Deadly Premonition: Origins Collector’s Edition (Review) Nintendo Switch

Deadly Premonition: Origins Collector’s Edition (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

First appearing on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 back in 2013, Deadly Premonition is a survival horror game that sees the player in the role of FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan, as he investigates the murder of Anna Graham in the sleepy (and somewhat spooky) town of Greenvale. Assisted by local Sheriff George Woodman and his charismatic deputy Emily Wyatt, the trio work tirelessly to find the person responsible for Anna’s death. As details to the murder unfold, a string of new victims appear along with a possible suspect known as, ‘The Raincoat Killer’. It’s up to the player and their subconscious partner ‘Zach’ to find the killer and save the citizens of Greenvale.

Deadly Premonition: Origins for Nintendo Switch is available as both a physical Collector’s Edition and a digital download on the Nintendo eShop. The Collector’s Edition includes 2 post cards containing art from Hidetaka “Swery 65” Suehiro’s concept notebook; a full-color “13 x 15.5” printed map of Greenvale; and 6 collectable pins stored inside a sturdy, red box with a flip-top lid. Fans  of the original game will be pleased by the quality of these collectibles, and how they are presented inside the retail box.

Origins is basically the Xbox 360 game, but with better screen resolution; nothing else has been altered. While the lack of graphical enhancements could be perceived as a negative, it should be mentioned that Deadly Premonition – despite some of its flaws – has always been known for its outstanding story and in-depth character development. When this is taken into consideration, the lack of enhancements can be easily forgiven.

Gameplay remains unchanged from the original game. Despite this known fact, the open sandbox world of Greenvale still manages to retain a feeling of intrigue and mystery, like it did back in 2013. As Agent York, the player can choose to visit locations outside the main story to question witnesses or explore the town uninterrupted. Since the game works on a semi-realistic, day-night cycle that is one-third of real time, the player must maintain Agent York by making sure that he eats and sleeps. A food and sleep gauge keeps track of these conditions.

While sleeping is important, there are ways to avoid it. For example: purchasing a cup of coffee from one of the many vending machines found throughout the game, will prevent Agent York from getting tired. 
Incidentally, drinking a newly poured cup of coffee from a hotel – and not a vending machine – is important to Agent York’s premonition ability. This is usually the best way to help further the in-game story.

Agent York is cursed with the ability to interact with a different realm of conciseness. While in this state, he is tormented by zombie-like, human abominations and a psychotic, axe-wielding maniac in a raincoat. Unlike the investigative portion of the game, this segment is linear. Certain doorways and hallways are blocked by vine-like, red hair, and there is no way through it. The player can only access doors and hallways unaffected by this supernatural phenomenon. Environmental objects like crates and fences can be destroyed, if they block the way. While any weapon will suffice, using a blunt object like a pipe will make destroying these objects easier. (Some crates – after being destroyed – will provide an item called, ‘Agent Honor’. When collected, this trinket will instantly convert into money.)

Combat is very similar to other games in the Survival Horror genre. Agent York uses pipes, knives and various firearms (including shotguns) to battle his demonic adversaries. Since these creatures stumble often and move rather slowly, they are pretty easy to evade by just running around them. If escaping is not an option – and the player finds themselves in a corner – then the best method of attack is to use a blunt object like a pipe;  it typically deals the most damage. For some unknown reason, a standard firearm isn’t very effective during combat; it takes at least six bullets to kill a single enemy (an issue that plagued the original game). 

The game uses QTEs (Quick Time Events) for certain events. For example: encounters with the RainCoat killer includes a mixture of QTEs, while rapidly moving the Left Analog stick to avoid being captured. It’s a system that still works well despite its age.

The clunky controls from the original game have received somewhat of an upgrade. For example: driving a vehicle is much easier, especially when taking sharp turns on the mountainous terrain. The only issue worth mentioning is the aiming mechanics when using a firearm; the cross hair seems to creep across the screen when trying to target an enemy. With gripes aside, the controls overall are much better than they used to be.

As mentioned earlier, the town of Greenvale has many locations to explore. When the player isn’t focusing on the main story, they can take a police vehicle to explore the wooded countryside for suspects and hidden items. The player can even visit local businesses to shop for food; repair their vehicle and purchase gas; and even play a game of darts at the local pub. The world of Greenvale also includes pay phones where the player can save their progress.

Deadly Premonition: Origins is a well thought out, highly addictive survival horror game that still manages to entertain. The graphics could use some polish, but the character development, story and gameplay have stood the test of time. This alone is why Origins is worth the price of admission.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Aksys Games
Publisher: Aksys Games
ESRB: M (Mature)
Price: $49.99 ($39.99 Standard Edition)

Deadly Premonition: Origins Official Website: Click Here

Review Score
The graphics could use some polish.
A moody soundtrack complimented by creepy sound effects.
Classic Survival Horror action.
Deadly Premonition: Origins is a well thought out, highly addictive survival horror game.
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