Preview: Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut revives the 2010 cult classic with some extra content

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Deadly Premonition will forever be known as one of this console generation’s most polarizing titles. It will also be known as one of the most beloved cult classics in all of gaming. The fact of the matter is that this open-world horror game managed to make quite the lasting impression when it launched on the Xbox 360 back in 2010. It makes sense then that Rising Star Games, Access Games, and creator Swery want individuals to experience the game all over again, or in some cases for the first time ever, this time on the PlayStation 3 as Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut.

This version of the game is all about delivering the cherished cult classic in a manner that’s true to form while still offering a fresh experience. Make no mistake about it, this is Deadly Premonition. That said, this rendition of the game will expand on the original experience in several ways. For starters, players will get to see a completely new introductory sequence. This won’t detract from the original plot in any way. Instead, it will allow players to get a different glimpse of Deadly Premonition right before the original intro is presented.

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Right at the start of the demo session, Swery made sure to clarify that he didn’t want to destroy the original storyline of Deadly Premonition. That’s why a completely new playable scenario is being added to the game -- to enhance the plot rather than alter it. Case in point: the new character in this alternate scenario will not interact with any of the original characters. Interestingly, this could pave the way for a continuation of the Deadly Premonition lore, though nothing is set in stone. As indicated by Swery, the world itself could continue as there are a myriad of unused ideas based around that world. More specifically, the new storyline could potentially have a follow-up, which would certainly warrant a level of excitement from fans.

As far as changes to the original mechanics of Deadly Premonition go, there are quite a few tweaks being incorporated into The Director’s Cut -- some major and others minor. For starters, the developers have added “universal controls.” According to Rising Star Senior Producer Tomio Kanazawa, these controls are inspired by other titles, including Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, and Uncharted. These controls will be completely customizable, and players will be able to assign different commands to the PlayStation 3 controller’s buttons as they so desire.

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The combat from the original version of Deadly Premonition will remain in The Director’s Cut. Despite some negative feedback toward this aspect of the game, the developers felt that removing these sequences would drastically alter the original vision. That said, the difficulty of the combat is being tweaked, as are the game’s quick-time events. There will also be a bigger map -- nine kilometers by nine kilometers to be exact -- for players to access as they travel across the game’s open world, making it easier to navigate and find different waypoints within the town of Greenvale.

I asked Swery what types of reactions he and the rest of the dev team were expecting to receive from new players in regards to the story, characters, and world of Deadly Premonition. He emphasized that this was and will always be a cult game, so it’s clear he’s not expecting that to change. He would, however, like to expand the market. That’s why modifications such as the simplified controls and the use of a single difficulty were implemented into the experience. While these additions will hopefully serve to draw in newer fans, it’s obvious that Swery doesn’t want to alienate longtime fans, which is why the world, characters, story, and side missions will remain true to the original version of Deadly Premonition.

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Though this remake is dubbed The Director’s Cut, there are still some things that were left out even from this version. Notably, there was a lot of new dialogue thought up for the driving sequences. These conversations ultimately went unused. Quite interestingly, there was also a concept for the game’s main character Francis York Morgan to have access to body spray and cologne. How this would’ve affected the game is anyone’s guess, but it’s still pretty interesting to think about. After all, a fresh-smelling protagonist is a happy protagonist (or something to that degree).

From the looks of it, Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut looks to be a revival of the famed 2010 cult classic. Not only will this remake allow a completely new audience of PlayStation 3 users to experience the adventure, but it’ll also give fans of the original a chance to play the game once more, this time with some gameplay modifications, a new character arc, some fresh story sequences, and even DLC. Deadly Premonition as a brand has a lot of potential, especially when you take into consideration the Wii U and Microsoft and Sony’s next crop of hardware. Here’s hoping this means not only the revival of the Deadly Premonition name, but also a sign that this series will continue.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

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