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Deadly Premonition

Steam Greenlight photo
Steam Greenlight

Sixteen new titles have been Greenlit on Steam


Divekick, Deadly Premonition, A Hat in Time, and more
Jul 24
// Darren Nakamura
Recently, Valve admitted that the Greenlight process is "not perfect by any stretch of the imagination," but the company is still going forward with it, announcing fourteen games and two pieces of software for the service. Mo...
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Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut on Steam Greenlight


PC ... in the coffee
Jul 18
// Jim Sterling
Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut is eyeing a PC release via the wondrous passage of Steam Greenlight. At last, computer gamers can experience the delirious delights of Agent York Morgan and his hunt for the Raincoat Kil...

Review: Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut

May 04 // Jim Sterling
Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut (PS3)Developer: Access GamesPublisher: Rising Star GamesReleased: April 30, 2013MSRP: $39.99 High definition graphics may be a given in most games, but only in Deadly Premonition could they be repackaged as a compelling new extra. By far the most obviously noticeable change in the Director's Cut is the fresh lick of paint applied to the visuals, with a greater level of clarity and color. While the game can never be described as looking "good" no matter what you do to it, this new version at least looks better on modern televisions -- though your mileage may vary.  The biggest key to your liking the new graphics is in whether or not you appreciate the removal of the color filter. The original version of the game has a drab greenish filter overlaying everything, leading to a game that appeared muted and muddy. Some fans appreciated the filter, and have reacted poorly to the new look. Personally, I quite like the filter gone. It allows me to enjoy York's various unlockable suits a lot more, and gives Greenvale's environments a lot more vibrancy than there was before.  [embed]253011:48507:0[/embed] Sadly, any upgrade to the visuals has come at a nasty cost, with The Director's Cut suffering a disappointing hit to its framerate. Things now run at 30fps at best, and dips below even that during densely populated areas, or periods of rainfall. Turning the camera can now make one feel queasy, and while I don't find that it utterly destroys my enjoyment of the game, it does damage it, which saddens me greatly.  The game's sound is similarly inferior, though not to the same degree. Occasionally, audio can stutter, especially when saving or loading content, and some of the dialog seems less clear than it used to be.  Fortunately, the controls have not suffered for any of their alterations. York controls more fluidly, combat has changed the aiming controls to bring it more in line with "proper" third-person shooters, and overall getting around Greenvale is faster and more efficient. Though it's a controversial change, fighting enemies has become easier, with monsters taking less damage to go down. This is actually a far greater improvement than some would give it credit for. Deadly Premonition was never difficult, and its combat is far from the actual focus of the experience. Enemies were hurdles, not challenges, so reducing the time it takes to put them away makes the game's horror sequences far less tedious and keeps the action moving. Overall, you've got a game that retains all its humor and silliness at a snappier pace, and I've found it only contributes to my overall enjoyment of York's misadventures.  As far as extra content goes, there's really not a lot. A few extra cutscenes have been woven into the investigation, and nothing playable has been added. There's the promise of new chapters being brought in as downloadable content, but having to buy extra stuff is hardly a substitute for a retail package that, in terms of narrative value, offers very little to someone who has already played the original game on Xbox 360. It's nice to see a little extra, but it's a little extra that could have been tossed onto YouTube -- and probably has been already.  Outside of that, the PS3 version allows for PlayStation Move support and 3D glasses, both of which are more ancillary, temporary distractions than product sellers in their own right. The 3D in particular is something best checked out once and never again, given the game's dodgy framerate. Unless you really, really want to throw up, it's a good idea to keep away.  Compared to what it could -- nay, should -- be, The Director's Cut is a bit of a letdown for fans of the game. However, it should be noted that the brilliant core of Deadly Premonition, the stuff that makes it the compelling, divisive, utterly beguiling thing that it is, remains intact. Framerate dips and dodgy sound do little to unravel the carefully constructed parade of artistic weirdness that is Swery 65's crown jewel of game development.  This is still a game in which you must command your player character to "look with interest" at a cup of coffee. This is still a game in which a federal agent speaks to a magic voice in his head in plain view of everybody. This is still a game in which urinating into a murder victim's skull before using it as a soup spoon is a charming dinner anecdote. Where musical dissonance becomes so normal, you're confused when the soundtrack fits the action. Where "mysterious capitalists" whisper in the ears of rhyming servants. Where survival horror and farce comedy become a shameless whole. Where the full game is stranger than anything like I've made it sound.  For those new to Greenvale, this is going to still be a treat, provided you've got a very open mind. If you're one of these people, this is a game about an FBI agent tracking down mysterious red seeds found in murder cases, and comes to a Twin Peaks-inspired town to investigate. It starts as a bargain basement Resident Evil 4 knock-off, then suddenly turns into an open world populated by NPCs that run on daily schedules, offering time-sensitive sidequests that can reward players with anything from flamethrowers to magical dolls.  This is a clunky and convoluted game, but in such a way that it only adds to the overall shoddy charm. To say it's a rough game is to put it mildly, but it's a roughness that exudes character. What would fail in most games contributes flawlessly to the success of this one. Above all, it's an overwhelmingly entertaining, raucously funny game. Due in part to deliberate design, and thanks in part to accident, Deadly Premonition is responsible for more laughter in my house than any other videogame ever created. That sounds hyperbolic, but it's damn true.  The foundation of Deadly Premonition, the stuff that matters, is still absolutely perfect as far as I am concerned. It is true, of course, that this perfection has been scarred somewhat by the faults found in The Director's Cut, and there's no denying that longtime fans may not be getting what they hoped for in this package. To newcomers or the severely dedicated, however, this is still a bloody great time, and remains one of those games that truly, desperately, must be experienced to be believed. Its core greatness cannot be stopped, No matter how much the rate of frames dropped.Though not abundant, extras are nice, I'd say it is worth the asking price.  So says Mr. Stewart!
Deadly Premonition photo
Return of the Zach
Deadly Premonition may be the most well known review I've ever written. It's certainly one of the most debated 10/10 scores I've ever awarded -- though I've not awarded too many. It's a score I stand by wholeheartedly, and De...

New releases photo
New releases

New releases: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is undeniably real


Plus Zeno Clash II, Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut, and more
Apr 29
// Fraser Brown
From April fools prank to launch in a month, that's got to be some kind of record. Yes, folks, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is almost upon us, and it looks flipping wonderful. Cyber-soldiers, '80s cheese, and lots of neon -- I ca...
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Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut ... in the coffee


When review copies get messy
Apr 29
// Jim Sterling
A box arrived for me today, and I had a good idea of what it was. Not only was I expecting Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut to arrive today, the package absolutely stank of raw coffee and toothpaste. It could only be one th...
Deadly Premonition DC photo
Deadly Premonition DC

Sip the Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut launch vid


Isn't it time you drank the Coffee?
Apr 24
// Dale North
I'm a tea drinker, but I'm drinking coffee this morning in honor of this new launch trailer for Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut. Burned my lips but it felt so good. We're about a week away from the game's April 30 lau...
Did you hear that Zach photo
Did you hear that Zach

Deadly Premonition PS3's pre-order bonuses detailed


From releasing into obscurity to retail-specific pre-order bonuses!
Mar 29
// Steven Hansen
Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut comes out next month (4/30) on PS3 and it will offer retailer-specific pre-order bonuses, which is a little bit of an oddity for a game getting its unexpected second life. Almost takes the s...
Deadly Premonition photo
Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition looks better than ever


Director's cut trailer shows fancy HD graphics
Mar 22
// Conrad Zimmerman
Spoiler alert: Rising Star Games has released a new trailer for Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut which shows off the remastered game's updated graphics. It does, however, blatantly reveal one rather significant el...
Deadly Premonition photo
Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut all set for late April


Stock up on coffee
Mar 20
// Jordan Devore
Games like Deadly Premonition only come around so often. To see it continue onward with a director's cut release on PlayStation 3 is validating for everyone who fell in love with the bizarre game and helped spread the word. A...
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A Deadlier Premonition: An interview with Swery65


Isn't that right, Zach?
Feb 04
// Spencer Hayes
Destructoid has had a very interesting relationship with Deadly Premonition. Apparently Jim's review was one of the first that praised the game and we've featured it at our PAX panels in the past. When I was asked if I ...

Talking Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut with SWERY

Jan 29 // Steven Hansen
Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut (PlayStation 3) Developer: Access Games Publisher: Rising Star Games Release: April 2013 From the onset, things are looking good. We funnel into a room and shake hands with SWERY and Tomio Kanazawa, who does SWERY’s more laborious translating. Kanazawa is a producer and the Vice President of Toybox Inc., where he works with Harvest Moon creator Toybox founder Yasuhiro Wada. The two know each other from Marvelous, where Kanazawa was a producer and Wada the eventual CEO. Marvelous published Deadly Premonition in Japan. There’s more than a little luck to the game’s perseverance and eventual release. Kanazawa and SWERY have been working together for some time now and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. At first glance the two seem rather juxtaposed. Kanazawa sits upright in a sensible black blazer and fields questions. SWERY is laid back on the couch as if at a Roman banquet, his eyebrows contorting with life behind black, thick framed glasses. But their great relationship quickly becomes evident. Later in the interview, after talking Revenge of the Killer Tomatoes and even more obscure 80’s flick Gotcha! while driving around in Deadly Premonition, Destructoid video personality and generally debonair gent Spencer Hayes (expect an on camera interview soon) asked if any new in car diatribes were among the game’s new additions. SWERY’s eyebrows emoted further still as Kanazawa explained how SWERY had written a bunch more but, “I had to say ‘no,’ there was not enough time,” he offered, a tad bereft. “He was so upset,” Kanazawa continued, laughing. “He still complains,” Kanazawa smiled as SWERY, who plans to add those lost dialogue pieces to his blog post release, presumably complained a bit more. While driving around we were shown one of the new additions, a response to criticism of the game. The minimap caught flack for being too small in relation to the large environment. Though it looked rather massive on the enormous set the game was being demoed on, it was a surprise to see a translucent version of the minimap then expand further over much of the screen while York was still driving. Cool. The first thing that struck me when I took a look toward the TV was Deadly Premonition’s remarkable sharp, clean title menu. When you start a new game, gone is the difficulty option, the harder iterations of which previously kept some players from completing or continuing with the game. SWERY wants people to play the game, wholly and to the end. The visual upgrade is obvious. As we open up to a mutilated corpse of a girl eerily strung up on a tree, details that were previously lost are for the first time seen, like a clear demarcation of tears on the ghastly face. Mind, it isn’t an entirely rebuilt game. It still shows age and budget, but it also looks damn good. This is a proper director’s cut, of course, not just an HD rebuild. 3D and PlayStation Move support have both been integrated into the game. In the realm of controls, the default scheme has been remapped to better match the expected third-person shooter scheme (right analog to aim and so on; you’re still stuck in one place when shooting). “This game is too unique,” SWERY offered. There’s a concerted effort to appeal to a new audience as well as possible (better visuals, slightly more standardized controls) without compromising the game. Additional scenes, from SWERY, have been added to Director’s Cut. There is a new prologue, for instance, that then cuts right into the introduction fans are familiar with. SWERY also wrote an epilogue that he says will address certain concerns over narrative elements. “It was not difficult to write the new ending,” he said, noting that after three months of discussion he was able to write it in a week.  The pair insists that the additional content was handled so as to “not destroy the original story.” The DLC will not be story-based, either, though further details are being kept under wraps. There haven’t been too many fundamental additions in terms of gameplay beyond fixes and the like, either. When asked if there were any new weapons, Kanazawa responded with a negative, mentioning there were already so many unique weapons, “like a guitar, like a rock star,” at which point SWERY, behind him, pantomimes Pete Townshend going to town on a guitar. With a custom moniker like SWERY (or SWERY65), you might expect a bit of the rock star persona in the chap, but there’s no hint of ego here. Just a calm fluidity, affable nature, a penchant for obscure American culture, and those wild eyebrows that add life to every expression. At one point during the demo SWERY gracefully, silently elevated himself from his laid back position and opened the inexplicably closed air conditioning vent in the slowly overheating room and laid back down. It was strangely cool (pun intended), and relished. Speaking of relish, he loves hamburgers. SWERY’s simultaneously placid and plucky demeanor are a fit for Deadly Premonition’s peaceful, small town vibes. In talking about the town and why he chose to set the game there, he mentioned how its peaceful nature contrasted sharply with the horrific depravity occurring there. Making the normal seem alien is an effective horror tool. “Something you are always watching in your normal life begins turning into horrible things,” Kanazawa translated. But don’t call it a survival horror game. “Sometimes the game is categorized as survival horror but he did not mean for it fall into this genre,” Kanazawa explained. “Solving the mystery is the main part of the game,” he added, likening it to the detective story it is in spite of more otherworldly horror elements. Of course, just breathing in the daily life of the town is a main part of the game, by which you’re breathing in a part of SWERY. There is a squirrel obsessed character in the game because squirrels are uncommon in Japan, but we’re filthy with them. Similarly, one of the times SWERY was here researching for Deadly Premonition he stumbled upon a scene in which two individuals sat separate from each other at a cartoonishly long table. That scene made it straight into the game. If you haven’t played Deadly Premonition yet -- and even if you have -- you owe it to yourself to pick up the Director’s Cut. It’s unlike anything out there and brimming with personality. That the game even exists defies credulity. Countless times the duo was told to stop making it. It was almost cancelled multiple times. It was almost given a rating that would’ve made it unsellable. It had little appeal to the Japanese audience and did poorly there. In spite of this, Deadly Premonition and its creators have persevered. And now we’re getting a full-fledged director’s cut. Do you feel that, Zach? That’s a heartwarming success story in an occasionally bleakly unoriginal industry. It feels good.
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Gazing into an abyss of hamburgers, eyebrows, and coffee
Destructoid’s love affair with the inimitable, idiosyncratic Deadly Premonition is a point of public record. Jim’s infamous, glowing, 10/10 review turned a lot of people onto the game -- myself included -- and for...

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A first glimpse of Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut


Catch a few precious seconds after all the marketing quotes
Oct 31
// Conrad Zimmerman
Rising Star games dropped a little tease of Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut today, and what a tiny morsel it is. Following about a minute of quotes about the release from fine publications such as Giant Bomb, EGM and ...

Deadly Premonition: the cult of split-personality

Oct 22 // Jim Sterling
Life is beautiful "It’s not as if I was going to design the game as a cult maniac intentionally," answered Swery, when asked if he sets out to create niche titles on purpose. "But we always think that we should create a game that doesn’t exist in the world and which only our studio can do. On the other hand, we always struggle with the limited cost and limited time given to us, so I have to add 'within those conditions.'" Deadly Premonition is not the first game Access has released, but it's certainly the first to gain widespread attention. Previous titles Extermination and Spy Fiction -- a survival horror and stealth game respectively -- were relatively obscure, though no less capable of drawing mixed responses from the critics. Just like Deadly Premonition, these games have their fans who nowadays lament how overlooked they were.  Though traditionally billed as a horror game, Deadly Premonition really gained attention post-release for its bizarre sense of humor, and has led to it being labeled more of a comedy horror than a survival horror. Interestingly, Swery65 did not intend either. His intention with the game wasn't about creating a pure horror or a pure comedy experience, but to give players something real.  "This game seems to be categorized as a 'survival horror game' but actually our aim was not that," he revealed. "The theme of this game is real life, real time, and real scale, and to pursue the truth of a tragic serial murder in the local town with those settings. In other words, I would say, 'to feel life.'" The game's less-than-stellar graphics and awkward animations meant that "life" did not necessarily come from crafting a believable, realistic world. However, there's no doubt that Deadly Premonition goes farther than even the most "immersive" big-budget titles in making a world that seems to have a heart of its own. Every character in the open world of Greenvale has its own routine, based on an in-game clock with a 24-hour cycle. As protagonist Agent Morgan explores, characters can be found going about their daily business, living their own life -- or as close to "life" as a humble budget game can get.  The player's character is no less bound by routine. Access Games put a lot of effort into encouraging players to maintain Francis York Morgan as a person. Gamers must keep him fed, shaved, and in clean clothes. According to Swery, this is all part of the plan to make Deadly Premonition a game about life.  "As I said, the original concept of this game is, 'living in and feeling part of the town.' Even if the player is an efficient FBI agent, he will also become hungry, sleepy, and stinky if he didn't bathe at all," explained the director. "This doesn't change even if zombies appear in the town or even if serial murders occur. It also means we are not perfect, just human. I wanted to bring reality into the game using those factors." Deadly intentions While Suehiro states that survival horror was not the specific goal of the game, it certainly plays an overwhelmingly strong part. For all its whimsy and eccentricity, Deadly Premonition can be quite disturbing, featuring multiple tortured victims of a serial killer, not to mention a cast of contorted zombies that thrust their hands into Morgan's mouth and moan constantly that they don't want to die. The end result, according to Swery, could have been a lot worse. He confessed that the original game would have featured more horrific and violent content, to such a degree that cuts needed to be made.  "To be honest, we had more horrific scenes when developing this game but we deleted or fixed them before release," he told us. "For example, in the scene where the second victim (I intentionally hide the name) is killed, he (or she) was going to be killed by having the entrails pulled out from his (or her) body while he (or she) was alive. Why did I want to make these kinds of horrific scenes? Because I wanted to express the most [feared] thing in the real world -- death -- as something meaningful. One by one, very carefully. I reflect on it now that it was too extreme. I’m confident I can have a much better expression now, but at that time, I didn't have the width of the idea. "As for the controversy about this kind of expression [violence in games] -- I think that has nothing to do with me. There are so many beautiful games that can ease the mind, but in the real world, we can't stamp out any war or murder happening somewhere. I feel the need to express the dark side of the world, not only the beautiful side. So, it will be most important to create the game I really feel and want to express, with moderation." Videogames and art (and fun!) Though games get written off as the toys of children -- often the source of furious pundits who rage about violent content -- many others view them as art, including fans of Deadly Premonition. Swery's game has been used as an example of why games can be art, something that humbles and surprises the director. For him, videogames need to keep striving for something meaningful, and should stop being focused solely on making a profit. "It’s really honorable to have this game called 'art.' I’m so happy, it makes me cry," he exclaimed. "I think the videogame has to move to the next stage, not just make money. We won’t see any progress until we seek a game that truly attracts people. Most creators must realize this to a point, though it's hard to say we've had that kind of movement in the video game industry. "Of course, to have commercial success is a prime condition but many movies, TV dramas, animation, comics, novels, paintings and carvings combine both commercial quality and artistic quality. I feel the video games industry is not mature yet in that regard and I also have to work much harder to contribute that quality." One byproduct of this maligned focus on profit can be seen in Japan, with frightened studios struggling to "appeal to the west" as they fear alienating a key demographic. Games such as the recently released Resident Evil 6 epitomize this mentality, as the horror series jettisoned horror entirely in favor of Hollywood explosions and cover-based gun battles. Other developers have similarly shown a keenness to abandon what they know in favor of what they believe the West wants. Swery, naturally, is not one of them.  "All I can say is that, to create a game with the concept of, 'appealing to the West,' is not necessarily the same meaning as 'copying the West.' Some years ago, Japanese games were so popular in the West, in spite of not thinking of the Western market at all. Why? What were the creators then thinking of when creating the game? I suppose, they were just seeking the fun of the videogame, and as a result, it attracted the people in the West. "Therefore, what we have to do is purely one thing -- it is to create a fun game and that's it." The Director's Cut The Director's Cut of Deadly Premonition is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 3, and will bring with it enhancements, improvements, and extra content. Swery65 revealed that all textures will be redone in HD, while some of the modeling has been altered completely. A new user interface, improved controls, fresh music and faster loading times (thanks to pre-installation) are all on offer as well. Not to mention 3D and PlayStation Move support -- because why not? Swery65 admitted that time and budget still crept in while creating the re-release, but he has been able to add new story content to the title -- nothing too deep, sadly. It will be in keeping with his stated themes of real-life and relationships, and new characters have been hinted at.  "I must say 'thank you' to Destructoid," he laughed, when talking about reviews for the original. "I really appreciate that you fairly understood the fun of this game. Thank you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Yes, I found some reviews which broke my heart, but more than those reviews, I was able to find the great reviews, and they really 'rescued' me. "But now, I think that it’s my fault that I failed to deliver the fun of this game to those reviewers who wrote negative reviews. I have to reflect, thinking that my creativity was not enough. So with Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut, I hope to deliver a very attractive game that provides an enjoyable experience for all players. Lastly, with being given the chance to develop The Director's Cut, I now have the opportunity to revisit and retouch the game I once completed. This was my first experience with this kind of development, and sometimes it was like climbing over a wall. But I’m confident that I did what was needed to improve upon the original version." For a guy who gave Deadly Premonition a 10/10, I'm not sure if I feel improvement was ever needed, or that the original game would not be served better as a retained snapshot of weird perfection. Nevertheless, I can't pretend I'm not excited to try the improved features and new content, and I can but wish Swery65 all the best.  After all, the more successful it is, the more deliciously mad games we'll get. That's hardly a bad thing.
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An interview with Swery65
Deadly Premonition is, by far, one of the most polarizing videogames ever made. In fact, within the survival horror genre, it has won an official world record for its extreme split of critic opinion -- earning a 2/10 review s...

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Deadly Premonition Director's Cut coming early 2013


Re-release of cult hit to improve gameplay and add new features
Oct 16
// Conrad Zimmerman
Rising Star Games has confirmed today their intention to publish a "Director's Cut" edition of the 2010 small-town suspense thriller, Deadly Premonition, early in 2013 for PlayStation 3. This new version will feature updated ...
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Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut coming to PS3


Mar 08
// Jim Sterling
According to reports around the Web, Yasuhiro Wada just made a huge announcement for fans of Swery 65's beautifully demented Deadly Premonition. Westerners are finally getting a PS3 version, and more importantly, it'll s...
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Genius! Someone made Deadly Premonition trading cards


Dec 18
// Tony Ponce
Over Thanksgiving, Deadly Premonition super fan Whitney had this crazy idea to make the in-game set of 65 collectible trading cards a real thing. She just got the prints in and... ooooo boy. Even if you haven't touched the ga...
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Deadly Premonition's Raincoat Killer could get own game


Sep 01
// Jim Sterling
The Raincoat Killer could get his own spin-off game, according to barmy developer Swery65. Deadly Premonition's hooded, axe-wielding antagonist was (spoiler) briefly playable during Deadly Premonition, and Swery thinks a full...
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Deadly Premonition special edition, sequel and prequel!?


Aug 23
// Jim Sterling
Deadly Premonition directory SWERY 65 has revealed that he has plans for a sequel and prequel, as well as a special edition re-release of the original cult comedy-horror.  The special edition would feature enhanced graph...
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Don't buy Deadly Premonition on Games on Demand yet!


Jul 06
// Jim Sterling
Deadly Premonition arrived on Games on Demand today, but publisher Rising Star is urging European customers not to buy it yet. It's supposed to be available for £14.99 on Xbox Live, but went up for the exorbitant p...
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Deadly Premonition to hit Games on Demand in Europe also


Jul 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
Let's assume, for the moment, that you are European and made the deeply foolish decision not to buy Deadly Premonition when it released on your continent back in October of last year. You have made a terrible, terrible mistak...
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Deadly Premonition coming to Games on Demand


Jun 28
// Jim Sterling
Cult hit Deadly Premonition is set to continue its improbable success by making it onto Xbox Live's "Games on Demand" service. You will be able to "FK" in the digital coffee from July 15.  The news solidifies Deadly Prem...
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Deadly Premonition creator planning a new game


Jun 27
// Jim Sterling
Deadly Premonition director Swery65 has revealed that his team at Access Games is working on a brand new project! However, before he can properly get started, he needs a publisher.  "It’s high time we started worki...
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Deadly Premonition listed for European release


Jun 20
// Matthew Razak
One of the sadder things in life is not having played Deadly Premonition. It's as if everyone joined an awesome cult that was really cool and you wanted to join, but the area you were in hadn't released that cult yet. The wor...
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Deadly Premonition is blatantly better than Heavy Rain


Feb 28
// Jim Sterling
Yesterday we reviewed Deadly Premonition and gave it a score of 10. This comes just weeks after we reviewed Heavy Rain and gave it a score of 7. Obviously, this means one thing. We love the Xbox 360 and want to have sex with ...

Review: Deadly Premonition

Feb 27 // Jim Sterling
Deadly Premonition (Xbox 360) Developer: Access GamesPublisher: Ignition EntertainmentReleased: February 23, 2010MSRP: $19.99 Special Agent Francis York Morgan (just call him York, everybody else does) is an FBI criminal profiler with an interest in the murder of young girls. He's also got a split personality called Zach, whom he talks to frequently and openly in front of other people. Other people never question this particular quirk. York is on his way to Greenvale, where a young woman has been cut open and hung from a red tree. However, as soon as York arrives, he realizes this won't just be any other case, not least for the fact that Greenvale is crawling with undead horrors that bend over backwards and like thrusting their arms into his mouth.  When Deadly Premonition starts, you'd be forgiven for thinking it would be a derivative, po-faced survival horror that simply rips off Silent Hill or Siren. However, once the prologue has been completed and York arrives in Greenvale, the game throws a complete curveball and becomes a ludicrous pantomime of pop culture references, shamelessly contrived humor, and the kind of dialog that leaves you both scratching your head and laughing your face off. Very much like Agent York, Deadly Premonition is a game with a split personality -- equal parts atmospheric horror and farcical comedy.  The game knows it, too. It constantly undermines its scary moments with awful one-liners and some of the most amusingly inappropriate music in videogame history. Seconds after witnessing a brutal murder, Morgan will make wisecracks while a jazz saxaphone starts to play ... sometimes with the body in the very same room. He'll share anecdotes about serial rapists and killers who urinate in female skulls, making light of brutally horrific crimes over dinner. Agent York is clearly insane, and the cast of eccentric characters he meets aren't far behind. Deadly Premonition is a virtual zoo of strangeness, and the player's job is merely to be confused by it all. Gas mask-wearing "mysterious capitalists' who only communicate through rhyming servants, creepy angel twins who speak in riddles, crossdressers, killers and half-mad war veterans are all part of the game's ridiculous cast, each one of them overacted and full of senseless dialog. In short, this entire game has lost its mind, if it even had a mind to begin with, and it's fantastic.  It may surprise you to know that Deadly Premonition is more than just a survival horror game. It's open world as well. The town of Greenvale is free to explore and quite huge. There are sub-missions that York can undertake, as well as collectibles strewn across the map. The game is split between these open world sections, where York can explore, gather clues, and talk to townsfolk, and the various "dungeon" levels, full of zombies to shoot in a Resident Evil 4 style stand-and-shoot combat system.  Taking a cue from Dead Rising, York can activiate certain missions only during specific times of the day, and he has plenty of downtime in between tasks to explore of his own free will. While wandering around Greenvale or driving about in cars that handle pretty decently for a PS2-era budget game, players will have to make sure York stays clean-shaven, well fed and wide awake. He has a tiredness and hunger level that need regular maintenance. When he becomes tired, he gets hungry quicker. When he gets too hungry, his health depletes. It sounds like a drag, but it's actually no big deal. You just need to remember to find beds or diners at regular intervals. Or, you can carry snacks and coffee to keep the meter up. It never really interferes with the game. Plus, York gets special cash bonuses for performing mundane tasks like shaving (his beard grows in real time) and changing his clothes, to buy food, cars, and weaponry. The horror sections of the game are more straightforward, and involve York solving various simple puzzles while routinely shooting at zombies. As with Resident Evil 4, the enemies mostly stay the same (although there is some variety and a few insane boss fights toward the end) and combat is quite simple. York stands to fire, and has access to a growing cache of weapons that include your average videogame mainstays -- pistols, machine guns, shotguns and the like. At first the game is very easy, but later becomes quite tense as zombies grow tougher and spaces grow tighter.  York has one trick up his sleeve -- the zombies detect breath. By holding his breath, York can slip past enemies and move to a more advantageous position. However, he has a pulse rate that increases when running or holding his breath, so he cannot be invisible forever. Despite the lack of enemy variety, the game manages to stay interesting thanks to this tactical use of holding one's breath. The horror is also ramped up by a particular enemy, who seems taken straight from the Clock Tower book of "shit your pants" scary -- The Raincoat Killer. At various points in the game, Greenvale's resident serial killer will show up to ruin your day. He either grabs York to instigate a simple quick-time-event, he'll try and sniff York out while he's hiding in lockers or under tables, or he'll start off a surprisingly scary chase scene in which players must waggle the left stick to keep York running, while hitting buttons to open doors and evade thrown axes. The game throws these scenes in one too many times, but they are shockingly well done and manage to keep the game refreshingly spooky in amidst the siliness. As far as the gameplay itself goes, Deadly Premonition won't be beating any of your AAA games on the market. However, for a budget title, everything is surprisingly competent and tight. The controls are decent enough, the combat is relatively balanced, and the action can scare when it needs to. Compared to your average budget game, Deadly Premonition is a new gold standard. The worst that can be said of it is that it is outdated. It's very clear this game was designed with the PlayStation 2 in mind, but if you have a love for old school survival horror, there is absolutely no reason why you should let age get in the way of something that would have been an utter classic several years ago. The strange thing with Deadly Premonition is that everything it does is kind of bad, and there's no getting around that. The story is thoroughly crazy and doesn't make any sense. The acting is poor. The music is often too loud. The graphics are far below average. Yet, Deadly Premonition is the very first game I've seen that has been able to pull off that unique "so bad it's good" flavor. The fact that this game is so below standards actually works superbly. Usually a bad game struggles to maintain this ideal thanks to frustratingly awful gameplay, but since the combat is actually serviceable, this particular title can get away with being absolutely terrible in a completely hilarious way. It stumbles, psychotically, from one unbelievable scene to the next, managing to be shockingly tasteless, flagrantly stupid, and subtly self-aware at all times.   Much of the game is simply too bizarre to adequately describe, and one definitely needs a twisted sense of humor in order to "get" what Deadly Premonition is all about. However, if you truly understand this game (well, as best as one can understand such a monstrous creation) then you will be struck dumb by one of the most memorable and truly unique titles ever crafted. Yes, Deadly Premonition is bad. By most standards it's terrible. And yet I wouldn't change a thing. Deadly Premonition is almost perfect at what it does -- it throughly, confusingly, entertains from start to finish. There is nothing about this beautiful disaster I would like to have seen done differently, apart from maybe lowered the HP on the really annoying wall-crawling zombies.  From start to finish, this game consistently delights with its refreshingly offbeat sense of humor and its almost deliberately awful cutscenes. The fantastically cheesy soundtrack and the horrible B-movie quality acting only helps to seal the deal. Deadly Premonition is a masterpiece of atrocious, a veritable triumph of terrible. It takes everything we've come to accept as bad in videogames and somehow makes it work in the most ironic of senses. If the game was of high quality in any one area, it might run the risk of making the other sections look bad. However, the balance of rubbish is so well-maintained that it can only charm and endear itself to any player with a heart and a capacity for inappropriate laughter. Deadly Premonition is like watching two clowns eat each other. It's perverse, it's wrong, and yet it's so fucking funny. There are many who will not understand, or not even want to understand what makes it so compelling and excellent despite its quality. For the twenty dollar price tag, however, there will be no finer experience for survival horror fans with a love for the darkly comic. The game took me just under nineteen hours to complete, and that was with plenty of side missions left to finish. In the budget game sphere, no title has ever been so lengthy, so robust, so varied and so very rewarding. One simply has to factor the price into the judgement for this one, because value for money is through the roof and the evident love put into this game's development is something you never really see from any other game in the same price bracket. Ultimately, Ignition could have charged a bit more for this and it would still be worth it. When we judge a game like this, how do we do it? Do we judge simply on gameplay? If so, the repetitive combat and long drives around town may very well mark it as a mediocre title. Do we judge it on story quality? If so, then we have a game that makes no sense and frequently makes light of murder and sexual deviancy. I say a game needs to be judged by how often it made you happy, how much you laughed or became excited, and how long you spend thinking about it after it was finished. If we judge it by those standards, then Deadly Premonition, my friends, is simply stunning. No other game has made me laugh so hard, laugh almost to the point of tears, laugh just by thinking about it.  Deadly Premonition may well be the first game reviewed almost purely for its comedic value, but for a game so funny, it has to be done.  Deadly Premonition is beautiful. No, not graphically. Graphically it's atrocious. It's a beautiful trainwreck, and it's well aware of the fact. Despite this game being quite like everything ever made, there's nothing quite like the game itself. There is absolutely nothing in this industry that can compare to how weird and wonderful the whole experience is. Judged as a piece of entertainment, as a game that consistently surprises and amazes and leaves jaws hanging, I have no choice but to say that Deadly Premonition goes above and beyond. This game is so bad, it's not just become good. It's pretty close to perfect.  So says Mr. Stewart!
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Previously during the investigation ... Deadly Premonition arrived with no fanfare, and even fewer appearances on store shelves. In fact, not many people outside of the hardcore gaming community (and not a great deal more wit...

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Play Deadly Premonition, in English, on your PS3


Feb 24
// Jim Sterling
In North America, the deliciously hilarious Deadly Premonition is an Xbox 360 exclusive. However, that's no reason for PS3 loyalists to miss out on all the hands-stuffed-in-mouth fun. The Japanese version of the game is ...
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Deadly Premonition released yesterday, although if you weren't reading Destructoid, you wouldn't have known. The budget horror game launched with no fanfare, and I had to actually get my copy from under the counter at my loc...

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ESRB's Deadly Premonition rating confirms PS3 release


Nov 12
// Jim Sterling
We're pretty excited about Deadly Premonition, the $19.99 horror game coming out in 2010 courtesy of Ignition. Do we think it will be particularly good? No, we do not. In fact, we're kind of hoping it will be hilariously bad....

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