Developed By: White Owls, ToyBox Published By: Rising Star Games Categories: Adventure, Mystery Release Date: 07.10.20
THE FOLLOWING REVIEW IS SPOILER FREE. STORY ELEMENTS WILL NOT BE DISCUSSED. ONLY ELEMENTS FOUND IN THE FIRST EPISODE WILL BE COVERED.
Deadly Premonition 2 is one of the most refreshing games I’ve played in years. I’ve always valued if a game feels like it had love and care put into it, regardless of the product’s finished quality. DP2 has an unstable framerate, it has awkward animations, tremendously long load times, and the audio mixing often places sound effects over dialogue. Even with a large number of technical issues, I’m left not caring because of how much character and charm the game has. In every positive way to say it, DP2 feels like a game from an earlier console generation, modern advancements be damned. Deadly Premonition 2 presents itself almost in a way that reminds me of a game released in 2019, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, which coincidentally the developer White Owls also worked on.
ISN’T THAT RIGHT, ZACH
Very much in line with games like Shenmue or Yakuza series, Deadly Premonition 2 employs the use of an open city to travel around in during missions, sidequests, or even just messing around. What makes these comparisons more valid that perhaps on to the Grand Theft Auto series is that they all trade how vast and large a world can be for keeping it remotely dense with things to do. That isn’t to say the world isn’t rather large, if walked on foot, it would take quite a bit of time to get anywhere and you are expected to go across the the game’s main location La Carre and it’s immediate surroundings to do anything. Due to circumstances that won’t be discussed in the review, you aren’t given the privilege of just driving everywhere, you however take your handy dandy skateboard to get where you need to go, whether it be to stores, bars, a church, or even the police department. Controlling your skateboard feels easy enough and moves much faster than walking or even running around, even taking less stamina, if any at all. If there was a single quirk, it’d be that turning on your skateboard…turns like how a skateboard would in reality, not on the spot. Everything feels deliberate, which is very much in line with the rest of the game.
You can’t just go throughout your day doing everything without a care in the world, a man needs to eat, take care of his image, sleep for over ten hours if he pleases. Deadly Premonition 2 tracks stats on a level you can constantly see and a few on a hidden level. If you don’t eat, you get hungry and your stamina and health go down. If you don’t sleep, the same can happen. It’s recommended you either bathe or take precautions to keep your stench in line too, as if you go too long without cleaning yourself or minding your breath, you’ll get stinky and characters will immediately react to you and your trail of flies. While you really could ignore most of these for a while, it’s not advisable as the effects are apparent. Despite being a small, mostly peaceful town in Louisiana, there is still danger around in the wildlife and peculiar enemies that won’t be discussed in depth. You can punch them to death if you feel to do so, but you’re given a handgun early in the game after some exploring for the sole purpose of protecting yourself from your attackers. Gunplay is very standard, but ultimately gets the job done and works good enough.
There’s always the main quest lingering around, guiding you to go from place to place. Considering you play as an FBI agent, these more often than not have you investigating the surroundings trying to piece together what happened and how. There’s always a correct thing to examine, but you can always look at and comment on the other interesting things you see. Sidequests on the other-hand come more standard. Find this item, kill this number of enemies, track down these landmarks. These feel more like a way to familiarize the player with La Carre than anything, which seemingly worked as I went all over the place trying to get them done, wanting the rewards they give. Also included are Free Quest, which are repeatable quests for the sole purpose of getting money or items used for crafting and the like. Crafting in DP2 is used to make charms, this game’s equipment. Charms are stat buffs and nerfs giving you longer firing range, faster firing speed, raising your concentration, etc.
The game uses a day and night cycle, counting each hour. Some quests be it side or main require you to do them at a specific time, be it the crack of dawn, or during the evening when a certain establishment is open. While you can use cigarettes, an item which it’s main purpose is used to pass time, you could also spend that time either just rolling around the city, or by playing minigames like bowling or stone skipping. Outside of just wasting time, the benefits to these are usually rather good charms or consumable items. All of the fun stuff happens at day, but between midnight and 6AM, the town is filled with nasty monsters who’s eyes are all set on you, with the intent to kill. You can spend your time, not seeing these encounters for the most part if you don’t want to fight, but rewards for killing the creatures are usually healing items or status recovery items.
I GOT A TURKEYYYYYYYY!!
Ignore everything previously discussed about the game for a minute. The showcase on why a game like Deadly Premonition 2 is truly special is it’s cast of characters. The town of La Carre is full of a colorful bunch, who all happen to know eachother and all happen to have their own quirks. Your playable character Francis “York” Morgan is even an odd one, being very matter of fact albeit respectful, finding the details in everything, and having an obscene knowledge of film and television often comparing happenings or people to actors or films. There’s an entire rant on the film “The Cat People”. The first character you meet at the beginning of the the game proper is a chef…who you meet again later as a bellboy with a different accent, who you then meet again later as a concierge with another accent. He’s treated as all different people in every encounter. You soon then meet up with a cop who seems obsessed with making things sound like action film titles and his smartass stepdaughter, the latter of which being your sidekick for the game, giving exposition to FYM and in turn the player on the town. Nobody in the game is normal, even if some of them aren’t as off the wall as others. The game’s script and voice acting feel natural and not overtly theatrical, almost like the Playstation 2 Silent Hill games making you more immersed and relatable to the characters. The way the cast speaks or interacts with eachother comes off equally as natural, and contributes to the charm of the game as a whole. Even the most mundane of topics have long winded conversations.
Before playing the game, I was questioning Deadly Premonition’s existence. After it playing it though, I was entranced by the colorful cast, the fact it disregarded modern game trends. The game not once feels pretentious or like the director is trying to show off his knowledge on films or various topics, unlike other recent auteur led games released on other consoles. The discourse over framerate, polish, and how good games look often leads games with lower budgets to be ignored, people only strive for perfect. Perfection is boring. Only wanting the Hollywood, AAA, gigantic budget types of games is boring. It leaves no room for smaller, more intimately made games where you can tell a director wanted to make the game and wasn’t pushed by committees or focus group testing. Pure is a good word and Deadly Premonition is it.
Buy Now: $49.99
*Game Download Code provided for review purposes.