I've just spent the last hour playing a game I bought on the way home this afternoon... Deadly Premonition, on the XBox 360. Don't consider this a review (not many of my posts are reviews anyway, really)... an hour's worth is nowhere near enough to do it justice. I'm just setting down some initial thoughts.
Deadly Premonition is a survival horror game... more specifically, it's a Japanese survival horror, which means it's gloriously fucked up. First impressions, though, are a bit iffy. I mean, it looks like a PS2 game which, given that we're years into the 360's lifespan, is a bit worrying.
Bet I wouldn't have had this problem if I'd bought a Zippo.
Still, right from the start it's interesting, with a bizarre-but-attention-grabbing opening sequence. It's not giving anything away to say there's been a murder, and you're playing the detective sent in to the sleepy backwater town to investigate. And I think it's fair to say that this guy has issues of his own...
Deadly Premonition, as well as being a survival horror game, also has a bit of RPG thrown in. Weapons deteriorate through use, meaning you'll want to carry a few at once and switch between them. But as well as maintaining weapons and health, you'll have to eat, drink, sleep and avoid getting too scruffy. I'm not sure how that works yet, I haven't been playing long enough.
There, there, lads... it'll be alright. Actually, it might not.
I've read a few things about this game in the past few days. Reviews have been about as mixed as for any game I've seen. The graphics have been hit the hardest, but they're serviceable, and what do you expect for a cheap game anyway? I've also read that the controls are bad. Listen, if you've ever played Resident Evil 4 to any degree of proficiency, you won't have a problem playing this game.
So far, I've found Deadly Premonition to be genuinely weird, genuinely funny and genuniely creepy. When those twisted, backwards-facing "Ju-on"-like ghouls appear from seemingly nowhere, moaning "I want to diiiiiiie" with voices like a Rick Astley seven-inch single played on 33 RPM, you'll definitely jump, and quite high at times.
Oh, for Christ's sake. That's just wrong.
Get further into the game and you have to maintain vehicles, and you'll encounter local townsfolk who you'll need to interact with if you're to get anywhere. Seemingly, accepting side missions will give you additional rewards. No idea what they could be, but they can only be good things, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to finding out how it all works, and how it pans out.
So, from my first hour or so it seems that Deadly Premonition is part Resident Evil 4, part Alan Wake, with a bit of the twisted side of killer7 thrown in for good measure and to keep you on your toes. Seems like a winning combination to me... I'm suitably intrigued enough to be invested in it now. Fantastically, as the title screen appears it says "Marvelous Entertainment 2010". Yes. Yes, it is.