The lights are on
I realize that many people will not be able to appreciate this game. There are those gamers that only care about shooting up your opponents as fast as possible, and that's fine. I even like games like that. Then there are gamers who have a more refined sense of gaming. We enjoy deep games with great story depth and innovative and different gameplay mechanics. If you fall into category B, you'll love the game Deadly Premonition.
Deadly Premonition, as you've probably already read before, is a quirky game with several flaws, but is redeemed by some ingenius features and great story and pacing. You play as the loveable agent Francis York Morgan who is sometimes very awkward but other times comes across as an awesome hero on par with Leon S. Kennedy. The story is deep with many secrets, and the main story isn't the only thing that has deep story. Every character has their own background and schedule, and if you feel lik it, you can stalk them through their daily life. Not that I do that.... The game is extremely well paced and breaks up horror style Resident Evil action segments, crime scene investigating and information gathering, story telling, and free time. Believe me, there is plenty to do in the free time.
I'll start off with the action sequences. Many have pointed out this is the weakest spot, and that may be true, but I find it enjoyable. It isn't as fun as Resident Evil 4, but it gets the job done. There are both melee weapons, which I haven't bothered using because I never want to get too close to the creepy enemies, and ranged weapons like shotguns, pistols, sub-machine guns. The standard stuff. There are some awesome moments that you don't really see too much of in other games, like hiding from a deranged serial killer or fleeing from him. The serial killer is a pretty scary main villain. He doesn't hide behind mindless zombies; when he wants you dead he does it himself. The actual action itself suffers from fight after fight after fight, and it really doesn't change things up all that much. The aiming also doesn't feel all that good.
The actual investigating is pretty cool and is not found in this game genre. You go to crime scenes and search for clues. After you gather enough evidence you can start a sequence of "profiling" where you see what happened there. You can also interrogate suspects which is cool too. The game allows you to go at your own pace most of the time and feels pretty relaxed when your not in horror scenes. I'm not going to go into the storytelling too much, because I don't want to spoil anything, but basically there is a freaky serial killer that is going around killing young local women.
There are tons of bonus mechanics to the game. First there is driving that gets you around this open world setting. It isn't Forza Motorsport, but it works well enough. I love how you can talk to yourself/ the people in the car so your not just listening to elevator music the entire drive. You can buy items like food, weapons, and other equipment at shops, go around collecting items, go fishing, or do mini-challenges like racing. You will really fall in love with this games quirky style, cast of characters, and funny cutscenes.
Let me reitterate this though: If you only enjoy the shooting and straighforward fast paced action, and that is all you care about don't buy this game. The graphics drive away the initial herd of shallow gamers, but there will always be the curious ones. Hopefully you will appreciate this game. It is worth a rent, and if and when you like it, you need to buy it for the 15$ it costs.
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