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Late Access: Deadly Premonition's Troubled PC Release

filenames I regret using

Today in Games We Were Convinced Would Never Come To PC, it’s lovably clunky survival horror cult classic Deadly Premonition. Access Games’ oddball, divisive Twin Peaks semi-homage has a dedicated, even fervent following on console, but it was a complete surprise when it showed up on Greenlight one day. Now it has completed its walk with fire, and is available on Steam right now. Sadly, it seems to be a HORROR-PORT, so rife with issues that the dev’s offered public apologies for it. Modders, fortunately, have been to the rescue already.
Of the many reported issues with this ‘Director’s Cut’ version of the game, there’s the likes of a fixed, 1280×720 resolution (harkening back to Dark Souls’ hobbled PC release), no gamepad support (bizarre for a title which originated on console) and for some people (including our own Adam Smith) a total lockup at the start of the second chapter. Sounds like a mess, basically. This even prompted an apology of sorts from lead designer Hidetaka “Swery65″ Suehiro on Twitter today: “To all the fans of Deadly Premonition. As usual, The steam version evaluation seems to be polarizing. Sorry it is seems to give some unsatisfied. I’m embarrassed that problem give you big disappointment. Anyway, thank you. Please enjoy. I love you all!”

As yet, that love has not entailed promising a patch. My premonition is that there may not be one, at least not for some time – again, this sounds all too much like the Dark Souls situation.

In yet another echo of that, a fan (Update: ah, same dude who released the Dark Souls fix, apparently. A hero for our times!) has almost immediately come up with a mod to enable resolution changes. It’s apparently little bit wobbly for this initial release, but expect updates soon.

What a shame, both for the game itself and that it’s another publisher treating PC like the black sheep of its electronic family. I’m going to hold off on playing the game until I hear things have improved significantly. That said, I didn’t ever play it on console, and to be honest there’s a part of me which really doesn’t want to. I love the idea of this weird, wooden thing which manages to be fantastic despite itself, and fear that the reality could simply irritate me. I don’t want another Alan Wake, you know?

Such conscious avoidance is poor form for someone who writes about videogames for a living however, so I suspect I shall find myself in Greenvale before too long. This is the sort of thing I’ll be in for:

It’s not quite Tommy Wiseau, but it’s not far off.

What is in the PC version are the likes of pepped-up textures, a new control system and a “surprising new scenario from the game’s director, Hidetaka ‘Swery’ Suehiro.” What, does he dress up as a clown or something?

The game’s launched as part of Steam’s current Halloween sale, so is a few groats cheaper until Nov 1. A more expensive special edition includes the bundled soundtrack too. Sadly, if problems are resolved it almost certainly won’t be until the sale has passed. NOT FAIR.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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