Game Guys review - Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut

7:52 PM, May 4, 2013   |    comments
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  • 'Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut' for PS3.
  • 'Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut' for PS3.

When Deadly Premonition, a paranormal murder mystery, released in 2010 on the Xbox 360 it raised some eyebrows at the game was unlike the majority of titles released on the console.  It was slow moving and features a strong narrative rather than the intense survival-horror action found in games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.  Three years later, the game returns as in the form of a Director's Cut on PlayStation 3.  It's very much the same game as before, but with a few new features.  And while the game looks and plays a little old, it's still bound to raise an eyebrow or two.

The game has players taking the role of FBI special agent Francis York Morgan.  He's been sent to a small rural town of Greenvale to investigate the brutal murder of a young local woman.  Amidst the backdrop of soaring mountains and a small American town, York must solve the mystery of the Red Seed Murders and stay alive in a place where supernatural creatures and a killer seek to end his investigation.  This is easily the strongest part of Deadly Premonition as the story captivates and keep the player interested from episode to episode - even excusing the fact that, while there is plenty of free-roaming opportunities, actual action sequences might be more than a half-hour apart from one another.  It should especially appeal to those who like television shows like 'Criminal Minds' or 'The Following'.

Something quite worth noting about Greenvale itself is that, for all intensive purposes, it's a living, breathing community.  The clock actually moves during each in-game day.  NPCs have schedules and locations have hours.  Even York, himself, is affected by the clock and will need to eat, sleep, and even groom himself lest it adversely affect his performance on the job.  Not many games have an under-the-hood structure like this and it's something that more games of a similar tone and structure should consider being made as having.

One of the biggest complaints people seemed to have with the original version of the game was with its control scheme.  While the controls of The Director's Cut aren't dramatically improved, it does give players a new option in having PS Move support.  That said, it plays much better with the standard DualShock 3 controller.

One of the biggest let-downs with Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut is in its presentation.  Visually, it's not terrible - just outdated.  Character models, while decent and upgraded to HD over their original counterparts, don't look overall especially great.  The same can be said in regards to most of the game's environments and their low-resolution textures.  Furthermore, character animations often come off as stiff or inorganic and poor lip-synching is a game-long problem.  If your television supports it, The Director's Cut also has support for 3D.

The game's audio is also a hit-and-miss affair.  While the voice acting itself is surprisingly good (though what the zombie-like ghouls say when they die is quite annoying and loud), audio mixing is poor with some voice work sounding over-modulated.  Players may find themselves turning their television volume up and down throughout the game to counteract the game's inconsistent audio levels.  The soundtrack itself is pleasant and might remind some of those found in Atlus' Persona games, though the track selection doesn't always match the current scene.

As it is, Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut is straddling that fine line between creative art and the video game equivalent of a cult-classic Hollywood "B" movie.  The game is good in its own right, albeit a bit outdated visually.  The controls are something that players should be able to get used to, though they probably will never grow into actually liking them.  That stated, there's just something about this game that makes the player want more; not in the "let's play it again" sense, but in the "I need to know what happens next" sense.  And, upon reading this review, what should happen next is you buying or renting this title.

16/25 15/25 24/25 10/25 19/25 74/100

Version tested: PlayStation 3

(MMPR supplied a copy of this game for review.)

See how what our review scores mean and how the math adds up.


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