AAAHHH AGENT YORK YOU'RE A CREATUREThis is when the cutscene ends and the gameplay begins. This is also the point where a majority of gamers turn off their Xbox and leave to engage in something far more enjoyable, such as injecting road tar directly into their colons. I cannot blame them; the game's first act is a bitter pill to swallow. It introduces you to the flawed, infuriating, repetitive combat system, as well as the flawed, infuriating, repetitive enemies. I'm assuming the design doc for this game looked something like this:

COMBAT. Main character should have the agility of a vending machine. Melee weapons should break after using them one time (or less). Maybe the act of picking them up automatically breaks them? Ranged weapons should not only be weak, but also impossible to aim.

ENEMIES. THE CEO OF OUR COMPANY IS ALLERGIC TO COUNTING, SO PLEASE KEEP NUMBER OF UNIQUE ENEMIES UNDER THE AMOUNT OF FINGERS ON ONE HAND (5)!!! Our programmer recently quit, but we found some of his notes, and they mentioned something about "Al." Does anybody know anybody named "Al"? I hope he can tell us how to make our enemies do something other than walk in straight lines.

A definite lowlight of "Deadly Premonition," the combat missions require you to walk through countless identical hallways killing countless identical zombies while picking up valuable items such as "country ham" and "sugar donuts." These enemies attack you by either walking backwards and sticking their hand in your mouth, or walking forwards and hugging you until you decide to die. Some of the more difficult zombies may hold sparkly shotguns and sticks they miraculously managed to light on fire while floating through the floor.

Along with the sluggard zombies comes another problem: the sound. As far as I can tell, the audio team consisted of one member, the producer's grade school son, who was given a tape recorder, shoved into a closet, and ordered to "make every single sound for our game in less than an hour or else you're grounded." The zombies mutter phrases like "KILL ME," "I DON'T WANT TO DIE," and... well, that's it. Fortunately, the lack of variation is balanced with an overabundance of repetition, as each zombie is contractually required to constantly mutter the same phrases several thousand times per second. These scenarios can lead to some unspeakably frightening moments, but only if you're a person who possesses a subconscious fear of being trapped in a closet with a broken iPhone soundboard app.

Watch out for the bears in the woods.If you made it this far, congratulations: you may be one of the few people who will truly enjoy the hell out of this game! Upon entering the town of Greenvale, Agent York meets the town's Sheriff, George, and his partner Emily, two people equally determined to apprehend Anna's killer. To accomplish this, York must utilize every skill learned during FBI training, including:

  • Silently staring into peoples' windows to watch them sleep for hours while he breathes heavily,
  • Solving crimes by picking up three objects and then smoking a cigarette,
  • Tapping his chest with his finger (his crime solving finger),
  • Talking about 80s movies to invisible people who don't respond because they don't exist.

After reading this amazing list, a logical person would naturally conclude with absolute certainty that nothing else could possibly make this game even better. Ha! How wrong they would be! As a wise man once said, "logic is for dumb fags." Each town resident has at least one side mission you can engage in, all of which require the trained hand of a skilled FBI agent. They include seeming insurmountable challenges such as:

  • Giving a flower to the sheriff.
  • Teaching some dumb broad how to cook food.
  • Shoving boxes around the back of a grocery store.
  • Delivering love letters to a suspected murderer in prison.
  • Driving home an old lady holding a cooking pot before her beloved kitchen utensil "grows cold."
  • Giving thousands of dollars to a fat, semi-retarded biker who demonstrates his appreciation by spitting on your car and calling you a "craphead."
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