I’ve got a Deadly Premonition about this Director’s Cut
Nobody loves Deadly Premonition more than I do. Not hyperbole: literally nobody. So it’s a shame that I couldn’t make it to any of the Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut promotional events. If I was in attendance, you can bet there’d be a 20-page dissertation on the site already. Looks like you’ll have to settle for a bite-sized dissertation instead! Today, we’ll be going over every piece of new information, starting with the exclusive new GameTrailers footage.
The opening cutscene is a good place to kick things off, right? Right off the bat, you’ll notice that Deadly Premonition is not a game that looks good. In fact, I would use the adjective ‘bad’ to describe the graphical fidelity on display. This isn’t true for the art direction, though! Access Games really knew how to work on a budget, producing cutscenes and moments that will stick with me forever. I think most people will agree with me when I say the opening really knows how to grab you. Hopefully you Deadly Premonition virgins out there will agree with me! The reveal of Anna’s body has been significantly polished. One of the bigger additions has to be her tears, which…well, I don’t like spoiling games like this. Not much else appears to be changed, and since the game is all set to launch in March, I doubt we’ll get much more.
It appears the Resident Evil 4-esque combat hasn’t changed at its core. You press a button to enter a combat stance, and then attack from there. But there’s a new wrinkle; the Director’s Cut has full button remapping. How many games these days offer this feature? That’s right, probably a few that I’m far too lazy to dig up! But options like these are nowhere as prevalent as I’d like, so I’ll take them wherever I can. The HUD has been given a fresh coat of paint, which never really seemed like a big deal to me, but I think it looks nice. If you didn’t like the combat, GameCritics’ interview with Hidetaka Suehiro – the director and mastermind behind the original, known to the gaming world as SWERY – has some information on how they’ve changed it for the Director’s Cut.
For this new version, we decided that it was important to make sure that every player who is interested can see the end of the story. Combat has since been made easier on all accounts. There is less of it, it runs smoother. Enemies, for example, are easier to kill. Quick Time Events are now a little less complicated.
While this game refines things of the old game, we weren’t able to rebuild the game completely. As much as we would like to, this new game had to be a port. At this point, if we took out the combat, it wouldn’t be the same Deadly Premonition that the fans had come to love.
You also can’t pick a combat difficulty anymore. Instead, there’s a new default setting described by Rising Star Games (the publisher) as “between Easy and Normal” I never had any problems with the combat during my playthrough, but it’s hard to find a person who actually enjoyed it.
Let’s saunter over to the Greendale Sheriff’s department to see how the renovations worked out.
It’s hard to get a read on how the new textures and models will look from an internet video, but there’s certainly some improvement. The mini-map doesn’t appear to have been significantly changed, but the speedometer has been gussied up. Fans will also notice a brand new Sheriff’s Department exterior and upstairs. The holding cells look unchanged, but it’s hard to pick them apart without any hands-on time.
Sadly, that’s all the footage we have. The presentation apparently featured a brand new prologue, designed as a framing device for the events of the game. We already know there will be more story content and post-ending DLC, but there might be even more than we expected. In the aforementioned GameCritics interview, SWERY revealed the size of Greenvale has doubled. Their lack of comment on additional town activities leads me to believe there might be a few secrets left in store. Personally, I felt all the side quests in the original were a bit tough to juggle without a walkthrough, but there are only a few essential ones and they’re pretty hard to miss if you’re taking your time going through Greenvale.
As much as I adore this game, the map was a serious flaw in the original. But according to Kotaku, that will change with the Director’s Cut.
The map is hugely improved. This was probably the thing I was happiest to see, given that the map in the original Deadly Premonition was so incredibly difficult to use it almost felt like a practical joke. Now, the game includes a GTA-style mini-map that can be expanded in-game to show more or less of of Greenvale. I never thought I’d advocate for a mini-map, but in this game it could only make things easier. SWERY did acknowledge that the first game’s terrible map forced dedicated players to become more intimately familiar with the inner workings of the town, but it’s hard to imagine the game really being hurt by having a better map.
It’s certainly true that I eventually memorized the town’s layout, and that went a long way towards immersing myself in the game’s world, but sometimes I just needed to go somewhere. Any improved map system is fine by me. The only issue I have is the possibility that Greenvale won’t look like a dog any more. Such a concept is outrageous!
The Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut might just be everything I hoped it would be. Improved gameplay makes recommending this game easier, and the new content will hopefully slide in perfectly with the existing stuff. Most people don’t strike diamond after the vein goes dry, so I guess it’s good that SWERY, Rising Star, and Access Games seem perfectly content to just polish the ones they already have. When they feel like digging somewhere else, I’ll gladly follow them. But for now, I can’t wait for the diamond-encrusted Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut.
(We don’t have any concrete word on the launch date, but the current ‘March’ estimate seems like a safe bet)