By Dean Moses
Game: Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Rating: M for Mature
While many have been excitedly awaiting the release of titles such as The Last of US 2 and Ghosts of Tsushima, personally I have been excited for a game flying under the radar and in the shadow of the aforementioned giants: Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise. This sequel to the cult hit Deadly Premonition hopes to capitalize on the original’s quirky magic ten years later by exclusively hitting the Nintendo Switch.
Twin Peaks the Game
We take control of FBI special agent, Francis York Morgan as he investigates a grisly murder in a fictional town named Le Carré, inspired by New Orleans. Like its predecessor, fans of the hit TV show, Twin Peaks will notice striking similarities to the David Lynch, Mark Frost classic, so much so that it almost feels like Twin Peaks the game—one of the aspects that made the first installment so enjoyable. As Morgan explores the local area, we encounter a whole host of bizarre and eccentric residents that either help or hinder the investigation. As you will soon discover, this game is not perfect, but it is the story and its cast that redeem it and have us cling to what is a most unusual ride.
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise is a third person action adventure game in which players will find themselves backtracking around a rather glitchy town. The game employs its own time day/night cycle and, in doing so, features each day of the week in expedited fashion. To complete objectives and further the narrative it will not only require you to visit establishments like the sheriff’s office or diner at certain times of day, you will also need to be there during specific days of the week. This can be rather tedious, yet it also harkens back to games such as Shenmue, adding elements of realism in an unrealistic setting.
That façade of realism drops away when night falls. During the dark, ghostly creatures will swam you, changing up what is—during the day—a rather leisurely experience. When exploring the town on your skateboard—that’s right a skateboard—you will always have to keep an eye open for the time, or else you might be surprised by the demons waiting on the other side of the horizon. In addition to time maintenance, you will also need to maintain Morgan himself through sleep, food, and even hygiene. Gameplay can be mediocre thanks to such micromanaging, still once it takes hold of you, you may find it hard to pull yourself away.
If the story is great, the gameplay is mediocre, technically it is downright bad. At certain, infrequent moments characters can look good with an almost cell-shaded tone, majorly our eyes will suffer a game releasing in 2020. Not only that, when riding around Le Carré the framerate will drop to a staggeringly low pace where the game barely chugs along and at times doesn’t. The game has crashed on me numerous times, literally when I am about to save, forcing me to replay entire sections. Furthermore, I have sent Morgan hurtling out of bounds into a deadly realm of glitches. While still playable, Deadly Premonition 2 requires an immediate update to stabilize its issues.
As much as it pains me to say this as a fan, I can’t recommend Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise unless it is to hardcore fans of the original, or until a hefty update patched into the game. If you can bare the technical issues, there is a riveting story and unique gameplay elements to be unearthed and enjoyed that can’t be found anywhere else.