alright so i won't lie, this was one of my more anticipated releases of the year so far and now that i'm on the other end of 20 hours with the game, i'm pleasantly surprised in a lot of ways and kind of frustrated/confused in some others.
first off i don't think the technical problems were that big of a deal for me. i was certainly expecting portions of it to be broken in certain ways and over all, the build structure was a lot more stable than my last playthrough of DP1, also introducing quicksaves just eases the pressure off of an ocassional crash in a way that was a lot more of a problem beforehand. i think it beautifully shifts focus and mechanical importance off combat and onto the quirky mini games through out the overworld in a way that isn't just refreshing but i wish more games did as well. it did so much to make le carre feel LIVED in that didn't just rely on cluttering up the open world with art and npcs you talk to. genuinely i wish more developers in general felt comftorable enough with the quality of their mini games to tie story development to them more often. now this being said, this shift in importance off of combat, did make the combat feel more like a slog and underdeveloped in a sense. only 3 enemy types (excluding bosses) with very route ai, and trademark stiff gunplay for 20 hours just made the dungeons boring which would be a knock against the title in any other context. however when you compare it to the first deadly premonition, and just how frustrating combat was there, moving from frustrating to boring gunplay still is, in my book an improvement (if only a minor one).
(also i will give DP marks for style, i like the cell shader used here in addition to the selection of post processing. while making the mandatory remark that the models and textures themselves still feel like this forgotten late era ps2 game [which admittedly, is more endearing to me at this point than detracting]).
What leaves me concerned though are just aspects of the characterization. as a queer person, i'm happy swery's gone out of his way to say he'll address lena and the issue of deadnaming her in a patch (because regardless of my issues, i still did really enjoy my time with a blessing in disguise). But also, is houngan a problem? Houngan feels like a problem to me. I will show my full ass though and be EXTREMELY clear that i am NOT informed on the specifics of voodoo culture that is extremely prominent in the game and of which the character of houngan is clearly referencing so I can't make any informed takeaway on that point. it's just that on my gut reaction, he feels a little like a racist caricature. i'm giving swery though the benefit of the doubt because i highly doubt any of it was intentional and he has a good track record on being informed in social issues (i'm also FULLY willing to admit it might just be my own ignorance speaking too). also is the mirror a problem? (for all the same reasons?)
at the end of the day though, i really enjoyed my time with DP2 and can only imagine what in the FUCK a deadly premonition 3 looks like, if we ever get a deadly premonition 3 at all. and while you can really easily say that yes. deadly premonition 2 is more of the same quirky weirdness deadly premonition 1 delivered us, deadly premonition (as a series now) is offering us some beautiful weirdness few video games are able to deliver on and which i will happily sign up for whenever (or if ever) we are gifted it again in the future.