Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut Preview
True horror comes not from grotesque imagery and brutal action, but from our own minds. What we imagine is a hundred times scarier than anything we can be confronted with on a screen, which is a concept older franchises like Silent Hill well understood. And while Deadly Premonition definitely had its fair share of action when it launched on the Xbox 360 back in 2010, its terrifying theme and premise was catnip to those who love a good scare. Now, its exclusivity is being reversed, as the reworked Director’s Cut is coming to the PS3 on April 30.
Game director Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro says this new edition will boast a revamped control mechanic along with improved combat, which is good news. Critics had a problem with the outdated visuals and control scheme in the original title, and all of that should be upgraded in this new iteration. Featuring a “complete graphic overhaul with new high-definition textures,” a whole new scenario, and extra downloadable content, Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut will almost undoubtedly be the best version of the creepy adventure. Those who enjoy being weirded out should definitely apply.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, one of the inspirations behind the plot was the 90s TV drama, “Twin Peaks.” Those who remember that series will probably recognize various connecting elements, such as the old woman who totes around a pot filled with freaky fluid, which is akin to the show’s Log Lady. Players will assume the role of Francis York Morgan, who is a highly capable FBI agent but also happens to suffer from bizarre dreams. The setting is that of a small, rural town and the agent must investigate the death of a young woman. All of this, by the way, is very “Twin Peaks”-like. But you needn’t worry about it being a rip-off; this story definitely stands on its own. In fact, it might just stick with you...
Those who appreciate a good narrative and plot line will enjoy the numerous twists and memorable revelations. The strange alternate reality that is presented may also remind horror aficionados of similar alternate realities the main characters experienced in the Silent Hill games. Plus, the mystery has so many different pieces to it that the depth of the story is a given. The cast of characters will be indelibly imprinted on your memory and you’ll never be able to easily predict what’s going to happen…the hallmark of a great horror story. There’s also plenty of variety and diversity involved, and you can even tackle various side quests to add more flavor and longevity.
I’m hoping the control and graphics have been significantly upgraded, because these were undoubtedly the low points of the original Deadly Premonition. The technical elements in general were severely lacking, which is why some critics lambasted the production. At the same time, most gamers did appreciate the artistic portions of the game, as the characters, story, and setting were really something special. So if the significant drawbacks have been lessened or even eradicated, we could end up with a really great game. Look for Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut if you’re lamenting the unfortunate change of direction in franchises like Dead Space and Resident Evil. Yeah, it's regrettable what happened there.
3/21/2013 Ben Dutka