Who would have thought an almost 20 year game would suddenly become a hot topic again? Well, I would have, because I like the older, weird games that only seem to get a second life years later. But here we are, with Deadly Premonition in the news due to the surprising reveal of Deadly Premonition 2. But here we are and, if you hadn’t already heard of this unsettling adventure due to a love of Twin Peaks, Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro, and/or odd Japanese games, you may wonder what the big deal is.
Well, here’s why you should maybe care about and play Deadly Premonition.
At times we must purge things from this world, because they should not exist.
We’ve seen plenty of adventure games before where something unsettling has occurred. Someone’s dead, and players follow a person (hopefully) qualified to work out what is going on and save the day. Or, at the very least, prevent some people from also not dying while keeping themselves alive. Deadly Premonition seems like it could be be one of those, seeing as how you control an FBI agent named Francis York Morgan who is investigating the murder of an 18-year-old woman killed in a ritualistic way. You have to manage his health, by making sure he eats and sleeps, while also ensuring he’s at the right places at the right times to meet with townsfolk and investigate the crime.
That is, until you realize this is a Twin Peaks-like experience. A mysterious Raincoat Killer will sometimes show up to stalk and attempt to kill York. The sky will suddenly change colors when supernatural enemies appear, altering the look of everything around him. Some places are, like the Doctor’s TARDIS, bigger on the inside. Also, York seems to keep talking to someone named Zach.
Something is definitely wrong, and it is up to you to investigate, play minigames like darts, and find out.
Death Makes Everyone a Philosopher
Now, you might be wondering which Deadly Premonition you should play, and I’m not just talking about the sudden existence of the Nintendo Switch port. There are multiple versions in the wild. The first was the original game, which people could only get on the PS3 in Japan and Xbox 360 worldwide. Then, in 2013, it showed up again! Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut came to the PS3 and PC worldwide. Most recently, it showed up on the Switch.
This means if you want to play it on a PlayStation platform, you’re stuck with the best version of the game. (How terrible!)
As you might expect from a version released a few years later, there were some touch-ups made to the visuals, and ToyBox and Rising Star found a way to work some DLC into it. Which is fine. Looking better is good and people who do enjoy the game might appreciate appreciate goofy, optional add-ons like different cars, new costumes, or the ability to buy a house in Greenvale. But more important are the story-related extras.
See, Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut teased the sequel long before anyone knew it was even possible. Some extra scenarios are there. Namely, once you beat the game, there’s more to it. It sets up a cliffhanger involving a case in New Orleans. Coincidentally, the Deadly Premonition 2 reveal trailer mentions York is in New Orleans as part of an investigation.
Also, make sure you grab the bonus guide, if you can. To go along with the wider release in 2013, Rising Star Games released Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut The Official Visual Companion, a digital book that costs $5.99 and has things like interactive maps and details about the game. (It is filled with spoilers, though, so it might be best to save it for a second playthrough.)
Welcome to Greenvale
Now, the Deadly Premonition Origin version of the game does seem to be a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Fortunately, people with PlayStation 3s can still get it. Going with the 2013 director’s cut is the best decision, especially since it is available easily digitally or physically. You can grab it from the PlayStation Store right now for $19.99. Then, when you’re done, you can hope that the sequel really does show up on other platforms eventually.