Back in 2010, a slow but audible commotion was building around a horror-mystery budget title called Deadly Premonition. Originally released to scathing negative reviews criticizing everything from the dated graphics (which I still have yet to understand, I thought it looked fine) to the awkward controls. Additionally, many of the game’s mechanics involving missions and side-quests were poorly explained causing some grief with time management.
But then the winds changed. All of a sudden accolades were pouring in from few influential critics and there were even talks of Game of the Year for this initially shunned game. Of course with a $20 price tag and the promise of Twin Peaks the video game it was too much for me to pass up.
Three years later and Deadly Premonition remains as one of my favorite video games this generation. What it lacked in technical abilities it made up for in an organic and quirky heart that was too hard not to fall in love with. Now, a new extended director’s cut of the game is coming soon and I got a chance to look at it last week. What changed? Quite a bit, but that’s not a bad thing.
If there was one thing that was clear to SWERY and the rest of the development team it’s that they knew what exactly made the game such a gem in the first place. Namely, the story and characters. As such, those things have been un-altered and in the case of the story, a few additional scenes have been added including a new prologue and epilogue. Let me be clear though: This isn’t “added” in the way that George Lucas “added” to Star Wars, but rather it’s additional material to flesh out the original story. Think Ridley Scott to Blade Runner. I have SWERY’s assurance that fans who played the game the first time around will be glad to know that the new material is enough to give them a new interpretation of the events that transpire but will not have to deal with a completely altered narrative. New players will just have the benefit of getting a fuller more detailed story the first time around.
So with the old adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” the team instead looked toward what was actually broken. Again, my experience with the original game was pretty much flawless but even I’m glad to hear that the controls have been greatly fixed as well as the option to map your own controls. That’s right, now Deadly Premonition can have the control-scheme you desire in a third-person shooter.
Additionally, graphics have been updated to look cleaner, sharper, and HD. The best news, however, was that loading times have been optimized and I got to see it in action at the event. No more waiting what seemed like minutes to progress through the game, loading was quick and painless as I sighed a breath of relief.
Finally, the difficulty has been tinkered with a bit. Recall earlier when I mentioned that the team knew that their strength lay with the narrative? They scaled the difficulty so that it would be a smoother ride, getting rid of the multiple difficulty options in favor of a pre-set single difficulty.
Talking to the man behind the madness, SWERY shared some details of the Director’s Cut. First of all, it was meant as a love letter to fans of the first one and as an accessible work for those who were turned off by the technical problems of the first release. Additionally nothing was removed from the first game (story wise) and is just a beefed up version of an already staggering game in terms of content.
There were some other additions, including Playstation Move support (everyone had a pretty good laugh at this) as well as 3D options for those of you with proper television sets. Of course trophies were a must and DLC is currently planned for extra costumes and side-missions. Frankly, all I needed were the graphics, controls, and loading fixed (as far as I could tell, they all were). Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Expect the game to drop April 30th with a price tag of $39.99.