By Pepsiman 1 Comments
So after a few marathon sessions of Deadly Premonition over the past couple of days, I've completed it and written a subsequent review for it. Perhaps the most surprising thing to come out of all this isn't that the game was actually alright (hell, I even found it charming), but that I actually got around to playing it in the first place. Like the rest of the Internet, I heard a little bit about it in passing when it first came out, but paid it no serious thought because, hey, it was a budget release and that cover art wasn't exactly doing a whole lot to entice me to play it. I'd heard that it was so bad that it was good, but with so many other games coming out at the time and in the near future, I figured I'd be safe if I just avoided it.
In the end, having played it, that assessment would have probably still held true had I not played it. As much as I love deliberately bad games, I never find them to be really necessary experiences if you don't have the extra time and money to spend on them. They're definitely interesting games and can definitely provide perspective on how other games can be developed better, but at the end of the day, they still don't represent the best that the medium has on offer. They represent tangential paths at best and that's okay; only the really major connoisseurs are bound to give it that much attention anyway.
But that's not to say I still didn't really like Deadly Premonition anyway. Much like with the previous Endurance Run influencing people's decisions to buy Persona 4, it is entirely because of those videos that I decided to actually give the game a chance. It's got a hell of a lot of problems and for a lot of people, they have every right to avoid playing the game because of them. It is genuinely bad in a lot of areas, make no excuses. I'd like to think my review made that clear. Yet miraculously, Deadly Premonition isn't killed by those flaws. It should be and if it were any other game, that would probably be the case, yet the way it handles itself is done with such style and eccentricity that you can eventually learn to tolerate them and just consider them some weird secondary aspect to the atmosphere. The fact that it's $20 also probably goes quite a long way to making those issues a lot more tolerable; it's much easier to say it's all relative when your wallet is only out 1/5 of a Ben Franklin because of it and not the usual 3/5.
Deadly Premonition is a weird, quirky, bad, good, great, hilarious, awful game all at once and it knows that. Had Access Games been given a larger budget and a better design document, we could have probably had a mechanically and technologically better and more consistent game all around. But really, a lot of the game's charm comes from it being so inconsistently misshapen and that's probably why I love it so much. It still has heart despite screwing up royally so much. I'll still call it out for everything that's wrong with it, but I know full well that in the end, they help make the game what it is, too. It might be awkward and it might not stand out nearly as much compared to a lot of other releases this year, but I'll be damned if it still doesn't have its weird merits anyway. That's all it could ever really hope to ask for.