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No holds barred – Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut

Tuesday, 29 January 2013 01:03 GMT By Catherine Cai

Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut repackages a divisive cult classic. Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro and Tomio Kanzawa chat about new content, Move controls, high impact content and more.

When discussing controversial games, Hidetaka Suehiro’s (adoringly called “Swery” by his fans) twisted survival-comedy horror Deadly Premonition takes the cake. Hell, it’s the Guinness World Record holder for being the “Most Polarizing Survival Horror Game”, as IGN completely panned the game and Destructoid exalted it with a perfect score.

Meshing unsettlingly light-hearted jazz with equally unsettling (yet oddly beautiful) murders, Deadly Premonition has garnered a cult following since its release for its unique, well, everything. Describing the game is next to useless simply because there are no games out in the wild like it. Those curious about Deadly Premonition need only to sit down for an hour or two with Swery’s eccentric baby to see why it’s an experience beyond words.

Recently, VG247 had a chance to speak with Swery and Tomio Kanazawa, the game’s producer, about Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut, which brings the game, with new content and updated graphics, to the PS3 for the first time. Kanazawa served as Swery’s interviewer.

VG247: Was it the polarizing feedback that caused you to release a Director’s Cut? Are there any other reasons why you decided to revisit Deadly Premonition?

Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro: It was three years ago that it was released. It was originally released in 2010. We couldn’t debut this game on PS3 due to some technical issues. We couldn’t make the release date. I started working on this project, because I wanted to debut this version for PS3 owners, this time. That’s the main purpose.

Tomio Kanazawa: It was the summer of 2011 we started talking about it, this director’s cut. Our motivation was to debut this game to new players. That was the start of our concept.

So why not re-release the Director’s Cut for Xbox 360 as well?

Deadly Premonition

The original Deadly Premonition, called Red Seeds Profile in Japan, was published by Marvellous in Japan; Ignition in the US; and Rising Star Games in Europe, exclusively for Xbox 360.

The Director’s Cut is the result of a collaboration between Rising Star Game; original developer Access Games, headed by designer Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro; and Toybox Inc, the new developer founded by former Marvellous staffer and Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada.

The project reunites Suehiro, Wada and Tomio Kanazawa, the three main movers and shakers behind the original’s troubled development. Kanazwa now works at Toybox.

Kanazawa: Because it is kind of a technical issue. Actually, we may think about it later. This time our aim was to deliver this to the PS3 owners. That is why we supported the PS Move, specially for the PS3 version. We may think about bringing this to 360 owners as well if this is successful.

What PS Move interactions will there be specifically? What will you be able to do with the PS Move?

Kanazawa: There’s combat, so you can aim easily with the new PS Move support against shadows – zombies. It’s not only for the combat thing. The player can move their cars or their character in the town with the Move controller, so the player can hold the PS Move all the time – not change controllers. But the main purpose we used PS Move was for the combat, to make it easier than before.

Originally Deadly Premonition released in the US for $20. Why is the Director’s Cut releasing for $40?

[At this point, a representative from Rising Star Games stepped in to give pricing details. They explained that the price point had not yet been confirmed. However, because of the extra content that's been added to the Director's Cut, the game will be releasing for a higher price than the original $20.]

When Deadly Premonition was first released it received hugely differing reviews. IGN gave it a 2/10 and Destructoid gave it a 10/10. What were your thoughts on these reviews? Were you hurt by IGN’s review? Did you feel that they didn’t understand the game? Are you taking steps towards clarifying what your point was with the game in the director’s cut?

Kanazawa: Of course he believes that this game is fantastic. He’d been working on this project for more than six years.

Swery: The first review I received from the Western market was IGN’s. 20 points out of 100. I was shocked. I was wondering if the things I believed were wrong. I wasn’t sure. That was the first impression. I was so shocked about it. But conversely, I received so many comments from core users [players] that this game was fantastic and they’d never played this kind of game.

Swery. Probably thinking about murder.

Soon after, I received a very good review from the media. Then, everything had changed. I started receiving so many good reviews from the media, as well. I started thinking, “Of course. What we believed was right.” What I had been doing so far had been right. When I received a perfect score from Destructoid it was another shock. So I received two shocks when I received the low score and the high score. Now, both the low score and high score have been very important for the game. I want to thank everyone for all the reviews. Thanks to those different reviews, we received the Guinness World Record, so we have to thank all the reviews.

Videogames are definitely made with commercialism and sales in mind. Deadly Premonition is a very, very different game from your run-of-the-mill AAA game. When you were developing it, did commercialism come in as a factor? Were you worried about how it would sell were you more concerned with making a piece of art?

Kanazawa: Of course he believed this game would become a very fantastic game. Whether or not the game will sell is my – as producer – worry. We had been talking about this project a lot before starting: “We have to make a very edgy game. Something that’s never existed so far in the world.” I think this is much more important to think about, because it’d be no fun if we created games that were like copies of other games. Our goal is to create a game that’s never existed in the world. We never bended this policy until the end.

In a recent interview with GameSpot, you mentioned that there was certain content that was cut from the original game that you wanted to put into the Director’s Cut. You were told once again by the publisher that the content was too explicit to include in the game. Do you have any examples of what that content was?

Swery: The content cut from the original, was for example, the FBI Agent [York] running around the town on a bicycle. If the player kept wearing the same clothes, flies would fly around his body. If you change clothes, the flies are gone. But there was a feature with the shower to refresh. But it was cut from the original version. Finally, we didn’t bring those ideas to the Director’s Cut because the purpose for us to release this game is to expand the user base. We couldn’t get this game to PS3 users in the Western market, so we’re trying to deliver this world to PS3 owners.

“We have to make a very edgy game. Something that’s never existed so far in the world. Our goal is to create a game that’s never existed in the world. We never bended this policy until the end.”

In terms of censorship, Deadly Premonition is obviously a very gruesome game. Japan, the US, and Europe have differing views on what’s “acceptable”. For the U.S., violence seems to be more acceptable than nudity or sex. For Japan, nudity seems to be a little more acceptable than violence. How did you balance take that in mind when developing the game. How did you balance all these different tastes?

Swery: My first concept was not to give a shock or a scare by phantoms or monsters and these kind of creatures. I tried to give the player a scared feeling through the story or the mystery. I focused on the murders and not the scary monsters. I thought about so many ways of killing, murder, like the shower scene or the museum scene. Sometimes, I got ahead of myself. I had much more violent ideas, but I was told from the publisher not to get more violent. I had to adjust to make it much more milder than I considered [originally].

Did you envision Deadly Premonition to be a survival horror with comedy elements? Or from the beginning, were you more focused towards making purely a survival horror game and during development, it evolved into you adding elements of humor?

Kanazawa: I gave him the first scene, as an open-world mystery. After that, we started talking about adding a horror taste. That was the original concept.

Swery: First of all, I designed the country town. I didn’t get to the storyline. I started considering the people that were living in the town. Then, I started creating the storyline. That’s why this game is full of sometimes comedy, sometimes horror, sometimes mystery. This was a mixture of all of those things.

How did you come up with the character of York? He’s a very nuanced character: he has dissociative personality disorder and a strange relationship with coffee. How did you come up with such a “different” protagonist?

Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut release date – April 2013

After the interview, we spoke with Rising Star Games Phil Robinson about the release window for Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut. He didn’t give an official release date, but said to expect the game to hit shelves in North America sometime in April.

Amazon UK records an April 19 launch; Rising Star’s website suggests April 26, and a Gematsu report claims April 30 is the big day.

Swery: As I said before, I started designing the country town first. The main character is York – the agent. He must have characteristics against the people living in the town. He must be very odd and he has a very cynical feeling. He must be a complete contrast from those people. That was the start. I started growing these characteristics towards something more edgy. I wanted to make this character more edgy and unique. That’s why he’s so unique from other heroes from other games. A strong, edgy, character is needed for this game because this is a very unique game. Then, I had the idea of Zach, the other character in my mind. I thought about this in the middle of the night.

Kanazawa: The next day, he called me. I had a very good idea to have Zach. He’s a friend he created in his mind. He is actually the player. Zach is the player controlling. He [York] is always talking to Zach and Zach is the player. “Okay, what do you think Zach? Do you want to do that?” He’s asking you. “Okay? Let’s do that.” The relationship is very unique. That was part of the investment in this game.

After the Director’s Cut comes out, do you guys have anything planned for the future?

Swery: Now, this is a great opportunity to debut Deadly Premonition to a new audience. After that, I’ll probably get another chance to create other games.

Kanazawa: Of course, we are discussing other games as well. He can say expect [other games].

Swery: Other than Deadly Premonition, I can’t say anything about what to expect.

Kanazawa: He’s “teasing”.

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3 Comments

  1. Ristas

    So the Director’s cut ISN’T a director’s cut (because the “director” couldn’t bring in the content he had to leave out the first time) bust instead a very simple port. Well, yay?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ariessiren

    theres new scenarios and a new opening, ending, dlc etc. its a directors cut bigtime.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    I’m usually the last guy to complain about this, but … the game is still fucking ugly. They had a lot of time to improve the graphics and yet it is painful to look at.

    Considering that we’re playing a (what seems to be) half-assed port of a game that came out 3 years ago, i don’t think the price tag is excusable. :/

    Anyway, still a great interview, i wonder why Swery kept saying the word “edgy”, from what i’ve seen, York doesn’t seem to be so edgy, quite the opposite.

    #3 2 years ago

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    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]

  • White Night launch trailer is a noir thriller trip

    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront footage shown behind closed doors

    Star Wars Battlefront is being shown to retailers. Now we want EA to show it to us. Star Wars Battlefront is expected sometime this year, so it’s about time EA gave us a look at DICE’s latest. It turns out that while press and gamers have had to twiddle their thumbs, EA is showing it […]

  • Dragon Age lead creative moves onto mysterious new BioWare project

    Dragon Age creator David Gaider is leaving his baby behind. Dragon Age is a team effort, but Gaider was one of the key creatives behind the franchise, creating the setting of Thedas (which, I was recently amused to learn, is an acronym: “THE Dragon Age Setting”). He was lead writer on all three games and […]

  • Unity 5 available for free with “no fucking around”

    Unity 5 looks amazing, and you can download and faff about with it for free right now. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people. When we say it’s free, it’s free. We’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales.” Unity Technologies announced the release of the fifth version of its popular, simple, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 may be the end of the series

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 released yesterday, and many fans theorise that it marks the end of the series. Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon has released a new teaser image on his website, but rather than pointing to a new game, many fans believe the teaser signals the end of the series. The […]

  • Source 2 announced, will also be free

    Valve has formally unveiled Source Engine 2, the third major engine to go free to developers at GDC 2015. Source 2 is the successor to the engine Valve has been using since Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Valve didn’t have much to say about the technicalities of this long-awaited release. It is apparently focused on […]

  • SteamVR: Valve’s Lighthouse tech allows you to walk around while playing

    SteamVR’s key differentiator is a piece of tech allowing headsets to connect with other devices for extra accurate, room-scale tracking. Valve has announced a new bit of technology called Lighthouse, which it is making freely available to any hardware manufacturer. Like the extra tracking LEDs on Sony’s updated Project Morpheus, Lighthouse improves the headset’s accuracy, […]

  • Steam Machines, Controller, streaming box to launch in November

    Steam Machines will finally become a reality before the end of the year. Valve’s living room PC systems will release in November, the company announced today. Well, I say Valve’s – the idea behind Steam Machines is that a number of manufacturers will offer variously priced systems. Alienware and Falcon Northwest are among the dozen […]

  • Telltale veterans form new team, announce teen thriller Oxenfree

    Oxenfree is a supernatural teen thriller from some of the team behind Telltale Games’ award-winning adventures. New indie Night School Studios unveiled Oxenfree at GDC 2015. It tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally open a “ghostly rift” at an overnight party on the coast. Night School, which is made up of […]

  • PS4 global sales now stand at over 20.2 million

    The PS4 has sold 20.2 million units worldwide. Sony announced the new PS4 sales milestone at GDC 2015 today. It’s a hell of an achievement and salt in the wounds for Microsoft, which hasn’t updated us on Xbox One sales since it shipped “almost” 10 million back in November last year, and has fallen back […]

  • PS4 VR headset Morpheus out in 2016, capable of 120 FPS – video

    Sony’s VR headset Project Morpheus has some impressive grunt. Virtual reality and Morpheus were the heart of Sony’s GDC 2015 presentation today, ahead of its newly announced first-half 2016 comemrcial launch. SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 […]

  • Papo & Yo developer making a VR game about dinosaurs

    Some days you write a headline and it makes you so happy that that you have to do a little chair dance, you know what I mean? Papo & Yo developer Minority Media, whom I would personally go to the wall for after they cut out my heart and stomped on it via the medium […]

  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]

  • Here’s an indie VR game made with Unreal Engine 4

    GDC 2015 is blowing up with indie games, VR and Unreal Engine 4, so here’s a video combining all three. Loading Human is a virtual reality adventure from indie developer Untold Games. It’s in the works for Mac and PC, and Sony has given an early green light for Project Morpheus, too, so expect it […]

  • GTA Online: Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode coming next week

    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]

  • Syndicate is the latest free game download on Origin

    The latest free title to be added to EA’s Origin service is 1993′s Syndicate. For a limited time, you can download the game for free and keep it, much like previous titles such as Theme Hospital. The isometric, real-time, tactical-action game was developed by Bullfrog Productions and released in June 1993. It is a favorite […]

  • Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen now available

    The Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will run you $7.99 and builds upon the existing lore, characters, and storyline. Have a look at some new screenshots in the gallery below.

  • Shadowrun Online gets a name change and release date

    Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions has announced the game’s name has been changed to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown and a release date for April has been set. The new title was formed via the developer and its Kickstarter backers, with the goal being to let those unfamiliar with the game know by the title alone […]

  • Amazon hosting Rockstar and 2K Games sale

    Amazon is hosting a Rockstar Games and 2K Games sale with discounts Max Payne titles, Bully and more. Here’s just some of the offerings listed: Manhunt 2 PC Download $3.00 Max Payne 3 PC Download $4.00 Bully: Scholarship Edition PC Download $3.00 LA Noire Xbox 360 $2.95 L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition PC Download $6.00 […]

  • Destiny weekly reset video shows off Inferno Crucible gameplay

    We have a gameplay video featuring Inferno Crucible gameplay featured in the Destiny weekly reset for you. In it, Arekkz Gaming gives you a look at Inferno Crucible and goes over the various intricacies. You can read up on the weekly reset through the links.

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 available from today

    Episode 2 for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available. If you’ve purchased the Complete Season, you’ll be able to download Episode 2 on PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. Steam players should see the episode go live around 9-10pm PST, and Xbox 360 owners should be able to download very early tomorrow morning, per Capcom […]

  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video shows Ascendance DLC early access weapon

    As you know, Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now you can watch a trailer for the weapon. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun “on the fly,” and it also includes the OHM-Werewolf […]

  • March PS Plus games include OlliOlli 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, more

    March PlayStation Plus titles have popped up on the PS Plus page. Noticed by NeoGAF user skynidas, the titles include: OlliOlli2 (PS4/VITA) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4) Counterspy (PS4/PS3) Papo & Yo (PS3) Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (PS3) A notice has also been posted on the EU PS […]

  • Sci-fi horror game Caffeine will release on Xbox One, PS4 alongside PC – new trailer

    Caffeine creator Dylan Browne has announced the Unreal Engine 4 game will be released on Xbox One. The game will be published through Microsoft’s Indie Program. As previously announced, it is also coming to PC and and now PlayStation 4. Caffeine is a sci-fi horror game which stars a young boy who has been abandoned […]

  • Xbox 360 Preview program invites going out this month

    Much like the Xbox One Preview program, starting early this month, invites for the Xbox 360 Preview program will start rolling out. Select invitees will be able to join program directly from their Xbox 360. A special Xbox Live message will be sent, directing users to head over to their Settings page. Further instructions are […]