Friday Night Games: Deadly Premonition
In this feature, Adam plays video games in front of Brandie, Brie, Cat, Mark and whoever else shows up after we have eaten ourselves into a food coma on Friday nights.
Deadly Premonition is dumb, the good kind of dumb that you can spend 15 hours playing and come away feeling like it was worth it.
I first came across Deadly Premonition through Giant Bomb. They did a feature where their editors played for 20 to 90 minutes every day until they finished it. Not only did they record the gameplay and their commentary, but they had 2 teams playing. So I watched the game being played twice!
It is hard to separate my experience of watching the game being played 3 years ago, to my experience of playing the game myself in front of my family/friends. I’ll point out that I had such a great time watching the Giant Bomb guys play the game, that when a Director’s Cut version was announced for the PS3, I was super excited to finally play it myself and share the craziness with others.
The most basic premise of Deadly Premonition is that you are Francis York Morgan, an FBI agent who has been sent to a small northwestern town to investigate the ritual murder of a young woman. If that sounds like a certain 90s television show, this is not a coincidence. Twin Peaks was a direct inspiration for this game. Not only is the story premise very similar, so is the aesthetic. The story is weird and wacky, yet surprisingly serious, just like Twin Peaks.
Watch this video as an introduction to the type of silliness the game thrives on.
The story of Deadly Premonition is good for all the same reasons as Twin Peaks, but it is the weird jankiness of the gameplay that allows it to transcend to another level entirely and become a cult classic.
Between cutscenes like the one above, you will drive around town and whenever no one else is around, you will have to shoot zombies(?) (and the occasional ceiling witch). They will continually inform you that they don’t want to die.
I think the best way to experience this game is to play it with friends around so you can all laugh and share in all the dumb things about the game. Then you will all have a new shared language of references that can be referred to at appropriate (and inappropriate) times.
Also, the music is great.
Let us see what others have to say about Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut:
- Brandie: “Just want some pie”
- Brie: Watching Adam play Deadly Premonition was a lot of fun. It seemed silly at first, but it quickly became a way of life. Every Friday we would gorge ourselves on delicious food and then lie around the living room watching Agent York point at, and talk to, himself. I was intrigued by the story, we all had our theories, but mostly I found it humorous and that was what I enjoyed.I’m really glad it wasn’t me playing though; I think I would quickly get frustrated with the combat mechanics and controls.However, I wouldn’t say no to exploring it again since there was so much of the world that we didn’t even touch on. From what I hear there are loads of side quests and material and you can spend hours and hours on.I’ll tell ya what though, this game did not go in the direction I thought it would. It kept me surprised right up until the end.
- Cat: *points at self repeatedly* Well, according to my coffee this morning, this game was a hoot. I think watching it as a group made it much more fun – and it was reassuring to confirm that the weird thing we thought happened had, in fact, actually occurred. It’s a truly odd game, which is great for lovers of quirk. A few fairly expected issues with the treatment of women and those who fall outside the realm of heteronormativity, but that’s unfortunately pretty par for the course in the horror genre. Hopefully recent conversations regarding sexism and lazy writing in storytelling will help improve games to come. In the meantime, this is still a solidly bizarre game that’s perfect for those who appreciate strange humor.
For those who care about these sort of things, I played Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut for the PS3. There was previously an Xbox 360 release and a Japanese version for PS3. I don’t have the experience to recommend those versions, or not. I do though heartily agree with this review and if you would be interested in trying this game out on your PC, please go here and vote for it!
And now for a recipe! The name for these was inspired by an item in the game, though the recipe comes from elsewhere. This recipe does require a special kitchen implement: a popover pan. I wouldn’t recommend trying it without, but if you do, let me know how it goes.
- 3 refrigerated biscuits (Grands! or any other brand)
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
- 6 slices of bacon
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cook the bacon about half way, either in the oven on a cookie sheet or in a pan.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease the insides of the popover pans with the melted butter.
- Cut biscuits in half and stretch them out to about half thickness and place them in the bottom of the popover pans.
- Lay bacon around the inner edge of the pans.
- Crack egg into each pan.
- Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of each egg.
- Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. I would recommend putting a cookie sheet underneath the popover pan to catch anything that might drip.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.
- Use a butter knife to help lift the biscuits out of the pan and eat!