Deadly Premonition was what The Shawshank Redemption and Donnie Darko were to the film industry – Under promoted on initial release but then seen among many as classics, once they’d hit the shelf for a few months.
Access Games are soon to unleash Deadly Premonition – The Director’s Cut on the PS3, that offers fans control and graphical tweaks. But what could Deadly Premonition 2 do to get itself noticed more on its original release?
The engine of Deadly Premonition 2
This may be the ‘big one’ for many players. While we personally felt the engine was a breath of fresh air with a blend of Xbox and Dreamcast visuals, (that almost made us weep as we played through the game) we can totally understand if many gamers were put off by it. This is one decision where we’ll need our readers help. Hit our comments section and let us know if you think Access Games should invest in a more competitive engine for Deadly Premonition 2 or just improve on the existing one?
Things to keep in mind:
+ A better engine will bring a more believable and atmospheric world
– The new engine will take longer to build and take up more budget (that could be used on gameplay, character animations and character/story development
Lets do a quick comparison of the original and Director’s Cut:
Now lets see how Access Games have tweaked the original for its Director’s Cut release:
Combat and character movement in Deadly Premonition 2
It’s no secret that Access Games paid tribute to releases such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill. These tributes are more apparent in the games combat sections. The only problem with this being that an awkward movement and targeting system frustrated many players (causing many players to not even complete the games prologue section, therefore missing out on the amazing Deadly Premonition experience).
– Tweak pad layout so it becomes close to Resident Evil 4 controls (suits third person style much better) and have ‘fire’ as the right trigger…not the A button. Drawing your weapon could even be initiated by tapping the fire trigger once (if button mapping is an issue) for a quick and life-saving draw.
– No form of ammo indicator was displayed during Deadly Premonition’s combat sections. Some form of current clip/magazine counter would be extremely useful in Deadly Premonition 2.
– When picking up items and interacting with the environment, speech boxes would appear and the player would be unable to move, powerless to avoid or take-down any approaching enemies. This was more frustrating than the original Dead Rising’s ‘radio call’ bug and should be tweaked to give the player full control throughout.
– Some enclosed areas used random bursts of classic Resident Evil camera shots. While this was a welcomed tribute…the now extremely dated tank controls, were not. Ditch the sudden camera pans or at the very least, ditch the random tank layout. We lost count of how many times poor York face-planted a wall.
Deadly Premonition’s masterclass in story and character development was separated by lengthy horror sections. These would see you (York) walk the path of the games ‘Darkworld’ (similar to that of Silent Hill games) where zombie-like enemies would attack and try to kill our protagonist. But while few puzzle sections and the occasional and imaginative Raincoat Killer chase tried to pace the combat, endless halls of the dark unknown could sometimes get a little tedious. Put simply, there was little variation. See an enemy, kill the enemy and continue to leg-it to the final door. This would have worked better in short bursts but Deadly Premonitions combat sections grew longer as the games story plunged deeper.
– The locations of Deadly Premonitions darkworld started well (with forests, woodland pathways and cabins) but seemed to get more bland as the game progressed. This was due to red wall-like restriction that simplified York’s surroundings and eliminated any means of interaction or identity of another world. Loose red wall maze-like restrictions and instead, implement the darkworlds identity within more realistic environments.
– Although the imaginative Rain Coat Killer scenes were a welcomed addition, the player simply had to become very patient with the games main combat environment to actually experience these. We think adding such mini-game mechanics to other enemies would help set the pace better.
– The incredibly freaky looking dummy-faced enemy that would climb walls and partition you off from your goal, was the only real mini-boss in the game. Deadly Premonition 2 needs a variety of these and better still, a new enemy for every mini boss encounter. Each with different strategies required take them down. We would also consider losing the red wall partitions for such mini boss battles. Instead, consider actual areas that mini bosses would suit and how such locations could work to their attack and defensive advantages.
Possibly the most criticised aspect of Deadly Premonition was vehicle handling. There wasn’t any. The real shame (and possibly what lead to Deadly Premonition becoming a budget release) was that driving made up a HUGE portion of the gameplay. After all, you were an FBI agent and needed to investigate, steak-out and question a living town. After experiencing Deadly Premonition’s amazing character interaction and development in the games vehicles, (as you’d chat with one another during longer journeys) we think vehicle handling is possibly the most important improvement that Access Games need to make for Deadly Premonition 2.
Vehicle Handling Improvements
– Research first-person driving simulators (Gran Turizmo, Forza and Need for Speed games) and try to implement realistic (but not necessarily racing) driving mechanics into Deadly Premonition 2.
– Vehicle upgrading was mildly played with throughout Deadly Premonition but the sequel (once vehicle handling is perfected) would need a much more solid upgrade system. Being as driving makes up a huge part of the game, it makes perfect sense to give this element good focus, too. First, upgrades could not only effect cars speed and handling but their interior too (hanging dice, anyone?). Secondly, the player would need somewhere to safely store all vehicles purchased.
That Darn Menu/Map Sound Effect!
Sorry, we had to say it! We couldn’t decide what made us shudder more…the cut-scene of that dummy looking, wall crawling freak or that horrid TWWAAAAAANNNNNNGGGGGG every time we needed to check our map! We understand that it may have suited the chilling atmosphere of the game at first, but unfortunately it just got more annoying as the game progressed.
What Us Gamers Can Do
Deadly Premonition was an amazing game and an experience that everyone should have. But if you want to see a Deadly Premonition 2, then make sure you buy the new Directors Cut edition that’s released at the end of this month. Just think…if all us Deadly Premonition fans made an effort to buy the new release, then Access Games would have a great budget for the sequel!
New To Deadly Premonition?
If you’re new to the game then Deadly Premonition – The Director’s Cut edition is a perfect place to start. Don’t be put off with the tweaks listed above (some of them have even been fixed in the Director’s Cut). Deadly Premonition is a truly great game and once a sequel lands with these adjusted, that’s all it will take to make Swery’s work a gaming masterpiece!