DEADLY PREMONITION – Day 1
Some games are so infamous that making a proper review is tricky. You can start loving or hating it and end in a completely different mood altogether. How to properly convey this? Just mentioning the change in a review is an answer so simplistic it is almost insincere. Luckily, for these cases there is always the emo thing to do: write a diary .
First thing that caught my attention was the cover. I had it next to my Resident Evil 5 and they looked way too similar. The color palette was the same and Deadly Premonition Cover shows what appears to be RE:Code Veronica’s Nosferatu. The game’s manual had a much more interesting picture (a tree with an inverted peace symbol). It’s a damn shame it wasn’t used instead.
Now, this truly seems like a budget title. I mean, it only has TWELVE achievements!
The graphics are Wii worthy and the controls are a bit weird – I mean, we are already so used to press LT to aim and RT to shoot, it seems silly to change that to RT to aim and A to shoot. Nevertheless, these things aren’t actually causes for frustration, thus, not a game breaker. Plus, enemies so far have been pretty forgiving, which balances out the controls’ shortcomings.
So far the game has been awesome. There was a murder and the game starts with the body being discovered. It’s a pretty atmospheric intro, filled with symbolism. In it, there are two twins playing with a ladybug, which seems such a silly thing to do, that I believe it simply must be true – one of the developers just might have put some of his own memories into the game.
So far the only thing that really bothered me was the game’s font. The exclamation mark looks like a “/”. The message speed is also annoyingly slow and I couldn’t find a way to speed it up. The loading screen is simply ridiculous – certainly nobody bothered creating a design for it.
Anyways, I start controlling Agent Francis York Morgan, FBI, but call him York. It’s what everybody calls him. His back takes about one-third of the screen. Strange. Stranger still is that he is always talking to someone called Zach, which may or may not be the player – so he treats his awareness of being controlled as some sort of dual personality. He is also very obsessive about his personal hygiene – as the game allows you to shave yourself whenever you see a sink, and rewards you for doing it. In fact, this is almost like Shenmue meets Silent Hill: James Sunderland must escape from the mannequin monsters – but first he must tie his shoes, feed his goldfish and brush his teeth.
This is pretty awesome to someone like me, because all these small relatively pointless task adds to the immersion. Don’t shave your face, don’t drink your morning coffee, don’t clean your suit and the result will be a bearded Agent York, surrounded by flies flying around his dirty suit, hungry and sleep-deprived (which ends up lowering his health bar) and making all other NPCs uncomfortable.
The game usually reminds me of an Italian Spaghetti because the mouth animations don’t always match was is being said. Just to mention: Agent York has one of the most disturbing smirks I have ever seen.
Finally, the enemies. I think they are all part of Agent York’s hallucinations. So far, I’ve only encountered “Shadows”. These are normal looking people – with no eyeballs and a Chelsea Smile. They walk backwards in one of the most awesomely creepy animations I have ever seen. They hurt you by either swinging whatever they are carrying at you, shooting you or – get this – by inserting their hands INTO YOUR MOUTH (which adds to the theory that Agent York is absolutely insane, because that was the first thing he did when investigating the victim’s dead body). It’s so kickass, you forget that they are incredibly easy to beat.
I was thinking about how Agent York is way more likeable than Rad Spencer from Bionic Commando (my previously played game). Rad looked pretty cool in BC: Rearmed and it was always amusing to see him discuss with robots that only answered “beepbeepbeep”. Now he became a Neanderthal Marine figure. York, on the other hand, has quirks and a very interesting personality.
I’m still in the first Episode of Deadly Premonition because the pacing is veeeeeeeeeeery slow. Like Shenmue.
In Japan, this game is called Red Seeds Profile – which is an absolutely hilarious name. I was a bit sad that the localized name is so… mundane. But then, when I discovered what the nature of the premonition was, I felt well again: right at the beginning of the game, the so-called deadly premonition is read …by throwing milk inside a cup of coffee!
That’s it for first impressions. So says Mr. Stewart.