If any title in this game industry provides any sort of dividing line, it's Ignition Entertainment's Deadly Premonition. Released for Xbox 360 in 2010 under the direction of Hidetaka Suehiro (also known to his friends and colleagues as "SWERY"), the game revolved around a mysterious murder mystery with all sorts of oddball characters and some rather sticky shooting and driving gameplay. Despite being shoddy in some places, the game was rather intriguing and became a cult favorite as a result.
Good news folks, Deadly Premonition is about to get better. Well, not that much better, but "SWERY" has decided to go back to work on a director's cut of the game coming to the PlayStation 3 platform. When it releases later this month, Deadly Premonition will bring some new content with it and a few bonus extras that fans will want to indulge in.
In the game you play Francis York Morgan (known to his friends as York), a detective who's called upon to solve the murder of a young woman named Anna Graham. All sorts of weird occurrences occur upon his arrival in the city, whether it's the residents sticking to a rather strict time schedule or the appearance of several undead people who could prove to be a pain in your backside.
Deadly Premonition is part action and part puzzles along the same lines as an early Resident Evil game. You'll do quite a bit of exploring in the city of Greenvale, whether it's questioning potential suspects and witnesses or activating certain items to gain access to new areas. It moves along at a good enough pace, though some details are so bizarre you may find yourself wondering what's going on. Don't worry, that's a good thing. (Just think of David Lynch's classic Twin Peaks TV series and you'll kind of get the vibe that Premonition is going for.)
"SWERY" has added a number of improvements to the game's controls, so you won't have to worry about making so many mistakes with York this time around. With the gun combat where you have to point and shoot targets like zombies, enemies and exploding barrels, you have a new lock-on feature so you can stay concentrated on certain targets. (This is useful if you need to keep moving around.) There are times you'll need to back away from enemies to avoid ending up in their lethal grasp (though a QTE occurs if you get close, so you're not automatically dead) but the controls seem responsive enough... more so than the Xbox 360 version, anyway. You can also map your buttons, allowing you to set functions in a customize way or keep the "classic" style like it was on the Xbox 360.
The driving controls are also much better. In the original version, you found yourself coasting around a little too much with slippery handling, often sending you cascading off the road. It's not to say that this game is ready to compete with Gran Turismo anytime soon, but at least you won't have to worry about any slipshod accidents.
Deadly Premonition for PlayStation 3 also has an upgrade in the visual department. There are still plenty of kooky things to see throughout the game and some of the character models are more "plasticky" than expected, but it's a decent upgrade with a camera system that enables you to look around using your controller. You can activate 3D as well if you have a TV that's capable of doing so and Loading times are much faster too.
Being a director's cut, "SWERY" has also managed to add extra content to Deadly Premonition. Along with a new opening sequence that helps explains things a little better (though it still keeps much of the strangeness intact), you'll have access to a variety of downloadable content that will give you options for York's character. You'll now be able to buy a house in the city if you need some rest and purchase new vehicles and suits to dress him up in. Most of this DLC will come with a small price tag, but you can unlock it by pre-ordering the game. If you're a fan, chances are you've already done this.
With a Resident Evil-like vibe and more polish this time around (while still keeping that "oddball" edge that "SWERY" knows so well), Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut should once again be a fan favorite. It won't be the most refined game ever made, but sometimes you need something to keep you on your toes... and demons certainly have a tendency of doing that.
Look for Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut later this month on PlayStation 3, both in retail and digital form.