|York is presented with his own Police Car |
It’s getting quite rare to see a game that tries to do something different from everything else out there. Venture into your local game store and chances are you’ll see a whole range of sequels, spin-offs and clones on the shelves, and those franchises that are different can often be summed up in a single sentence, such as ‘oh, it’s just like Call of Duty’. Even though Deadly Premonition can be explained by comparing it to other games such as Silent Hill, Resident Evil, or even Alan Wake, once you get into the meat of the game, you begin to realise that Deadly Premonition is a beast quite unlike any other and, for better or worse, you won’t find an experience quite like it anywhere else.
Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut sees players take on the role of Francis York Morgan, an FBI agent who has been called to the rural town of Greenvale in order to investigate the murder of Anna Graham, a local beauty whose body was found cut open and tied to a tree. The ritualistic aspects of the murder pique Agent York’s interest, and he soon finds himself thrust deep into a supernatural world of Eastern-style monsters, eerie red foliage, and a whole host of strange and mysterious characters. You’ll soon realise with Deadly Premonition that although the subject matter is serious, the game seems to enjoy dealing with it with tongue in cheek. In fact, much of the game feels as though you’re watching a made-for-TV movie, and you’re almost desperate to call your friends over, just so they can share in how bad, yet awesome, the game is.
First impressions with Deadly Premonition aren’t exactly promising. Visually, the game looks as if it belongs to the late-PS2/early PS3 era, with poor textures, awkward character models, and a generally ugly look to the town of Greenvale. There’s quite a lot of visual pop-in as well, to the extent that early in the game, I hit a tree located at the side of the road that I didn’t know was there, all because the visuals for it hadn’t yet loaded. What’s more, York himself can get caught on pieces of scenery quite easily, and he is even subjected to some amusing clipping issues, such as his tie clipping right through his body and waving in the wind out of the back of his suit.
Overall, Deadly Premonition has a distinct whiff of poor production values about it, perhaps best summed up by the grammatical and spelling errors in the subtitles, such as it’s instead of its, affect instead of effect, and pedant instead of pendant. On more than one occasion the subtitles don’t even match up with what’s being said on screen, which defies the point of them being there in the first place.dpscreenshot06The town of Greenvale is expansive, and there is plenty for York to do within its borders. As Greenvale is rural, many of the locations are spread out from one another, meaning that the best way for York to get around is to drive.
Early on in the game York is presented with his own Police Car, and this will be your ride for the duration of Deadly Premonition. Unfortunately, you’ll grow to hate the car fairly quickly, as the driving in this game is one of the worst representations that I’ve seen recently. If you’re going in a straight line, you’re fine, but any form of turning makes you feel as if you’re merely riding a box on wheels, which just happens to be skidding along the surface of an icy lake. And god forbid you hit the fifa 14 coins handbrake, as that increases the chances of you flying off the road into a tree tenfold.