Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut

Launching more than two years after its Xbox 360 debut, Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut comes to PlayStation 3 with the promise of making up for lost time. Presented with all the mod cons – stereoscopic 3D compatibility, PlayStation Move controls and slightly updated visuals […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageLaunching more than two years after its Xbox 360 debut, Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut comes to PlayStation 3 with the promise of making up for lost time. Presented with all the mod cons – stereoscopic 3D compatibility, PlayStation Move controls and slightly updated visuals – Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut also features new gameplay sequences that extend the storyline beyond that of the original. Deadly Premonition was an infuriatingly introverted videogame and loved because of it, Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut simply gives it a spit polish for a new audience.

Set in the town of Greenvale, players enter the shoes of Francis York, an FBI agent sent to investigate a series of murders in the town, now widely known as the ‘red seed murders.’ York himself is a questionable type, hardly a run-of-the-millElectronic Theatre Image detective given his directness regarding his imaginary friend, Zach, but Greenvale is far more offbeat. This is a town in which the locals are well aware that there’s something not quite right, but they aren’t exactly about to help you find out why.

This quickly becomes apparent as within minutes of beginning the videogame the player is set upon by some ghoulish and unwelcoming foes. They may not be the toughest of challenges, but once they have been defeated and you rendezvous with your content – the local law enforcement – their lack of interest in your troubles is perhaps the first sign that things aren’t going to beElectronic Theatre Image easy. You’re not just shooting down evil undead creatures, you’re dealing with a town that doesn’t want you in it.

The gameplay largely flits between these moments of action and conversation as well as a puzzle solving aspect. Clearly inspired by survival horror titles the challenges begin easily enough, gaining access to a room by finding a key or moving an object, but soon become mentally taxing by imposing real world convention upon an unconventional template. It’s an art that’s all but been lost on the current-generation, with too many videogames seemingly worried that is a player remains stuck for too long they will decide not to continue, and not continuing will mean they are less likely to buy a sequel. Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut however, seems ignorant of these follies, content on the fact that it is challenging the Electronic Theatre Imageplayer not just dexterously, but in terms of their capacity for examination and logical implementation also.

As intriguing as Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut is in it’s welcomingly unwelcoming challenges, the presentation doesn’t quite match up to the same standard. The videogame features an open world design which, frankly, is somewhat pointless. More vacant than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s Hyrule Field and blander than No More Heroes Santa Destroy, the open exterior of Greenvale emblemises the technical restraints placed upon the videogame: the art direction is clearly far greater than the budget given to the artists. The voice acting is also questionable in many places, but this is closer in resemblance to the bumpy ride of the storyline than simply being a Electronic Theatre Imageproduct of artificial limitation. Indeed, the fact that many of the voice actors have had their interpretation hampered by poor localisation lends itself to the oddities of Greenvale to an even greater extent.

The additional extras offered by this ‘director’s cut’ compliment the original Deadly Premonition experience but never overshadow it. As much as Electronic Theatre would like to recommend Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut it would be hard to suggest that a second investment is worthwhile for those who have already completed the videogame. Those yet to experience the unfathomably quirky Deadly Premonition however, should do so immediately, as this is the kind of videogame that is all too rare in today’s high-definition retail shelf space: an original, challenging one.

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