Deadly Premonition Review

Agent York takes a long drag

Deadly Premonition is a budget 360 exclusive which is heavily inspired by horror games and  TV shows of the 90’s. The core game is more or less an unpolished Resident Evil 4, with over the shoulder perspective, laser sight equipped weapons, and glowing items. The structure of most of the combat involves you navigating a hellish dungeon version of a town building and trying to gather evidence in order to help profile the mysterious Raincoat Killer. Speaking of whom the Raincoat Killer could possibly be the greatest invincible foe this side of Nemesis, constantly forcing you to hide or flee whenever he appears. The biggest difference gameplaywise is that after the prologue Deadly Premonition opens up into a Grand Theft Auto style open world full of various sidequests and collectible trading cards to find. While it’s certainly not as robust as the popular Rockstar series it is quite surprising how well it was executed here.

York loves a good cup of fortune telling coffee

I’ll get this out of the way, yes Deadly Premonition is a $20 game, yes some of the gameplay mechanics are janky at best, and most of the visuals are absolutely horrendous. Yet despite these flaws Deadly Premonition brings heaps of something that most games lack this generation, charm. From the Resident Evil 1 so bad it’s good caliber dialogue, the completely out of place music, and the ridiculous amounts of driving between missions you just won’t find anything like Deadly Premonition on the market today.

Now if you are one of the kind of sadomasochists who enjoys laughing at  bad games you will find plenty of material to satisfy. The audio levels for the music and dialogue are turned to extreme highs and lows so often that you’ll have to rely on the often inaccurate subtitles to understand what the hell is going on. The “lighting” can jump so drastically between two doors that it made me think back to the days of Quake 1. Most of the animations are extremely exaggerated forcing you to sit thru 10 seconds of Agent York opening his car door unless you hit Start. (protip hitting start will save you a ton of time and frustration throughout)

Even Bill from Left 4 Dead decides to appear as The General

Despite what the lead designer SWERY ’65 (who incidentally worked on the PSX game Tomba) will tell you the game was heavily inspired by David Lynch’s early 90’s TV series Twin Peaks. From the murder of a teenage girl in a Pacific Northwest town, the strange inhabitants of said town including an old lady obssesed with a cooking pot, and a extremely quirky FBI Agent with an unseen friend and an obsession for a good cup of coffee. And just like any David Lynch joint the broken parts are as necessary as everything else. For instance Agent York’s cheesy animation for whipping out his badge is overused just enough in the beginning to allow the townsfolk to make fun of it. This game is more or less the equivalent of a B-movie, which ironically the protagonist often discusses in the car.

Normally such glaring issues would have made me overlook this game completely, yet there is something about it that reminds me of many PSX survival horror games I was so fond of in the late 90’s. Perhaps it’s finding and then eating a a can of pickles you got out of a broken crate, some of the odd translation choices, or even the that York grows a beard in real time. If you have any love for the survival horror games of old, pyschological thrillers, or even just wondering what in the hell you just saw then you need to play Deadly Premonition.

About Dalton Prather

Dalton Prather is the Reviews Editor and PR Manager for R&R. His love for nonsense, especially SWERY and Deadly Premonition knows no bounds.