After a revamped opening sequence, the Director's Cut launches into a new intro featuring a young girl and an old man. The original game's now-famous opening sequence with the weird twins has been made far less obtuse (though no less bizarre). Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka 'Swery' Suehiro also promises an epilogue has been attached to the Director's Cut, though he assures us that it would not significantly alter the events of the game's original ending. In fact, the whole attitude behind the Director's Cut is not to alter the original game too significantly, but rather add-to and fix parts of the experience. The essence of the original remains.
Swery wanted to include new conversations with Agent York's partner Zach while driving, but the producer wouldn't let him – though he promises to publish them online at some point.
Visuals have seen an obvious improvement. Deadly Premonition suffered from a restrained visual budget, which were more akin to a PlayStation 2 or original Xbox title given a rudimentary HD graphic boost. While the original game found success in spite of its looks, the development team at Access Games have spruced up character models and textures significantly. It's still a little iffy at points – you'll still see some low-poly models and blurry textures – but it's been enhanced greatly where it matters most. The populace of Greenvale has never before looked so... well, I don't know if I'd say some of these folks look good by nature of their design, but they certainly look more convincing.
Perhaps the most welcome changes are in the gameplay. The combat in Deadly Premonition
was added as an afterthought, and it showed: clunky movement and aiming controls contributed significantly to some of the bad first impressions the original received. Based on what we were shown during a hands-off demo presented by Swery and producer Tomio Kanazawa, it appears that the developer has altered the combat to work more in line with other third-person titles. Parts of the game that were confusing or unintuitive have been changes, too, as Swery felt that too many players just looked up videos on YouTube when they got stuck. For similar reasons, the multiple difficulties of the Xbox 360 version have been abandoned: Swery explained that since many players felt they couldn't complete the game on 'Hard,' they decided to simply standardize the difficulty this time around.
It was an entertaining experience being walked through the changes of the the revamp to an odd, cult-favorite by Swery and Kanazawa, though – in typical preview session fashion – there are still a few things being hinted at the developer isn't willing to expose. With a wealth of improvements and Swery's unique brand of weirdness behind it, the Deadly Premontion: Director's Cut
is poised to add more people to the ranks of the title's rabid fan base.
Heidi Kemps is an intrepid freelancer living in the lap of luxury in Daly City. Her work has been seen on G4, GamesRadar, GamePro, @Gamer, GameSpot, and a wealth of international publications, some of which do not start with the letter G. You can follow her ongoing freelance adventures at @zerochan.