least the scene is charming and funny don't you agree Zach.

    I would also like to mention the enemy voices. Yes I know they sound cheap and funny and also sounds like some guy speaking in slow mo but after a while those voices start to grow on you and start to get a little creepy. You could say that the voices also fit in with the weird scenery and that is probably what Swery intended to do. It's just that very few people don't see it that way. While the sound design might be embarrassing you could say that it is also memorable. Trust me. I can't get those creepy voices out of my head and I sometimes speak to my own Zach. Am I normal? Oh and don't forget that whistle song.

    While we got all that out of the way lets talk about the gameplay. The gameplay is like a cheaper version of Resident Evil 4 with the stand still and shoot feature. The game actually pulls it off but again it is cheap so there are some slightly broken mechanics mainly because the controls are a bit sluggish and the enemy hit boxes are quite large so you could say that the game lacks precision. I also find that the field of view is way to close to the character but you will get used to it. Other than that the gunplay is fine with plenty of weapons and a nice melee combat feature. Also the game does something that Resident Evil can't do. The game is creepy and a bit scary so you could say that this is like resident evil 1&2 but a bit more modern. The game is also a non-linear free roamer which basically means you can do whatever you want at anytime and Greenvale is not actually that small of a town. The game offers mini games and plenty of side quests and they are all fun and very unique. They are optional but completing these quests will award you useful items and maybe a weapon that offers you unlimited ammo. There is a lot of traveling though but there are cars that you can drive. Driving the cars are fine but a bit stiff to control though but makes up for it with a variety of cars to choose from and there are upgrades to improve them.

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    An important note though is that the game does not have any updates to fix any problems which does lead to a crash on one of the enemy encounters. There is one enemy that you encounter a couple of times that has the ability of climbing walls and turning invisible. The fights are long and tedious if you don't have the right weapon and worst of all the game crashes during the fight. The game doesn't crash on anything else but that part. I suspect that the code for the fights gets corrupted easily and causes the crashes. It could also be a corrupted save file. Eventually you will pass after the sixth crash but I have a theory though. If you delete the save file and start again then the crashes won't happen but the game is long. The game takes around 60-80 hours if you complete everything but if just do the main quest then it's more like 20-40 hours. So if you have this problem then you will have to play another 8-15 hours to get to that part again.

    It is a major problem but other than that the gameplay is actually really good and unique with the whole survival horror / comedy genre.

    The story is the biggy though. The game is well known for its story and I can see why. The story has everything. Action, Horror, comedy, everything and Swery pulls it off nicely. The story is entertaining and memorable due to the unique characters. In fact York has replaced Gorden Freeman from top of the top ten characters list. You could say that the story is pretty much perfect. It doesn't suffer from plot holes or anything like that so Swery really nailed it.

    Summary:
    + Great characters
    + Perfect storyline
    + Manages to be scary and charming at the same time.

    - Not the best of visuals and sound
    - The rare crash
    - The HD reboot is only coming out for PS3

    Score summary:
    Graphics 6/10
    Sound 7/10
    Gameplay 8/10
    Storyline 10/10
    Durability 10/10

    Overall 9/10

    Is it your cup of tea?

    If you're an old school Resi fan then hell yes!
    If you want something unique then this is a delight.
    If you want a triple A title then get out.

    Overall this game is great and is on my list of top 10 games. All it needs is more polishment and a bigger budget.
    5.0
  • Young TobiasYoung Tobias222,958
    10 Aug 2012
    6 1 0
    *DISCLAIMER: I like both Mass Effect 3 and Heavy Rain. I am using them here as examples because they both made crucial mistakes in the writing that was waved away out of convenience, and I want to show that - despite what many in the mainstream media would have you believe - it is, in fact, wholly possible to create a consistent storyline with well-crafted natural symbolism and scope, even with a limited budget, and not have to resort to ambiguity and writer fiat in order to arbitrarily and artificially force a skin-level sense of 'epicness' onto a scenario.*

    Deadly Premonition is the Rocky of videogames - ignoring the games actually based on Rocky, obviously. It has poor graphics, repetitive sound, clunky and outdated controls, and often cheesy and predictable dialogue. Despite this, it manages to be one of the most engaging, engrossing, and utterly entertaining games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. It's the opposite of a game like Heavy Rain - what it lacks in superficial qualities, it more than makes up for in narrative substance. It cannot rely on pretty visuals, photo-realistic facial animations or a sweeping score to tell us how to feel. Instead, it depends on things such as 'plot', 'character', 'consistency' and 'continuity'. It nails all of these things, with a story that hooks you early on and never lets go.

    At first, this is purely because of how weird it is - there's a reason it's been compared so regularly to Twin Peaks. It is, to say the least, baffling at times. Importantly, however, it is baffling by design. Whereas people try to defend the horrific ending of Mass Effect 3 by saying it's 'artistic' and therefore the lack of any sense or context is justified - which is clearly drivel - in Deadly Premonition, the entire lure of the setting, the investigation, and the characters is the air of mystery behind it. Most tellingly, unlike ME3, the mystery and confusion is actively and progressively explained - and not just with a series of hand-waves. We realise as the story develops just how expertly crafted the experience is, and how everything ties together in a genuinely shocking yet also analytically conceivable and consistent manner. Unlike Heavy Rain, there are no attempts at tricking the audience - whatever trickery takes place does so within the interaction of the characters themselves. When you ignore the technical limitations and focus purely on the writing, you can't help but admire what they did with this.

    Unfortunately, we can't completely ignore the technical side. The graphics, as already mentioned, are really bad. And not just in a 'bad for seventh-gen' way - these graphics would barely have been considered acceptable on the Dreamcast. At times, the texture resolution is so horrible and jittery that it genuinely made my eyes hurt. The sound is pretty bad, too - the effects are repetitive, the dialogue sounds like it was recorded into a laptop headset, and the background music consists of a maximum of about ten tracks, four of which are used again and again constantly during cutscenes and jarringly switching over. It doesn't help that they're usually used at really inappropriate times and don't set the correct tone at all. It's pointless trying to describe it without proper context, so I can only recommend that you play it for yourself or watch some Youtube videos. You'll see what I mean.

    Fortunately, the controls and gameplay - while awkward - are acceptable. I don't like the old Resident Evil-esque manner of movement, having to turn around on the spot and push up to walk forward, though luckily you can turn while walking. It's still a bit dated and hard to navigate at times, but it's not the worst. The combat is ok, as well. You use the right trigger to aim and the A button to attack. The aiming can be a bit erratic, but again, it works. This is important, because for all the great things about the writing, if the gameplay had been awful then it would have been for nothing. As it is, while repetitive and not overly taxing, it's solid enough that you won't have any trouble playing - except for the dreadful chase sections, where you run by twiddling the left analogue stick left and right which is incredibly grating and tedious. Fortunately, these are rare. There's also a few really long and boring scenes where you have to follow someone or drive to a location, and even if you're with other characters at the time, there's often no dialogue during these sections or the dialogue repeats ad nauseum. It's not a game-breaker, but it's hugely frustrating.

    If you decide to buy this game, just know that you need to allow yourself time to invest in the atmosphere and the story. You're certainly not going to be coming back for creative set-pieces or great acting. You will, however, be rewarded for your patience and investment with a hugely entertaining and at times even emotional experience unlike any other. The fact that the presentation is awful actually works in the game's favour - if it had A-grade graphics and fluent controls, the writing might have taken a back seat. And that would have been a shame, because this is a genuinely well-crafted tale with interesting and memorable characters and a sense of consistency and class that is noticeably absent in many 'better' games that claim to focus on story.
    4.0
  • Neko PounceNeko Pounce141,176
    16 Nov 2011 16 Nov 2011
    8 3 0
    To start of, let me just say that this game is flawed is so many ways. The graphics are good Ps2 age at best, the voice acting isn't all that good. The sounds your gun make along with the sound of the environment are not wonderful, and many of them will drive you crazy while your playing. However! All of these things are just little draw backs when you look at the game from a larger point of view. The story is one of this games most amazing aspects, It's a little messed up, with a lot of plot holes, but the basis of it will keep you so engrosed that you will play till the end for the story, and not just the gameplay (admittingly, the gameplay is one thing a game needs to do well on to be a good "Game", and this game doesn't pull that off so well) but for the story, and the people in Deadly Premonitions world. Right, Onto the "Review" Part of this Review.

    Gameplay and Playability.
    The gameplay changes often, going from a dark and creepy "Survival horror First person shooter" to a simple "Rpg" game. The shooting aspects of the game are not all that great, you can't move while aiming your gun, there's no "Iron sight" in the guns, it's all done in a red dot sight manor, a lot like the Resident Evil shooting.
    The explration while in Greenvale (The place Deadly Premonition is set in) is calm for the most part. It's simple "go talk to this NPC, hear about what they want you to do, or what's going on in the digital town, then go here and talk to this NPC or play this mini-game (All of which are very simple and nothing special.) and go back to collect your reward. The game has about 75 side quests, all of which have nothing to do with the story line and make the main quests seem un-important. This is a flaw for the game, but it's easy to over look this by just enjoying the side quests after finishing the main story, since after you finish the game becomes open ended, and for the side quests that you can only do at certain times, your able to select a chapter to return to.
    Overall I give the gameplay a 3 out of 5.

    Story
    You are Francis York Morgan, known to everyone just as York. You are a FBI agent who takes a special interest in the murder of young woman, and this has led you to a case in the small town of greenvale. So you and your alternate parsonality Zach, head off on a case much bigger and stranger then you would ever expect.
    There are many twists and crazy idea's and the story doesn't follow a lot of logic, but that's how the world of deadly premonition likes to do things. While playing, you lose your mind in the story so much that those little things that wouldn't normally make sense don't bother you as much.

    Story get's a 5/5 from my point of view.
    Graphics

    Okay, this is the game's biggest downfall. This was a budget game so they only used low level graphics, and it shows. The NPC's look chuncky, and the Shadows that attack you look pretty awful. The main Npc's in the story look almost good, it's clear they put far more effort into them. Unfortunately, This doesn't change the fact the games graphical quality is at best late ps2 gen.
    I give the graphics a 2/5

    Sound
    The sounds used in this games then to get used a lot, over and over. It's clear they either didn't have a lot of money to spend on this aspect of the game, or then just didn't put a lot of effort into it. The voice acting however it up to par standard in my opinion.

    Sound 3/5
    Longevity

    The game took me about 30 hours to finish the first time, this was with doing about 25% of the side quests, only the ones that interested me at the time. It's a fairly long game. I estimate it would take about 50 hours to finish the game and all the side quests, if your the type who enjoys getting 100% on there games.
    4/5

    Overall
    This is a low budget masterpiece.
    It's flawed all the way and it's in no way perfect, but you can pick it up for about £10 in shops or even £15 on the xbox live marketplace, and for this price you'll be a fool not to give it a chance.

    3.5/5 overall, It's an amazing game held back by it's graphics and sound quality.
    4.0
  • MrGrinch989MrGrinch989174,007
    07 Sep 2012
    4 2 0
    I was trying to get rid of some of my old Xbox 360 games by trading them for other (usually less popular) games and one guy happened to have a copy of this game. "Sure, why the heck not?", I thought, and I traded in my Driver: San Francisco for this game (FYI Driver is an awesome game).

    Deadly Premonition is just... WOW! I mean I was seriously impressed over how much I got into this story.
    You play as a Special FBI agent sent into a small mountain town to investigate a murder. From the first cut-scene of the game you are immediately drawn into this game. For example, the main character (FBI Agent) Francis York Morgan has an imaginary friend named Zack. Yup, the main character will talk to himself from time to time, summarizing, asking for advice or simply chatting with his other personality, and guess what, YOU are that other personality, you are Zack. Strangely, this simple feature feel perfectly natural. The main character will really seem like he is talking to you, rather than another person and when he is asking about what to do next, YOU get to decide. This game simply wouldn't be the same without the TWO main characters (York and Zack).
    As for the other characters, well, most of them are fine. There are some lousily made ones, and some really interesting ones. As you start investigating the story you will uncover more and more about the town, it's residents and the murderer. You will investigate different locations, search for clues and finally uncover just what the heck is going on in the town you were sent to. I really wish I could tell you more but, I really don't want to spoil it for you. All I can tell you is that if you like anime or some weird stuff just play this game. You will love the story, maybe not the ending so much, but the ride will definitely be an unforgettable one.

    I give this game a 7/10 and that is my review... Over and out.
    *tries to leave but gets pulled back to finish the review*

    Oh, come on guys, I told you all the good bits about the game, let's just end the review on that, please??

    Let's not talk about the gameplay, the graphics or anything else, I mean do you really want me to ruin everything nice I said about this game. Ugggghhhh... Fine.

    Story aside this game is... just, just awful! It's terrible beyond belief. It's so incredibly bad, boring and uncreative.

    When you are not watching those wonderful cut scenes you will be reminded that you are IN FACT playing a terrible game.
    So what will you be doing? Finding clues, profiling murder scenes and all that good detective stuff? Well, yes and no. You certainly will be doing that detective work but those instances pass by faster than sonic the hedgehog with speed shoes on. What you WILL BE DOING the most thru-ought this game, is killing zombies. Yup zombies. So is it like Left 4 Dead zombie killing :))))))) or maybe like Dead Rising :)))) or maybe Resident Evil 4 :))))))) ?

    Well, it's kinda like resident evil 4 except it just SUCKS! It's like Resident Evil 4 played on a broken controller, with messed up aiming, stupid AI enemies and no fun whatsoever.Everything about it sucks, and I'm trying here to be as fair as I can to this game. Ok so you control Agent York from a third person view (kinda like in RE4) and when you aim you will experience some of the worst aiming in history of gaming. It's just too loose, and even when you get used to it you can still mess up, and to top it all off you have an auto-aim option that always aims at the crotch, yep, right in the family jewels!

    And the zombies, oh my god, the zombies!!! If there was ever a "Who is the lamest fictional being" contest between lame twilight vampires and zombies from this game, I guarantee that the twilight vampires would win (barely, but they would still win XD ). These are some of the worst enemy AI in any game I have ever played. I mean what kind of enemies turn their backs to you, bend back to do a crab-walk and slowly approach you, I mean how lazy are they!!??. They take forever to kill as well, and firing at them feels like shooting a pillowcase, but the best solution against them is just running past them, yeah you can even do that.
    But what really pisses me off about these zombies is that some of them carry shotguns! Zombies carry around shotguns. That just makes no sense!!! Zombies can't carry firearms, they just can't!!!! They are mindless, ergo they can't use firearms. Oh what's that? They are not actually zombies but "shadows"? Well, excuse me, if they are corpses that suddenly sprung back to life, and their only purpose is to infect or devour anything living they see, you can forgive my assumption for mistaking these "totally original" creatures for zombies. So what do these "shadows" have to do with the actual story. Next to nothing, I swear that they were added in the last minute just so Deadly premonition can have more gameplay.
    So, from time to time during the investigation, the world will just become dark and zombies will start spawning, but not really attacking, unless you get close to them, and stand there for 5 minutes, and then MAYBE they will attack you... So are there any smokers, witches, boomers in this game. There are only three types of enemies in this game. The regular shadows, that I just spend an eternity describing, the crawlers, that crawl on walls, take even longer to kill and are boring as ****, and the Raincoat killer.
    The raincoat killer adds some twists to the gameplay that should have been cool, but just failed because they were done so poorly. Sometimes he will ambush you and you will have to do a quick-time-event to avoid it. Other times you will have to hide in a room while the killer is searching for you, and you have to hold your breath so he can't hear you. This would have been cool, except all you do is hide under anything and just wait for the killer to search the room and be on his merry way and occasionally hold your breath. And finally when he does find you, he will chase you, so you will have to tilt your analog stick from side to side as fast as possible to run. Sound exiting? LOL
    Listen to this... If the killer catches up to you, he reduces his speed, and starts walking instead of running and even if he gets to you, you just press one button to dodge him. Also, sometimes while you are running away there will be a box in front of you and instead of jumping over it you will instead push it, as slow as possible, while the killer politely waits for you to start running again.
    So as you can tell dealing with enemies is pretty messed up, but luckily it's really easy (even on the hardest difficulty) and these sessions don't really take that long.

    Other than zombie shooting, you also have driving sequences and side quests. Driving works terribly, obviously, and side missions are boring. Sometimes they can be related to the main story but most of the time they are fetch quests or weapon challenges. You can get various things from these side missions, such as health boosts, infinite ammo for your weapons, faster cars and what game would be complete without trading cards :P. Did I mention that this game has an open world? Why? I don't know, I think they were trying to compete with Rockstar games, the jury is still out on that one XD.

    One thing I kinda did like about the gameplay, and was yet completely pointless, is the hunger meter, sleep meter and the need to shave and change clothes. If you don't eat, you die, if you don't sleep you die, if you stay in your clothes too long you start to smell and flies fly around you and you can grow a beard over time. You don't really have to worry too much about eating and sleeping because they drop really slowly (you can probably beat the whole game by sleeping only 4-5 times and eating after every sleep), and if you don't mind the flies and the beard you don't even have to change clothes and shave.

    The graphics
    That's a real turn off. The game looks like one of those first Playstation 2 games. The graphics are really outdated, and seeing how this game was made in 2008, you would be expecting a lot more. But to be fair the game was in development for quite a while and the graphics while outdated aren't really ugly to look at.

    The music is pretty good actually. You have a lot of catchy themes, some bad ones as well, but all in all you won't be turning off your volume. The voices on the other hand are mixed bag. Some are good others are bad, most of them are mediocre, and the lip-synching is terrible.

    So that's about all I can say (Trash talk) about this game, and how does it hold up.
    Surprisingly, even after everything bad I said about the game it's still a very enjoyable ride because of it's story. You can tell that the developers didn't really know how to make a good game but knew how to make a really enjoyable story (well the ending wasn't that great...).

    Overall, you will not enjoy actually playing this game all that much, but you will certainly appreciate it's unique story, interesting character and the atmosphere. If you can get it cheap or rent it, try it out and you may even like it. I know I did.
    3.0