Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise is a sequel that has taken its time to release, but is the long wait for this cult classic worth it? Originally considered as an adventure game that had its inspiration from the cult show Twin Peaks, Deadly Premonition has been resurrected on modern platforms with a slew of ports. It was first released for the Xbox 360 followed by a PS3 port that was labeled as the Director’s Cut. It was also released for the PC through Steam and finally, the series dropped in its entirety with the first game on Nintendo Switch followed by this sequel.
The story in this sequel also works as a prequel with a younger version of Francis York Morgan. The main plot follows FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan who is looking to solve the murder of a teenage girl. The twist here is that the story works in parallel with the present timeline and the past with a younger Francis York Morgan. Players control FBI agent Aaliyah Davis in the present which is set in 2019 or more than a decade after the events in the first game. They have to interrogate an older and now retired Francis to gain information about his link to a potential murder in the past.
If you enjoy murder mysteries, Deadly Premonition 2 is highly promising with an interesting story full of wacky characters in a small town that is full of secrets and conspiracies. The game has a charming lead with Francis York Morgan. He is back in action again trying to resolve the case of the murder of a teenager that leads to links with a drug ring. The game opens with a lengthy prologue involving Aaliyah Davis who is trying to gain information about an old case. After going through a copious amount of text, players are thrust back in the hands of Morgan who is now a young detective trying to solve a murder case during 2005 in the fictional American town of Le Carré, Louisiana.
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Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro is known for presenting twists in his story that no one can expect, and he takes it to a whole another level in this sequel. During his investigation, Morgan encounters plenty of characters that offer their unique take on the case, and some of them have their backstory to discover, which only convolutes the plot making it hard to follow for the player. Still, if you are one of the folks who like paying attention to the tiniest of detail, there is plenty to uncover in Deadly Premonition 2. Not all of it is good of course, and there are moments where the game starts to feel more like a cringe-fest than a proper survival adventure, but they are few and far enough to not spoil the main experience.
The main issues with Deadly Premonition 2 began to manifest with its technical performance as soon as you control Morgan in the past. Most of the gameplay here revolves around going in town to find leads for the case, but this is held back by a terrible performance that makes it more of a chore to explore the town. When you are playing the game in the present, most of the story is presented in a style that resembles a visual novel with long walls of text and limited gameplay, and when the focus shifts to the past, you are back to controlling Morgan with a terrible frame rate. The developers did try to fix this issue with an update that launched recently but it is still not fully resolved, even if it is a lot better now.
Deadly Premonition 2 takes a lot of the things that were great to experience in the first game and improves them in the sequel. There are many memorable characters with their unique personalities, and the town itself has an odd history behind it, something that tickles the imagination of the player making them curious to learn more about it. However, the performance of the game is sadly not that great as explained before, and this hinders the overall experience.
This is not an easy game to recommend for newcomers. While the story might require knowledge of some elements from the first game, it is not necessary to play it to enjoy this sequel. If we ignore the performance for a moment, it is a fine sequel that takes some steps forward but also several steps back. It is not exactly a visually appealing game but this was never the aim of the developer. if you have the patience and have enjoyed the work of Swery in the past, this is not a bad game to get for now. The new update has improved it somewhat and it is not as terrible as it was during its launch.