I haven't had the chance to play Deadly Premonition, despite the fact it's been out for a while, but it's attracted quite the cult following. Jonno Phillips is on hand with this reader review to help guide you through one of the strangest games ever conceived.
And thanks to Madman, the best Reader Review each month will receive a handful of the most recently released Blu-rays and DVDs.
Here we have a true B video game. A game that could be best described as Alan Wake meets Heavy Rain in the bar at Silent Hill while Twin Peaks is on the telly. It's split the gaming media straight down the middle. Is it serious? Or is it's tongue firmly planted in it's cheek? There's only one way to find out. Welcome to Greenvale...
Loved The Story: A rather stock standard murder mystery tale to be honest but it manages to keep you gripped throughout the entire play time because of...
The Characters: Between a detective who is quite particular about his biscuits, an eccentric with a personal aide who speaks in rhymes and woman who talks to a pot of coffee you certainly won't be bored for a choice of conversation during your time in Greenvale.
The World: This is what Alan Wake should have had. A fully open world of the town where the characters you interacted with went around doing their day to day business. And believe it or not they aren't always on the same routine day in and day out, characters will act differently depending on things such as the weather or time of day. Much fun to be had in a little light stalking here in Greenvale.
The Price: I was able to pick up a copy on import for around $32 including postage. And for a game that has 20 hours or more (if you do side missions etc) that's pretty good value for money.
The Music: Guaranteed to stick in your head. And amazingly inappropriate most of the time too. Nothing really says “Brutal Murder” like some light jazz with a side dish of whistling.
The Scares: It's generally nothing more than the odd bad guy jumps out or a bit of creepy moaning or a baby screaming in the background... but it sent the odd chill down my spine which is more than sufficient.
Hated The Map: Oh how a little zooming out would be appreciated. It's just so close that you have to scan all around the map just to figure out where you want to go if you aren't planning on heading to the next story specific mission. It very quickly became the bane of my existence.
Car Handling: Like a Jack Russel dosed to the eyeballs on speed.
Car Speed: Like the same Jack Russel after being sawn off at the knees.
The Combat: Horrible, like Resident Evil 4 but bad. And enemies take millions of bullets to kill. However if you set the difficulty to easy it does actually make it a lot more tolerable.
Availability: Unfortunately it isn't actually available in Australia, however there are no real import woes due to the fact it isn't actually banned here. So it's only a slight inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.
Graphics: Now, I'm by no means a fanatic about this but it does look a little rough in places which will certainly turn some people off. And Francis York Morgans smile... brrrrr.
All in all the positives far outweigh the negatives for me and what some people have taken as badly written dialogue is in fact quite cleverly written and at times satirical and hilarious. Since picking the game up I've done nothing but ramble on about it to friends and drag them in front of my TV to show them particular sections. And hell for a budget price what do you really have to lose?