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Deadly Premonition Day#3: My Reply is No

My final day with Deadly Premonition. The game is nowhere near finished, mind you. I just can’t take it anymore. This session just continues the parade of horrible the game has been. Literally every element of the game is bad and there is nothing even instructive here. It’s just a collection of terrible decisions. I have no idea why anyone continued to stick with this game, because five hours in, I cannot think of a single reason to go on. Just stay away. Very far away. Spoilers (not that you should care!) within.

It’s been a while since I played basically because I don’t want to return, but I promised myself threes sessions and this is the third so here goes. We start in the Sheriff’s office. I don’t remember what I was doing, but a red arrow in the space tells me where to go. I head in its direction and enter the record room. In there, I talk to the deputy again. It turns out he can’t find the key, and so I have to find it for him. Oh, do I hate walking in this game. I wander around the station a little and find nothing. I then go back to the record room to see if I missed anything. I open some automated file cabinets and find nothing. I talk to Emily, but she says she can’t show me around. I leave the room again to look for the key.  Good god – when I go down the stairs, the camera changes and the way I move with the analog stick doesn’t change accordingly.  SO FUCKING CONFUSING. I get downstairs and enter the basement.  I go into a cell area and start searching cells for want of something to do, and lo and behold I find the keys in a random cell. Why were the deputy’s keys in a random cell in the basement? Who can say? Okay whatever. I go back and give the key to the guy. There’s weird VO in this conversation for no reason now, but in it, the deputy reveals we can go to the meeting room, and the scene ends with a look at my character’s creepy face.

We cut to the meeting room in which the cops talk about the victim. Her name was Anna Graham. Her mom was Sallie and her dad died on the job in a lumber mill. Anne was 18 and worked in diner, but wanted to be an actress. The music is this scene is the standard light jazz and thus is totally wrong for the description of a murder victim. Emily asides that York has bad manners when he puts on this cigarette. Then out of nowhere, York CS starts raving about the biscuit he’s eating. It goes on for like a minute at which point Thomas, the deputy, shyly admits he made them. What is this stupid joke? Why do I care about this biscuit?  The Sheriff comes in and wants to take us to morgue in CS. That marks the end of the section I guess because I get statistical results even though NOTHING HAPPENED.

The game loads and cuts to outside the police station. There’s a CS conversation where York and the Sheriff debate who is going to drive. It resolves with the Sheriff agreeing to ride with York, and the Sheriff using this another chance to tell York his involvement in this case is limited. I get control to get in the car and start driving to the hospital. Ok, get ready for the rant. OMFG,  DRIVING SUCKS SO MUCH IN THIS GAME. NO IDEA WHERE MY TARGET IS, NO IDEA HOW TO GET THERE, BECAUSE THE RED ARROW ON THE MAP IS BLOCKED FROM VIEW BY MY WINDSHIELD.  AND I CAN’T STOP SWERVING THE ENTIRE WIDTH OF THE ROAD EVEN THOUGH I’M HOLDING THE ANALOG STICK TOTALLY STEADILY FUCKING STRAIGHT THE ENTIRE TIME!!! SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, but driving is actually that bad in this game. I don’t think I can ever do it again.

I finally get on track and get to the hospital. When I reach the green circle that’s my destination, we cut to a CS of the team approaching. York mocks the size of the hospital, but the cops explain that the hospital is from the town’s glory days. Dear god, can the Sheriff say enough times how I don’t need to get involved? Yes, yes I get it — it’s your case.  After the Sheriff finishes his wind-up routine, I get a weird look from Emily and then we load the next scene. We cut to a CS inside with a character named, I shit you not,  Freckly Fiona. Fiona is the secretary and she tells York that the person they’re looking for (I miss his name) is in the computer room. York seems surprised that they have a computer  — what is it, 1980 in this game?  Fiona’s  reading a book called Liar’s something, and shockingly, the plot of the book is STRANGELY the same plot as the game: small declining town, young girl murdered in a ritualistic way and upsetting the whole community. Sorry, Deadly Premonition — I’ve played Alan Wake and this wasn’t scary there either. York proceeds to give a completely useless exposition of the difference between fiction and reality, and then I get control.

I go to the computer room.  The guy we’re looking for is not there, but there’s a key card and a riddle involving a number of chess pieces taking other pieces. York wonders if the doctor we’re looking for likes playing games. The world-class police officers of this town are confused, but York reveals that it’s a puzzle the doctor left to give us his location. You know, just how it works in real-life, where doctors overseeing murder investigations throw puzzles in the way of people investigating the murder?  We cut to a whole other interface some developer made showing chess pieces, but literally all I have to do is click them in order the puzzle said to solve it. Are you kidding me? That’s a puzzle?  Seriously, is there any limit to this game’s stupidity and bad choices? There’s another “puzzle” when I “solve” the first one says the doctor is with the deceased.  Again, the genius local police are stumped, but this time York CS solves this one to say that the doctor is in the underground layer of the hospital. I get control and go downstairs to open a door with the key card. I enter and find the computer room with the doctor at the terminal. We cut to a CS of the doctor introducing himself; his name is Ushah. Of course, York and Ushah discuss how Ushah set up that “battle of wits” to find him. Fill in your own joke here.  The Sheriff shuts down the “fun” and we get on to the murdered body right in front of us.

Before I go on, I would like to point out that for everything I’m about to describe, the soundtrack is the game’s typical poppy, happy, light jazz. Keep this in mind. In CS, Ushah describes the body. He explains that the time of death was 2000 to 2200 hours. She was gripping something in right hand and has bruising on her neck. However, she did not die from suffocation; instead, she died from blood loss from her wounds, which York explains means she was cut up while still alive. All to an upbeat rhythm.  She has a cut under the sternum, clean nails and no signs of beating. Ushah says she was killed without resistance, and explains that he thinks the killer drugged her, cut out tongue, and then killed her. He goes on to say that the killer likely had trouble with women. There’s more high energy music while the doctor describes how sick the individual is.  Suddenly, York cuts Ushah off to tell him he’s not a profiler and that he’s wrong about his interpretation. York says she was aware she was being killed, and then he goes off on a weird tangent about what movie was playing when at the time of death. Sigh.

I get control when York asks to look at the body. It’s left analog to look over the body and  b to observe anything notable. I find traces of crying around the eyes and then a bunch of other points that add nothing new to the investigation. I cut away when I find the last notable thing, and umm…did the game crash? I’m looking at a black screen. Oh it did. What a relief. Fuck this game, I’m done.  This experience is so stupid I can’t take it anymore. Clearly, the cult following of the game is either ironic or masochistic. There is literally no reason to look at it at all. Get ready for a new game in my next post. And thankfully, goodbye Deadly Premonition!

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One Response

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  1. Zack Hiwiller says

    The only positive thing about this game for me is that York breaks the fourth wall and talks to the player (Zack) and my name is Zack so it was congruent. Otherwise… holy God.

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