Tap your collarbone and warm up your whistling lips, because Deadly Premonition 2 is coming to PC this year. Following its Nintendo Switch debut in July 2020, the open-world murder mystery/survival horror/daily life RPG is coming to Steam next. The original is one of my very favourite games, the most charming and warm-hearted game about a weirdo FBI agent chasing a supernatural serial killer, so I’m stoked to see this coming my way.
When the game was announced only for Switch, PR told me: “No other platforms.” That did seem like it might be the usual brush-off. Now publishers Thunderful have listed a Steam release for 2021 in their annual report this week (pointed out by Gematsu). No details beyond that, but it’s all I need.
Deadly Premonition 2 is both a sequel and a prequel, with part in the present and a new playable FBI agent, Aaliyah Davis, and part in the past as a younger Agent Francis York Morgan works another murder mystery. I do like that, true to the teenage punk phase he confessed to, young York has a skateboard and a bit of a fauxhawk.
I know almost nothing about Deadly Premonition 2, having avoided chat about it in the hope of an eventual PC release. I did hear the Switch version had serious performance problems, and I’d certainly hope a good gaming PC could do handle it better (contrary to what Ian Vidia might tell you, the primary purpose of expensive new GPUs is to make poorly optimised games run better). But after the horrific state of the first game on PC, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Even using the essential fan fix, Deadly Premonition has now become unplayably stuttery to me. It’s gutting.
I mean, bugs aren’t the only problem with the first game. But, hand on heart, I think a lot of the oft-mocked elements are good for the game. The stock poses and reaction animations of NPCs build the soap opera melodrama, as do the repetitive mood music and musical stings. Driving across town at a painfully law-abiding pace holds my attention and pulls me into the monotony, to the point I realised I was using my indicator lights for turns. As much as some parts pained me at the time, they made the game’s charms all the more unexpected and delightful. I grew awfully fond of this small town, its residents, and our curious hero.
I got more into the tension between wonk and wonder when Adam and I declared it one of the best PC games a few years back. Sadly, I’d now withdraw that recommendation because it’s become just too buggy. But you should play it on console. Do also check out Adam’s Deadly Premonition review, which spoke with fondness for how the ‘living world’ is “more like a fairground attraction, a ghost train in which animatronic figures shudder in and out of position as their timers tick down.”
Ah I’m building my hopes too high, aren’t I? Unless… No Alice, no.