We all have games that are foolish to love; those comfort titles that the general public regards as less-than. We players can look past these games’ warts and rough edges to find a worthwhile experience in spite of what others may think. To start the month of April off with a goofy bang, those of us at United We Game will be divulging some of our own guilty pleasure games for your amusement. Things have gotten off on the right webbed foot by the Duck of Indeed, so let’s continue the joke with another foolish game!
Let us be frank at the commencement: Deadly Premonition is not a good game. The graphics are outdated, the combat is repetitive (at best), and the game controls quite poorly. The voice acting is hyper cheesy, the hit detection is appalling, and there are boring portions of the game that are simply included to drag out the time spent in front of your television. I could go on, but you get the idea; Deadly Premonition is far from the pinnacle of video game development. But despite all of these flaws, I really, really love this game. I would even go so far to recommend playing this strange title, as long as you don’t take it too seriously (along with friends and a case of beer).
When I first heard of Deadly Premonition, the main topic of discussion was how the game was receiving reviews covering the entirety of the number line. Some reviewers abhorred the game, damning it with scores of 1 and 2 (out of 10) to match their hatred. Others looked past the flaws to praise the story and ingenuity of the developer, rewarding the game with scores of 8 and 9 (also out of 10). I was intrigued, to say the least. As I was talking with a friend about the game, he revealed that he had purchased Deadly Premonition and was about to finish it for a second time. He also mentioned that he was No. 1 on the Xbox Leaderboards for this game, which is irrelevant (and super badass). So he agreed to let me borrow this strange survival horror/murder mystery game, mainly so he could have someone with which to talk about this title.
Deadly Premonition follows FBI Agent Francis York Morgan to the small wooded town of Greenvale in order to investigate the murder of a local teenage girl. As the investigation unfolds, this unassuming town starts to show a more sinister and foreboding underbelly, filled with sadomasochism, drugs, government conspiracies, and cults. You know, the usual stuff. The story of Deadly Premonition takes a lot of inspiration from the early 90s television show, Twin Peaks (which is amazing, you should watch it). So much inspiration, in fact, that when the game was first previewed, the developers were told to rewrite the story in order to avoid lawsuits for plagiarism. But I digress.
Very early in the game, the player realizes that Agent Morgan is a bit… quirky, in the sense that he has a split personality that he speaks to on a regular basis. As he drives to Greenvale, Agent Morgan discusses the upcoming case with the man in his head, who is lovingly known as “Zach.” Normally, a person in a position of authority would try to hide such a malady, but not Agent Morgan! He’s too cool for school, and too cool for being sane. Agent Morgan will just start talking with Zach at any old time. Even if there are people around, he just turns a little to the right, taps his temples, and starts having a conversation with himself. This makes for some hilarious moments throughout the game, and somehow serves to make Agent Morgan even more lovable.
I would love to gush about the fantastic story in this game, but I don’t want to ruin any part of the plot with spoilers. So here is a (mostly) spoiler-free video, featuring one of my favorite scenes from this quirky game. Enjoy:
Video from Youtube User: pothocket
Throughout this strange game, there were plenty of frustrating moments that almost made me stop playing entirely; clumsy gun mechanics and obligatory enemy gauntlets do not make a good mix. But outside of these tedious bits was a world with characters that actually have their own schedules and activities outside of the main quest. Part of my time in Greenvale was simply spent spying on its citizens as they went about their daily routine (which works well with the split-personality protagonist). Instead of teleporting to an appointed area and waiting non-stop until I arrived, the NPCs would mill about town on their own routes, as if they were more than just little computer people.
These more ambitious aspects of the game are what kept me engaged. I know that the average player may find Deadly Premonition to be a complete dud, but if you take the time to settle into this bizarre title, perhaps you will become as enamored as I am.
At the very least, the “Whistle Song” makes this game worth playing just to get that tune stuck in your head for eternity.
Video from Youtube user: ThaDreeper
For more of Chip’s humor and unique perspectives on gaming, check out Games I Made My Girlfriend Play right now!