Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut
Once in a while, a gem arrives but no one finds it. In the case of Deadly Premonition, it was deeply hidden underground. Lovers of mystery and horror in an offbeat style have managed to dig up Deadly Premonition from an overlooked fate. It has been three years since its debut on the Xbox 360 and as of October 29, it has claimed a third platform: The Personal Computer. Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut is available on Steam but the question is…should you pick or choose from elsewhere?
The tree guarded town of Greenvale is a massive suburban community with strange written all over it. Services close in rainy weather, pale crippled zombies rise from the ground at the midnight hour (along with the occasional giant demon dog dropping from the sky), and vending machine prices are terribly inflated. All of these things are either ignored by or unaware to the townsfolk. Making things more peculiar, they don’t phase the game’s protagonist: FBI Special Agent Francis “York” Morgan and his trusty imaginary friend, Zach. But just call him York. That’s what everyone calls him. Right Zach?
York may be someone much more troubled by the similarities between the Star Wars and Superman theme songs than say, the murder of young Anna Graham, but his specialty in criminal profiling just so happens to cover the territory of murdered young women with red seeds found inside them. It’s still a wonder why the F.B.I. would send an aloof sort to handle a fragile crime in a quiet community. York obliviously offends local law enforcement, Sheriff George Woodman and Deputies Emily Wyatt and Thomas Maclaine, throughout his investigation but without him and Greenvale’s police, almost ¾ of Deadly Premonition’s charm would be absent. After all, if York never treated Emily to lunch he would have never discovered the Sinner’s Sandwich.
The freedom of a sandbox setting allows just as much exploration of the town as it does for the characters who live there. You can drive with or without Sherif Woodman and Deputy Wyatt on the way to the autopsy room or your can choose to not go at all and spend all day fishing and stuffing your stamina bar full with canned pickles. This “do whatever you want when you want” approach allows players to experience varying dialogue exchanges and, in some cases of completing side missions, exclusive cutscenes and information on certain characters. For example, the grumbling Sheriff Woodman will refuse to talk to York until after he finds both the keys to Anna’s file and his missing buddies “Arnold” and “Sylvester”. Then he turns into a complete softie and asks for York to find a flower for his mother.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Graphics and Performance is to con as Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut’s plot is to pro. Everyone who’s ever discussed something about this cult title has had this topic somewhere in their exchange. Unfortunately, the third release has both performance and gameplay issues. Frame rate should run a fine 60 frames per second but reports of slowly loading buildings, occasional buggy cutscenes, and a locked resolution of 720p have flooded the community message board. Most of these issues can be resolved by downloading a fan-provided patch but the case of an unsupported gamepad remains unsolvable.
What cannot be appreciated in graphics can however be discovered in the sound and music. Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut has a rule to it’s soundtrack. It conserves the length of its scores to short tunes making it very noticeable when a song extends or a new song plays. That being said, spoilers are rampant in the soundtrack of Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut so any purchasers of the deluxe edition should tread their media players lightly with both their eyes and their ears.
The wacky unconventional flow of Deadly Premonition... One minute you’re in a dense fog shooting zombies and the next, you’re shouting compliments across an “Alice in Wonderland” sized table to an old lady who think’s you’re flirting with her.
Shooting at acrobatic zombies and wall crawling creatures was actually a feature that director Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro wished to entirely exclude from the final product. When Deadly Premonition debuted, York’s tank-like controls and the frustrating static driving mechanics resulted in terrible scores. There are incentives from side missions that attempt to smooth out the unnecessary roughness that is Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut’s gameplay but, much like the looming growl of an empty stomach, it’s hard to ignore and requires confrontation.
This port is the third release of Deadly Premonition and the second release of Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut. Despite how wonderfully unique the narrative is and how the Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut adds more to that experience, flaws remain and are currently being fixed by independent patchers instead of the developers for the PC release. That given, the decision to purchase this version of the game largely depends on the build of your computer and if it can take on Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut, flaws and all.