Okay, not so humane, but still sincere in its intentions, right? Wrong. This is the game that takes some sadisticly delicious pleasure in frustrating your self-esteem and confusing your brain more succesfully than any confuse-a-cat before.
You have probably heard all those songs of praise and symphonies of cacophonic horror Deadly Premonition has received. And, despite what your favourite game-critic / friend / mom said, it's all ephemeral until you experience it on your own.
So, here it is, my personal experience with DP. Not a review, not a “been there-shat pants”, but an opinion. A subjective piece of intimate malarkey.
When you meet a strange sort of fella, it's highly doubtable you'll remember him/her as more than a “phew, that was one fancy block I saw” after the first meeting. Yet, you feel that inexplicable desire to get together later and learn more. Mysterious things always attract. That's like, some private ancient law.
However, as you find more about the stuff you previously considered inconceivable, your look at it changes. It ain't so incomprehensible anymore. Furthermore, as you keep trying to reason with it, your looking also affects it, even changes it at some point. Looking at something changes it. Them fancy folks call it “The Uncertainty Principle”. So why did I smarty-pants about it?
Well, Deadly Premonition always was quite a polarizing experience. For some, it was a work of genius, for others – utter crapfest. As persons, each with different experiences and opinions, we cannot be “objective” in any true sense of this word. Ever. But that's why I love Deadly Premonition. It just doesn't give two roughly-edged (yet delicately spiced) shits about what you think.
Deadly Premonition lives its own life (as close as someone could say that about any videogame). Every NPC even has his own week schedule. You could stay under their windows for hours, peeping as they cook dinner, watch TV, drink beer and workout. Why on Earth would one even do that? Hell, if I know, but it certainly ups the game's independent spirit.
And while it doesn't really care about your opinion, it strangely wouldn't mind becoming your friend. Even more, it quite actively longs to be closer to you. From the first moments and until the very end of the game, main protagonist is speaking with someone named Zach. You know you aren't Zach, right? (in case, you are, remember: I deeply envy you) So why does he keep adressing you? These whole between-missions rides feel like hanging out with your little nutty (though, incredibly lovable) grandpa. He may be implausibly awkward for most of the times, yet you don't mind spending an hour or two just listening to his amazingly weird stories (and oh, boy, he sure does have a couple!).
Here lies a beauty of Deadly Premonition: regardless of its loony antics and demented nature, it's natural. It may look oh-so-wacky on the outside, but dig deeper and you could find a story about lost souls seeking for a way out of their torturous daily lives. Or a schizophrenically bizzare tale of friendship and retribution. It's not because the game is ingenious in its storytelling techniques or innovative message (*spoilers* it isn't). No. Deadly Premonition is natural, because it appreciates its insanity.
You may judge its clunky controls, as you ride to the other end of town listening to the sweet, ear-bursting sounds of your car's never-shuttin-up engine. You may drop a huge criticizing bomb on its shooting mechanics and bland level designs. But it can't be different, it can't be easier or “more comfortable”. Your usual blockbusters may treat you like a favourite customer, but not Deadly Premonition.
Deadly Premonition respects you not only as a player, but as a person. It doesn't run itself into an infinite mystery-solving circle to the point when you're forced to believe that Scooby-Doo did it; it's not going to fool you like Heavy Rain did. In fact, you would be pleasantly surprised, when you'll watch its "whodunit" carefully unfolding. It's unpredictable, yet totally sane in its twisted logic. And surprisingly confident at that. Like an old clown, whom nobody takes seriously, may astonish you with all the knowledge he collected for years of getting his face hit with a cake.
That said, I can't recommend it to you. Neither can I advise you to totally dismiss it. In the end, it all comes to an old, worn-out question, “Why do we play videogames?”
For addictive gameplay? Story? Unique worlds created by somebody's wild imagination? Or for making us appreciate every single moment of our lives spent with people close to our hearts?
There's no right answer. The same goes for Deadly Premonition.
Be dazed. Be confused.
Isn't it the joy of life?