After hearing so much about this game, I felt the need to try it out based on curiosity alone. So when the game was Amazon’s deal of the day for $15, I couldn’t pass it up.
The funny thing about Deadly Premonition is that impressions I’ve heard can be summed up by saying, “Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a good game…it’s so bad it’s good”. I have honestly never played a game that’s so bad it’s good. I know this can apply to movies, music, and even perhaps books, but video games are a bit different. The fact that video games are an interactive medium really makes it hard for a game to be palatable if its gameplay is unplayable (which is usually the one aspect of a game that can’t suck if it has a chance of being enjoyable).
Deadly Premonition harkens back to Survival-Horror’s heyday for better or worse. Tank controls? Check. Inventory management? Check. Shoddy aiming? Check. Sounds horrible I know, but the game isn’t without its merits as far as gameplay is concerned.
Its open world environment really adds a new wrinkle to the genre. Along with open environments, Deadly Premonition uses weather as a way to provide you with special side quests. If you happen to be at the right place at the right time when it’s raining at night, you might catch a mission you haven’t seen before. This approach reminds me of Dead Rising and adds a randomness to the game that keeps the gameplay fresh. I even get an adventure vibe from Deadly Premonition as well. It’s a weird situation where a brand new game adds new gameplay elements to a style of game that is no longer made. The downside to all this is the fact that it all controls badly. Whether it’s a spoof or not, tank controls went the way of the dodo for a reason. Ultimately shoddy controls is Deadly Premonition’s biggest drawback.
Then again, if you are playing this game for its gameplay, you’re doing it wrong. It’s the things that surround the gameplay that really make it worth playing. It has the same kind of quirkiness and charm that’s made the Metal Gear Solid series one of my favorite series in gaming.
So to sum things up, the gameplay isn’t that great, the music is pretty good but mostly out of place, and the graphics suck. Sounds like a game not worth playing right? WRONG.
Granted I’m only a few hours in, but so far Deadly Premonition does everything other than the graphics and gameplay right and does so to its own beat. This is quite possibly the best $20 “budget title’ I’ve ever played, and I still have a while to go.
This is not by any stretch of the imagination a game I can recommend for everyone though. For those of you who like things that are quirky and odd (Twin Peaks seems to be the comparison de jour) I say give this game a shot. So far I’m enjoying it and if you look past its shortcomings, you might too.
Update: While I was looking around online for Deadly Premonition info, I came cross this peace of art that I really liked . It came from ~Gil-ED via Deviant Art: