Deadly Premonition (Origin)’s Switch Port

Platforms: Switch
Developer: Toybox
Publisher: Numskull Games (EU/AU digital and physical), Aksys Games (NA)
Release: 4th September 2019 (digital), 22nd November 2019 (physical)
Price: 29.99 (digital), £34.99 (standard physical), £39.99 (collectors edition)

Deadly Premonition is a cult classic, a game so utterly bizarre in every form that its both a bad and amazing game. You could say, its B-movie feeling was only enhanced by its B-quality and you wouldn’t be far off though. As a result, while I loved the quite playable PS3 version, Deadly Premonition sadly never saw many other good ports, at least for me. Tormented by technical difficulties, the PC version doesn’t run without problems to this day on my machine, either torturing my ears with a squeaking sound while driving despite having tried every fix in existence or by having running with unplayable framerates.

Yet, or maybe beause of all these difficulties and my lack of a Xbox 360, I couldn’t replay this gem since years and that’s probably why the Switch port is such a pleasant surprise and right in line with its previously mediocre ports and the strange sequel announcement, I love it all though.

Is an introduction even needed though at this point? Deadly Premonition is the cult adventure of York Morgan and his search for the red raincoat killer in a little american village. It’s the most B-movie you will ever get in a game, packed with unneeded systems like hunger and sleep, a mediocre time system and borderline controls. However, because of these flaws, this game feels so utterly unpolished and stiff that it only adds to the whole feeling and makes it stand out as a truly playable movie in every single aspect. Definitely not for everyone but a trip I adore taking.

In short, the port is not great, how could it? While it’s not even the Director’s Cut of the game, it features most of the control overhauls so at least the Origins version plays quite well and not like a tank anymore. Only the necessity to aim with the right bumper and lock on with the right trigger while shooting with the left bumper is still somewhat of an obscure choice. The quick time events too, are a bit too fast and punished with an instant death.

Where the port loses its breath though is in the open world. While the indoor sequences are on a somewhat steady 30fps and feels like any mediocre Switch port, the car sections obviously butcher the Switch. Suffering from pretty horrible looking trees that pop up meters away, a constant 20fps in cities, a sluggishly slowdown and unresponsivness as a result, its not a fun experience by far.

On top of that, most of the overall sound issues remain where the soundtrack simply drowns the dialogue out with its volume or still doesn’t always play (but those were mostly fixed before I had the chance to play it). Basically, it has the same issues as other versions but an even worse performance.

Still, who doesn’t appreciate a version that runs quite smooth for being a port of Deadly Premonition and without any mysterious bugs that make the game unplayable (at least I didn’t encounter one). Nonetheless, the price of 29.99$ is a bit too hefty for my taste, considering it’s not the Director’s Cut version and hence lacks more content than it should for such a port. On the other hand, the upcoming physical release looks *really* cool, even though it seems to be on the pricier side as well.

[A Review Code was provided by Numskull Games]