FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan is on the trail of the Raincoat Killer -a depraved psychotic that only kills when it rains. The murders York has been looking at have occurred all across America, and the latest victim was found in the fictional town Greenvale, Washington -and this is where Deadly Premonition is set, A small quiet town that is dealing with the presence of a serial killer. But there are so much more to the deaths than just simple slayings -the killings are ritual, and with each day that York is unable to stop the killer, more people are in danger of dying.
Every now and then we get a video game that forces the player to be me considerate of the character's basic needs: food, shelter, etc. Games like Oregon Trail, Sims, Fallout New Vegas, A Dark Room, and more have introduced different ways of requiring players to find and scavenge for food (and other resources). Deadly Premonition will have you minding York's health, fatigue, and of course, hunger. His body is not the only thing that you need to watch out for either. Cars will break down if they take damage, fuel can run dry if you do not refill your tank, weapons will break after prolonged use, and generally, time keeps moving forward.
The in-game time runs on its own and NPCs will move about the world regardless of what you do. This means that you will often spend the day trying to find NPCs while the evenings would give you less chances for interaction (as most NPCs would be asleep by then). While this means that conversations have a limited day to day window of opportunity, you can opt to just wait till the following day to talk to an NPC at the right time with no penalties (in this regard, Harvest Moon is actually more strict).
The world of Greenvale is not all dead bodies and FBI work -players also get to see the different facilities in town and of course, participate in some leisurely activities. There are minigames for racing vehicles, playing darts, even catching some fish. It makes the whole open world experience certainly a lot more fun and entertaining.
Of course, beyond the open world thing, players are encouraged to use their investigative skills in order to catch the Raincoat Killer. And this means going to places and picking up stuff, checking things out, and then using York's special abilities to peer into the Other World to deal with supernatural entities.
Yes, this is where Deadly Premonition gets its title, the protagonist is actually able to tap into the supernatural and use that to help him out. At times, it gives him a chance to look at what happened in the past in a certain location. At other times, this is where he needs to fight (and why an FBI agent would be needing melee weapons).
The whole polarizing thing is pretty real -folks who care little for the game never play it, but those who love it, love it so much that there's still a very active community for this game until this day. And this is pretty important, considering that Deadly Premonition is a game that is more than half a decade old, has no online play functionalities, and has not had a proper update for a very long time. A dedicated Reddit thread by the game's fans is still active to this day -and that is a very telling point with regards to the kind of game this is.
Indeed, Deadly Premonition is not the typical kind of game that gets a lot of attention, but it is a Japanese made game that saw a temporarily exclusive X-Box 360 release before it could be released for Playstation owners (meaning that it mattered to Microsoft enough), and even various game review sites have vastly different viewpoints with regards to the game. As for us, we enjoyed Deadly Premotion for what it is, a zany, supernatural investigative game with clever survival mechanics. It is not the most innovative game out there, but when it comes to choosing a direction and sticking to it, we certainly have to give credit to the developers at Access Games.