Title: Deadly Premonition Origins
Publisher: Numskull Games
Genre: Adventure, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 04/09/19
Price: £24.99 – Rapid Reviews were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Open-world, single-player, survival-horror…
In what could be one of the most unusual stealth drops to come from a Nintendo Direct so far, the TOYXBOX developed and Numskull Games published title Deadly Premonition Origins was announced in September. A precursor to the upcoming sequel, an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch, Deadly Premonition Origins is a remaster of the Xbox 360 and PS3 original from 2010.
At a time where ports are a’plenty, there is as much competition between ports as there is from brand-new releases. Offering an open-world, single-player, survival horror game on the Nintendo Switch is always a wise decision, but has time been good to this one? Find out in our Rapid Review.
From the off, it is worth noting that among awards such as ‘Best Cult Game’ and ‘Most Surprisingly Good Game’, Deadly Premonition also received the award for ‘Best Worst Game’ by Games Radar and, perhaps most importantly, the 2012 Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition award of the ‘Most Critically Polarising Survival Horror Game.’ This subjectivity is indicative of the experience that Deadly Premonition Origins offers and it will continue to divide opinions, maybe even more so now.
…that rarely compliment each other…
What makes the TOYBOX title so divisive is a culmination of visual, sound and gameplay elements that often seem at odds with one another. For one, the visuals are a mixed bag of mildly enjoyable to downright ugly, ensuring that the immersion expected of a survival-horror title is regularly disrupted. Coupled with a voiceover and soundtrack combination that rarely complement each other, and you begin to work out that all is not as it seems. This seems to be the mantra for Deadly Premonition Origins, warts and all.
A mysterious serial murder occurs in Greenvale, a small town in North America surrounded by beautiful nature. FBI agent York sets out with his “friend” Zach to face the case.
Taking on the role of a high-flying city FBI agent called York, you investigate a murder which already has a number of small-town investigators looking into it. In something reminiscent of the Simon Pegg film, Hot Fuzz, your appearance on the investigation is not a welcome one. As time develops, so too does your relationship with the other detectives and your ‘friend’ Zach – this writer will let you experience that one for yourself.
a conglomerate of failed attempts…
Much like many games before and after it, Deadly Premonition has all the staple features of an open-world title: cars to drive, guns to shoot, buildings to enter and NPCs to interact with. Having alluded to it earlier, these elements are a conglomerate of failed attempts to provide an engaging open-world experience. The world itself is rather expansive with a lot to explore, yet the driving is cumbersome and the towns are severely underpopulated. There are a plethora of weapons to pick up and use, however, the stop-and-shoot style of gunplay is underwhelming. The NPCs are interesting and the voiceovers are great, though the music that plays at the same time misses the mark and is unnecessarily loud.
That being said, there is something oddly enjoyable about the experience as a whole. It is reminiscent of an era of gaming that was loved by so many, and it is a pertinent reminder of how far gaming has come. If you approach Deadly Premonition Origins with the view to a light-hearted experience where nothing is taken to seriously, you are in for a treat. If 80’s film references, quirky voice-acting and a bizarre storyline aren’t your bag, there is little reason to take a trip to Greenvale.
Unfortunately, the porting process has not been kind to this one and there are performance issues throughout. The frame-rate, visual fidelity and sound quality all take a hit at various points in the game which definitely creates an atmosphere, but not the survival-horror one that had been advertised.
When all is said and done, there is a lot to like and a lot to dislike about Deadly Premonition Origins. It divided opinion in 2010 and it will do so again now. There is an allure to it which will appeal to some, but the lack of personality in some of the important gameplay mechanics will hinder its success. My deadly premonition is this: the sequel is going to have to offer much more to be a commercial success in 2020.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Deadly Premonition Origins from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Deadly-Premonition-Origins-1633058.html.
You can also purchase this game from the Numskull Games website, http://numskullgames.com/project/deadly-premonition-origins/
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.