You Don’t Know Zach: Deadly Premonition

By Adam Smith on September 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 am.

The weird, wooden and wonderful world of Deadly Premonition is just around the next curve in the road. The bizarre survival horror game may be on Steam as early as November 1st. If you haven’t played the game in its previous console incarnations, I’d suggest that you avoid reading or watching too much about it. There are reasons that people, myself included, hold the game in such high regard, but there are also plenty of good reasons to dismiss it, including an overlong opening sequence and miserable controls. There’s a trailer below, my favourite one for the game, but it’s both spoiler-filled and not. Out of context (and even in it), some of the scenes make no sense, but I reckon it’s better not to know what moods are involved at all. Not long to wait.

I’ll try to pick Deadly Premonition apart when I have it on my PC, exposing its entrails in a way that people can at least hazard a good guess as to whether they’d like to play with those entrails or not. The PC version will be the Director’s Cut with a new story episode, enhanced graphics, better controls and some bonus content, including new suits for the protagonist to wear. Very important.

This is also very important.

Weatherman said rain.

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25 Comments »

  1. Eight Rooks says:

    “There are reasons that people, myself included, hold the game in such high regard”…

    Oh thank God. I don’t think I could have stood a PC MASTER RACE-style takedown of this.

    On the other hand,

    “there are also plenty of good reasons to dismiss it, including an overlong opening sequence and miserable controls” -

    I don’t remember thinking those specific things – I actually kind of liked the combat, and it was no bother at all after unlocking a particular secret. But on the whole, no argument there. I think of Deadly Premonition (large parts of it, anyway) as a work of genius, and I don’t mean that even slightly in a so-bad-it’s-good sense. I also think of it as a bewildering, antiquated mess that I can completely understand people running away from after the first thirty seconds, and I mean that too.

    I hate to talk things up to the point they can’t possibly deliver but I still hold the ending to be one of my favourites in, well, anything ever, not just games. I can’t think of any PC-exclusive game that’s left me so shocked, so shaken, so MIND. BLOWN, so it’s great to see it arrive on Steam. And it’s not simply a case of “Wow, the story is, like, really good and stuff”: it’s the experience of playing it and how its insane little world sucks you in, and what it comes to mean to you before the whole thing wraps up. I was trying to hint at how amazing I found it to a friend who finally lost patience with me and demanded I tell him flat out, since he wasn’t going to play that ridiculous janky lo-fi nonsense or anything, no sir: I still treasure the look on his face as I explained it, and the point where he finally burst out with “Jesus, that sounds brilliant! Why the hell did you have to tell me that?”

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Did you play the original release, or just the director’s cut? The controls in the original were abysmal; in the director’s cut they’re merely functional.

      I still treasure the look on his face as I explained it, and the point where he finally burst out with “Jesus, that sounds brilliant! Why the hell did you have to tell me that?”

      I love it.

      Although personally, I was rather dissatisfied with the ending. I feel that it undermined some of the genuinely brilliant things the game did. (I’d say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything for others)

      • Eight Rooks says:

        The original, I guess? But as Red Seeds Profile on Korean PS3 import, not on the 360. I have no idea if they were that different to play, but while I’d happily agree the game was extremely clunky, I honestly never found it a pain to deal with, much less outright unplayable. Maybe I just liked the narrative that much I glossed over it all.

        I’m curious what it was about the game you thought the ending went back on, now, but a comments thread isn’t really the place for it – I would hate to ruin any of my favourite bits for anyone who’s yet to play this.

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          VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          AFAIK the controls on RSP PS3 and DP 360 are the same: notably, the same stick for walking and (when trigger pressed) aiming; a fixed camera on stairs that made them harder to navigate than the labyrinth of Knossos; and weirdly sluggish and twitchy (at the same time!) car handling. Abysmal, but one got used to them after a while. But they do distract and hence detract from the game’s appeal, just as its opening does, putting its worst foot forward.

          The Director’s Cut at least fixes the worst of the controls; but on my PS3 it had a horrible stuttering in the audio (all the time!), and inexplicably janky framerates at times (the “you picked up …” screen often running, somehow, at only two frames per second). I hope the PC port fixes those issues, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

          It took me about two months of short, infrequent play sessions the first time to get past the hospital. I’m really glad I did—it’s one of my favourite games now—but I can’t excuse its flaws; I can only ask new players to put up with them and look past them.

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    Gap Gen says:

    Someone needs to make a Community mashup of that trailer.

  3. GameCat says:

    Now I must rewatch Twin Peaks, thanks.

  4. baltasaronmeth says:

    Wow, good timing. I was about to order the Director’s Cut, when I saw the headline. Now I will wait to see, what this extra content and better controls are, before I decide.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Pretty sure they’re just the same as the director’s cut, which featured extra (unnecessary and a bit out of place) story framing, and much more tractable controls.

    • Wedge says:

      Well, the Director’s Cut is also a bit of a mess with framerate even worse than the original, while costing twice as much. I’d hold out for the PC version, as it’s _likely_ to run better, either through brute force of PC power, or modding hackery.

  5. Low Life says:

    I really need to find myself a red coat for Halloween.

    Also, there’s this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thcv9F7o_4Y

    • Kefren says:

      Red coated killers are the dog’s bits. What’s weird is that there one in my horror novel Turner, but I’d never played Deadly Premonition. then I played it on my Xbox and thought “Wow! Deja vu!” Then Deadly Premonition shot off in different (more complex) directions and I felt relieved.

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        Gap Gen says:

        “Red coated killers are the dog’s bits.”

        Britain from the 1700s to 1800s certainly thought so.

      • The Random One says:

        Heh, I have a friend who, if she was writing a story about a red coated killer, then saw any media in which there was a red coated killer, would immediately convince herself that everyone would think she stole that idea and she would be sued and ostracized.

        • Kefren says:

          I get that sometimes. I started my second novel 15 years ago. Geeky physicist borderline Asperger disorder guy. Then Big Bang Theory and Sheldon come along, and I watch my first episode just after I finished the novel. “Oh bugger.”

  6. Gravy100 says:

    I love deadly premonition, its a very ‘warm’ game in spirit, and I was genuinely surprised with the twists and turns of the plot silly as it is. I hated the crawling wall enemies though, each one took about 10 minutes to beat, repeating the same routine over and over, surely there was a quicker way?

    • Low Life says:

      They were a quick kill using a good melee weapon, though of course the degrading nature of them made that approach quite annoying.

    • Wedge says:

      Playing the game on “Easy” helped quite a bit too, there was no reason to play on anything above that, as it only had any effect on the boring zombieshoot sections.

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      They’re invulnerable except while they attack. Wait at one end of the hall till it gets near and starts its attack animation; sprint past, turn, and blast it with shotgun or SMG. Its ranged attacks are trivial to dodge, so then retreat to the other end of the hall and repeat. They’re boring and unthreatening once you work out the pattern, and only take a few iterations of that sequence to finish off.

    • The Evil Moose says:

      The guitar you get from doing the sidequests at Milk Barn does a very good job of defeating those enemies, only about 2-3 hits.

  7. Utsunomiya says:

    Zach! The lego maniac!
    Right?

  8. Pamplemousse says:

    Yeah I found this game to be pretty much the worst thing.

    It has one of the worst and frankly absurd story lines, abominable controls and terrible gameplay. There are whole sections, that last upwards of thirty minutes, where you chase a goddamn dog stopping periodically to listen to some horribly written dialogue about how much the characters love dogs. *Minor Spoilers I guess?* There’s a boss battle in three stages where, and for poorly defined reasons, ends with a super saiyan style transformation that is frankly tame by the eventual insanity of ill-explained and abandoned plot points the game finally descends into

    I guess if that didn’t sound truly horrible then you should totally give it a look, but be warned.

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    stahlwerk says:

    Legendary Guitar Grecotch, isn’t that right, Zach?

  10. Spoon Of Doom says:

    For a moment, I thought there was a new You Don’t Know Jack coming and was happy. But this isn’t bad either, I guess.

  11. SkittleDiddler says:

    I’m certainly tempted to check this out when the appropriate sale takes place, but I can tell it’s going to be one of those games I either absolutely love or absolutely loathe. No in-between.

  12. Stiletto says:

    Right, this game is awesome for target practice.

    … I mean, crotch shooting target practice. The protagonist has this perverted fetish of shooting only at crotches!

    “Oh look! A zombie! *Target lock at crotch. Commence firing*”.