Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Well-Rendered's Games of the Generation #3: Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition, Access Games/Rising Star Games (2010)

Game-ruining spoiler warning

There are games that set out to rewrite the rulebook on how interactive narrative works, and there are games that learn from everything that has gone before and push the medium forward yet further.

And then there are some games that are so unlike anything that has gone before that it is possible to imagine that while their creators have read enough Wikipedia to learn what a "Video Game" is, they have never actually got as far as playing one.

Deadly Premonition, a Twin Peaks-style murder mystery in the sleepy American town of Greenvale, is one such game. Though the protagonist is one FBI Agent Francis York Morgan, the player is cast in the role of Zach, his invisible friend. Or at least that's what you're led to believe for the first few hours, but it eventually turns out that Zach is the main character, who created York as a kind of avatar for himself following severe childhood trauma at the hands of the supernatural entity responsible for the murder that brought him to Greenvale in the first place. Zach, then, effectively conrolls York in much the same way as the player does. I go into this in more depth in this Character Select article on Francis York Morgan.