There’s an increasing call for an almost cinematic perfection, especially among video games. Ideal graphics, voice-acting, simple but compelling gameplay. But some argue that this push for consistent Triple-A release robs games of their ingenuity and the artistry. In 2009, a game pushed the boundaries of innovation and sailed passed conventional safety, with a focus on artistry over ease-of-use, to give the audience something that was spellbinding. That game was Deadly Premonition.
When F.B.I. agent Francis York Morgan is called into the town of Greenvale to investigate the murder of one Anna Graham. He discovers that the town harbours its own fair share of secrets and mysteries. Particularly the legend of the Raincoat Killer, an axe-wielding killer that only comes out when it rains. As Agent York takes on the case with the local police department, He’ll discover that things aren’t as clear as they once seemed, as the case takes a very dark turn.
The charm of Deadly Premonition is infinite, the game gives you ample opportunity to explore the scenic town of Greenvale and Morgan especially the coffee-loving film buff who talks to a mysterious ‘partner’ called Zach. While solving the case, York meets a range of charming locals, such as a rich logging magnate who is wheelchair-bound and only communicates through a rhyming sycophant, an extremely hard of hearing hotel owner, a war veteran who owns a scrap yard are just some of the fleshed out and captivating locals you will meet. During the game’s downtime, you can get to know these people, and perform certain side-quests that can help you significantly in the game’s survival horror segment.
The gameplay is a curious mixture of survival horror and a life sim, you get to interact with the surviving members of the community (who all have their schedules), go fishing, play darts. The F.B.I. has certain requirements, if you don’t shave or change your suits, you’ll get fined. At certain times, the world becomes nightmarish and wrapped, as you must fight off these undead monsters while hiding/evading the Raincoat Killer. If you played video games like Alan Wake, Resident Evil, and Nightcry this should all be familiar to you.
Deadly Premonition is an intriguing look at Americana from a fresh perspective. It’s an absolute must for anybody who is even remotely interested in Twin Peaks, as like the show it will attract you with its intriguing mystery and keep you hooked with its take on America. A perfect concoction of horror and humanity, dark and light, murder-mystery and survival horror. It feels daring, sometimes frustrating, but loveable. Much like in Twin Peaks, if you’ll let it, the community of Greenvale will touch your heart.
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