Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut Review
Political correctness runs rampant in gaming today, and I’m not just talking about what the ESRB deems appropriate. It seems as if almost every last hero and heroine must be a deathly serious dual gun-wielding warrior with rechargeable health, lest it wishes to spend some time in the bargain bin with countless other fallen heroes. Thankfully, Rising Star Games has thrown caution (and decency) to the wind with Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut, a game that combines survival horror, country living, and a quirky FBI agent. The question is, can this underdog come out on top?
Directed by the very unique Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro, Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut is a retelling of the 2010 cult hit on the Xbox 360. Those who have yet to walk a mile in FBI agent Francis “York” Morgan’s shoes are in for a treat — all of the content, missions, and minigames from the original 20-hour release are present and accounted for. One part free-roaming adventure, one part survival-horror third-person shooter, Deadly Premonition’s atmospheric murder mystery still has that essence taken from B-movie scripts and television shows. Some may laugh at its corny dialog ripped straight out of The Room or its low-budget vibe (also ripped straight out of The Room), but these all add to its charm. A Deadly Premonition without it would just not be the same — the game knows exactly what it is, and is completely unapologetic about it.
There is some fresh content to be found via Director’s Cut’s new scenario, but it is far less impactful than the back of the box would lead you to believe. Opening and closing select chapters via a brief cutscene, these moments add to the Deadly Premonition mythos, but are by no means game changers — more like special features.
Rather, the biggest changes made to Deadly Premonition are subtle. The game has learned some new tricks, with faster scrolling text, a larger map, and an easier difficulty setting making more a more streamlined (and pleasant) experience. Some graphical flourishes have been added to both the buildings and the townsfolk, but the cutout trees and rigid pantomimes are still there (for better or worse).
Those who have controlled agent York in the past will also be pleased to know the tank-like controls and fixed angles of the original have been traded in for complete camera control and custom button mapping. It might not sound like much, but this shift is on par with the revolutionary change made between Resident Evil 3 and 4.
Ironically, the only downside to this port of Deadly Premonition comes from its framerate. Despite requiring a mandatory installation, things can get downright choppy when there is a lot going on. However, the slowdown does not rear its ugly head long enough to detract from the overall game.
Admittedly, a trip to the Deadly Premonition’s forest town of Greenvale might not be for everybody. However, those who crave unique storylines, one-of-a-kind dialog, and copious amounts of coffee should pack their bags ASAP.