Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise – Review
Follow Genre: Survival horror game
Developer: Now Production, White Owls, Toy Box Inc.
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: PC

Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise – Review

Site Score
Good: A compelling story and fantastic voice performances
Bad: Rife with glitches and visual performance issues
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Before we delve into Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise, it’s probably best to mention that we haven’t played the original Deadly Premonition. We’re probably not alone in this regard, as that first game launched back in 2010. We do know that the original was very divisive -it even holds the Guinness World Record for being the most critically polarising survival horror game. Deadly Premonition 2 made less of a splash when it debuted on the Switch in 2020, but it garnered a cult following and was successful enough for Rising Star Games to bring it to PC two years after its initial release. This brings us to today’s review: how does Deadly Premonition 2 hold up, especially for someone that hasn’t played the first game?


If there is one thing that we can absolutely laud Deadly Premonition 2 for, it is that it tells a compelling story. At times, it feels like you’re playing through a season of a Twin Peaks-esque detective show. The game takes its time to build a world that feels real and populates it with intriguing characters. We won’t delve into spoiler territory too much, of course, but even without having played the first game, we enjoyed the story that unfolded before us -although we can imagine being familiar with the previous game adds some depth. A lengthy opening sequence brings together FBI agent Aaliyah Davis and her partner agent Simon Jones with now-retired agent Francis York Morgan, the protagonist of the first Deadly Premonition game. Davis needs Morgan’s help to track down the origin of a new drug, called Saint Rouge. What follows then is a non-linear story, which sees Morgan recall incidents from 14 years prior as Saint Rouge is tied to a murder case that Morgan investigated in Le Carré, a town in Louisiana. There are plenty of flashback scenes, and in a way, Deadly Premonition 2 serves as both a sequel AND a prequel to its predecessor.


Given that Deadly Premonition 2 originally launched as a Switch exclusive, our expectations for the visuals weren’t particularly high. While we’ve seen what Nintendo’s hybrid console can do when a game is optimized for it, we also have plenty of experience with the complete opposite. We expected Deadly Premonition 2 to fall somewhere in the middle, but with a couple of layers of extra polish to bring it in line with the expectations of the modern PC audience. Unfortunately, it seems like no effort was put into sprucing up the game, and the visual performance is a letdown. It’s not an outright terrible-looking game by any means, but it looks very dated, with low-res textures, plenty of pop-ins, and janky animations. Add to this that visual performance is underwhelming as well, with frame drops and occasional stuttering and you’ve got a game that definitely isn’t easy on the eyes. It’s a shame because aesthetically, Deadly Premonition 2 is pleasing. The camera angles during cutscenes and the overall art direction make for a game that feels very cinematic and we loved the semi-cel-shaded approach. We can only imagine how gorgeous this game would have looked had it received a significant visual update for the PC port.


Given that Deadly Premonition 2 isn’t particularly impressive from a visual point of view, the soundscape was incredibly important in setting up the right atmosphere. There are a lot of dialogue-heavy scenes after all, and more often than not, what you’re getting on screen are two characters simply standing there awkwardly and staring at one another as they perform the most basic movements imaginable. Thankfully, the voice acting helps tremendously here to keep the story going and Deadly Premonition 2’s cast feels like a veritable who’s who of video game voice actors. Not every performance is equally good -we couldn’t stand Christopher Corey Smith’s Simon Jones-  but there are several fantastic performances, with one standout character that puts in such a fantastic performance that we’re willing to forgive some other cast members from phoning it in. That performance comes from Jeff Kramer as lead character agent Morgan. His delivery, combined with the excellent writing, was what kept us motivated to keep playing.


From a conceptual point of view, the Deadly Premonition series feels rather unique. At its core lies an open-world survival horror game, infused with plenty of detective elements, and sprinkled with lengthy cutscenes with limited interactivity. Resident Evil meets Sherlock Holmes is probably the closest we’d come to describe the experience, but even then it doesn’t fully cover the load. Depending on where in the story you are, you take control of either agent Davis (in the present day) or agent Morgan (in flashback scenes). Your aim is of course to solve the cases that either agent is working on, which are the Saint Rouge drug case in Davis’ case and the murder of sixteen-year-old Lise Clarkson. These cases are intrinsically connected, making for an intriguing overall structure, although the game feels very linear, in spite of its open-world nature. One of the more fun elements here is that agent Morgan makes his way around Le Carré on a skateboard, which is a ridiculous concept that underlines the sheer absurdity of Deadly Premonition 2 in the first place.

The overall gameplay experience feels very shallow, and it’s clear that Deadly Premonition 2 cares more about crafting an engaging mystery tale than delivering deep and innovative gameplay elements. The game feels very basic, for lack of a better word, as you’ll be spending a lot of time dealing with simple fetch quests. Although there are combat mechanics implemented here, they seem like more of an afterthought than anything else, and with only three enemy types available, it grows stale rather quickly. Also of note is that Deadly Premonition 2 does not support keyboard and mouse inputs. Instead, a controller is mandatory, indicating that this is a very barebones port, which probably also explains most of the other issues that the game suffers from.

There’s no other way to put it: from a technical point of view, Deadly Premonition 2 is a mess. It’s a shame too, because beneath the performance issues lies a fun and intriguing survival horror/detective game hybrid. As we mentioned earlier, the frame rate is inconsistent and this is especially true when you’re walking around in the open world, where the game occasionally turns into a slideshow. If visual performance was the only problem though, we’d be more forgiving, but Deadly Premonition 2 is filled with glitches that put the game on par with unpatched Assassin’s Creed games. Objects often wouldn’t load, there were times when enemies simply didn’t take damage or the controls froze up and we experienced more than one crash, which resulted in some of our progress being lost. We highly recommend waiting for a patch or two because releasing a game in this state at full price is unforgivable. If you really can’t wait to give Deadly Premonition 2 a spin, there’s the Nintendo Switch version of course, and while it won’t impress on a technical level, at least it’s playable.


Although we really enjoyed Deadly Premonition 2 in terms of story and the voice actors’ performances, we can’t honestly recommend the game in its current state. We can forgive the underwhelming visual performance but the game is a glitchy mess that is a chore to play through. While we didn’t encounter any bugs that were so severe that we’d consider the game unplayable, it’s going to need a patch or two to make it feel like you’re playing a functional game and not an Early Access title. We recommend either waiting for the game to receive significant updates or picking it up on the Switch. If you absolutely have to have Deadly Premonition 2 on PC, even in its current state, then at least wait for a hefty discount because right now, it simply isn’t worth it.

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Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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