The lights are on
Every now and then I will go into Gamestop just for the fun of it to browse. I am a fan of horror games so when I saw the cover of Deadly Premonition I had to give the box a look. It seemed pretty standard to me and I am always looking for the challenge of a new horror game. The game was under twenty dollars used so I figured what do I possibly have to lose, it must be an older game because of its price.
I take the game home and start it up. Just as I suspected the graphics seem dated and it must have been an early 360 release. Yet when I take a break and come back I am curious to know when the game came out and was extremely surprised to find the copyright of 2010 on the title screen. I bought the game in late 2011 and was surprised by the game. I looked it up online only to find that it was a budget game which made much more sense and allowed me to look at the game from a different perspective.
The game starts as a standard horror game with the FBI agent Francis York Morgan heading to town when a shady figure walks out in front of him causing him to crash (which was very reminiscent to the beginning of the first Silent Hill). The game plays as a third person shooter, but the shooting is similar to the old Resident Evil games which I welcomed with open arms. The idea of having to stand still and shoot is much more terrifying then being able to sprint while spraying bullets into monsters. That is a number one principle for horror games: the less control you have the better. However, that being said there is a line that I thought was crossed with movement in the game. Even though it was reminiscent to an older class of games it felt a little too clunky for today's games. Not only that, but since the game was an open world game you were given a car for faster transport. This is where I give the game its nickname that all my friends refer to it as "Diamond encrusted titanium town". Driving a police squad car at seventy five miles an hour at a one and a half foot tall picket fence should not cause the same collision as that same car barreling into a cement wall. One other aspect that I found as a let down to the open world aspect was that your car could run out of gas. So if you were driving in the middle of nowhere and your car shuts down on you then you have to hoof it to your destination or next car. The sound effects for the game are not the greatest, but the game makes up for it with its amazing soundtrack. The songs have a way of getting stuck in your head and are perfectly suited to the situation that you are in.
Even though the game is an open world does not mean it is all bad. This "horror" game was very unique to me because it had you complete very Majora's Mask like side quests such as: fishing, helping out townsfolk, exploring. Granted these were "side quests" and so not mandatory but it added a charm to the game and games that try to be scary do not put in aspects of charm. These side quests add hours of game play to the game and can give you a little more back story, if that is what you are looking for. For example you are traveling along in the game when you decide to stop and do the fishing side quest since it is roughly the right time for this quest to begin. You just finished a very tense section of the game where you just barely made it through alive and now you find yourself fishing in a calm pond to this tune:
Besides just side quests the game has an intriguing story with a fascinating batch of characters who are all unique in their own rights. The use of time and time based events reminds you of the urgency that Majora's Mask had. The play style of the game was similar to old Resident Evil and Silent Hill. The game just reminded you of so much, sure it also had its flaws, but that is to be expected on a budget game that on release day for full retail was about twenty dollars. In the end, Deadly Premonition is a quirky, unique game that is fun from beginning to end, but it is dragged down by some of its flaws.
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