I seldom play survival-horror type games. And even if I do, at times, start playing a game of such genre, I rarely finish it. Often times, the level of fright the game provides just gets to me and I end up giving up half-way (sometimes, even as quickly as half-an-hour into the game) through. And that is regardless if the game boasts of a wonderful story and/or cast of characters.
I didn’t know about Deadly Premonition (“Red Seeds Profile” in Japan) until a good friend of mine told me about it. I was rather skeptical in playing this game and the only reason I did was because I ran out of other games to play…that, and I was bored.
When I started the game and saw the outdated graphics, it kinda threw me off. After all, I was used to all of these games with amazingly mind-blowing graphics that looking at something that seemed to be from the Playstation 2 era (heck, if we’re pushing it, Wii era) was kind of jarring. And then came the strange choice for sound effects (*distinctly remembers the weird sound of a squirrel in-game*), and I didn’t know whether to cringe or laugh (I, probably, did both).
But then, then I actually got to play the game, and the further along I got, the more invested I was in it and the more I enjoyed being in the shoes of Agent York Morgan.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. You guys probably don’t know what I’m talking about (unless you’ve been watching the Let’s Play (LP) videos I had been uploading the past few weeks). So, I will just gloss over the basic premise of the story (and, hopefully, not end up spoiling anything for anybody who wants to play it).
Basically, you are Agent York Morgan–an FBI agent–on a mission to uncover the mystery behind the “Red Seeds” he has been finding all over some of the crime scenes he has been. You are dragged, in your hunt for the truth, to a typical, backwoods town: Greenvale, where another murder had occurred. Now, it’s up to Agent York to get to the bottom of the mystery as to who killed the young woman, Anna Graham. Along the way, he meets the quirky and (putting it mildly) weird array of Greenvale townspeople and gets thrown into a mystery that takes him back to his childhood.
Now, the game is different from any other big-name survival-horror games I’ve played. The foremost difference is the open-world, day-and-night aspect of the game. You can practically go anywhere! And with the day-and-night cycle, the people of the town follow a schedule (and so do the shops), which you can typically see in RPGs but seldom (if ever) on survival-horror games.
The game isn’t too scary as well (which is a good thing for me) and allows the players to focus on the story without being too clouded by fear or anxiety over playing the game. I think, for horror games, that’s a good thing. You may want to scare the gamer, but you don’t want them scared enough to fail to notice the story you’re writers have worked hard on.
One of the things–well, apart from the graphics and the sound–that bugged me a bit is the pacing. The pacing of the game started off well (though you occasionally have to replay a chapter for the sidequests), but seemed to be rushed near the end. I don’t mind that some parts of the story wasn’t clearly explained–a lot of the mysteries left unanswered–because that’s what makes a horror-type medium great, if there is a mystery that leaves the audience to wonder and ponder. Perhaps I am merely miffed by the pacing because I wanted more from the game. Truthfully, this is the first horror game I didn’t want to end and wanted to play more of (and that’s saying something).
But anyways, barring the graphics, sound, and the pacing (along with a couple of small bugs), the game really is fun to play. The mystery in the story and the whole hunt for the culprit has a lot of twists and turns and though it may end with you scratching your head, I, myself, am amazed how I did not see some of these plot twists coming, especially when replaying the game and actually seeing what the red herrings are and which are actual clues.
The game also does not focus on jump scares–which is another plus. I don’t particularly like seeing that cheap trick in video games. The atmosphere, and the creepiness of the enemies, are enough to give the heart a dose of fear without going overboard. What’s more, it’s not just about the fear factor, but you also end up feeling a whole bunch of emotions while playing this game.
Everything combined–the pros, the cons–adds to its charm. Deadly Premonition might not have as much recognition as some of the AAA games out on the market to date, but it is one of the most enjoyable survival-horror games I’ve played.
Would I replay the whole thing? I would, but maybe not so soon as finishing it.
Would I recommend this game? Definitely!
I really hope that there is a sequel to this game.
|Graphics||3.0/5.0||Has PS2/Wii/Original Xbox graphics. It was meant as a previous gen. release but was pushed back when the team decided to change the story after it was heavily compared (and is) with Twin Peaks.|
|Sound||3.0/5.0||Atmospheric and background sounds mesh well with the game and the tone they’re trying to setup. The sound effects? Not so much. Some are too loud, others just plain weird.|
|Gameplay||4.0/5.0||Innovative for a survival-horror game. It has a lot of elements typically found in Role Playing Games. Still, adding these elements into a horror game works well with Deadly Premonition. Also, props for not using jump scares.|
|Story||5.0/5.0||I am obsessed with the story of this game! The fact that the ending was completely not what I was expecting made this even more enjoyable. Also, the way that the story throws red herrings at you and makes you think is really a plus!|
|Replay Value||3.5/5.0||The game is replayable (and you’re kinda required to if you want to complete every thing) though I hope (and wanted) it would allow you to have choices that actually matter in-game (ala Dragon Age/Mass Effect). The replay value comes from the sidequests, and the fact that you might want to replay the whole thing after the ending to see every interaction in a new light.|