Four years ago, if you had told me there’d be a Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut, I’d have called you crazy. You’d also probably be a PR person trying to shill the game and likely crushed when it received some awful reviews from major publications. Honestly, though, it’s not so much that the game is polarizing, but more that it was haphazardly reviewed by people who assumed it was shovelware. Of course, that’s understandable as the game came out with no promotion at a discount price with some awful cover-art. Luckily, though, most of the ensuing reviews were positive and Deadly Premonition went on to become a cult classic that’s still frequently brought up by hipster and hardcore gamers alike. As such, there’s little surprise the game is seeing a re-release, but the amount of love put into it is nothing short of a miracle — a miracle we were able to experience hands-on with its beloved designer Swery to guide us along.
We’ll get the boring stuff out of the way first for those who haven’t played the game. Deadly Premonition is a bizarre, artsy survival horror game heavily influenced by Twin Peaks where you assume the role of FBI Special Agent Franciss York Morgan to investigate a gruesome series of murders in Greenvale. While there, the mystery begins to unravel and proves stranger than one could even imagine. The story of the game is quite intriguing and well-written, including some hilarious moments throughout the way. The game is far from perfect, but most of its faults are what made it so endearing in the first place. If you haven’t experienced it yet, The Director’s Cut should prove the definitive way to do so.
Story-wise, everything is all there, but certain parts have been fleshed out and the world expanded through additional cutscenes. “The original story elements might effect your interpretation of the ending…somewhat” said Swery. This is likely given that the new scenario is spread out over ten cutscenes throughout the game, meaning that those who’ve already beat the game will want to do so again. The game controls much better than it did before, with the right stick allowing you to move around the vertical and horizontal axis of the camera. While the old scheme was charming, this is clearly the preferred and more realistic way to play it.
Upon picking up the game, the first thing that’s clear is how good it looks. Well, perhaps “good” isn’t the best adjective, but the game now actually looks like a current-gen game — a low end one, but as it looked like something from the Dreamcast before, that’s a huge improvement. It’s easier to make out the reactions of character’s faces, the gruesome murder sites and more. In the opening of the game, for instance, it’s now clear what exactly happened to the first victim instead of it looking like a giant melting bullet pop. Another cool thing we noticed was a photo on the wall of Swery dressed as a cop holding a dog — something near impossible to make out the first time around. Another nice touch is that the world map can be expanded with the press of a button, easier allowing you to see objectives around town.
If you haven’t experienced Deadly Premonition yet, now is the perfect time do so. After all, even more of your cool friends will, increasing references to the game that make you feel inadequate as a gamer. $39.99 and some of the most bizarre hours of your life will be able to solve that and upcoming DLC will keep you hooked. While the game would have remained solid if nothing was improved, the changes here solidify the gameplay to compliment one of the most enjoyable game stories of this generation. Buy this or another third person shooter that’s unique because it’s totally in Mexico this time — the choice is yours.