A Terrible Game Review: Deadly Premonition The Director's Cut (PS3/PC)

I tried to play the game Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut yesterday. This game originally came out on the Xbox 360 in 2010.  It was recently re-released on PS3 as well as ported to the PC. For years this game has been heralded as an open-world survival horror homage to Twin Peaks: the story involves a quirky FBI agent investigating a strange murder in Washington state. The original version of the game also involved the detective interacting with two dwarves in a red room; maybe homage is an understatement.

Make no mistake the game is terrible. It controls like Resident Evil 4 and has graphics which are about the same - except it was released 5 years later. It was developed by a small Japanese game studio that had a deep appreciation for David Lynch so naturally it has developed a cult following in the states.

Some of my favorite games were developed by Japanese game companies. My wife and I both love the Tales games released by Namco Tales as well as the SMT/Persona games released by Atlus. The key difference here as that both of these companies do great localization - that is, they spend a lot of time getting decent translation of the original Japanese dialogue.

This is pretty important; if you don't do that then a lot of the humor and personal interaction just comes across as stilted and awkward. I have the feeling that this is pretty much the case with Deadly Premonition. I think a lot of folks view the "quirky dialogue" as Lynchian - but considering how poorly the rest of the game comes together it is more likely that this is just bad localization.