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Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

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  • Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

    Hello everyone,

    This may be a controversial one, but then again, I don't remember any of my previous interventions on these forums that wasn't controversial to some degree. As I always do, I'd like to begin by reminding everyone that I'm a fan of Alan Wake just like anyone else here and it's not my goal to attack the game in any way. I also know that there's a Deadly Premonition thread somewhere in the general forum, but since this is not general discussion about that title or Alan Wake, but a comparison between both games' strengths and weaknesses, I think this post belongs here. That said, here we go:

    I recently bought Deadly Premonition after many months of fervent insistence by a friend, who deeply disappointed by Alan Wake, found this game to be exactly what Remedy's project should have been. I was aware of the polarizing reviews, its quirky atmosphere and terrible technical specs. All that is true. Deadly Premonition plays with the easiness and elegance of a garbage truck, looks as beautiful as a burst pimple, and is filled with characters and situations as authentic as an African American redhead. Yet it's brilliant.

    For the uninitiated, Deadly Premonition is a Japanese game set in the fictional Northwestern town of Greenvale, where a young local girl has just been murdered. You play as Francis York Morgan, an FBI agent sent there to solve the case, which gets more complicated every day you spend in town investigating it. Spiritually, the game is so similar to the show Twin Peaks that you could almost call it an unofficial adaptation. It features open world mechanics based on real time and scale, and getting to know the inhabitants of Greenvale as part of your investigation is key to fully understand the game's powerful charm.

    Now, the comparison with Alan Wake goes beyond the obvious Twin Peaks references and small town setting. In a way, each game excels at what the other most notoriously lacks. Deadly Premonition's combat is clunky, dated and frustrating, horribly designed and tedious; while Alan Wake's is fun, creative and fast-paced. Deadly Premonition's graphics, sound and music are atrocious for the most part, while Alan Wake's are gorgeous. However, while I find Alan Wake to be a linear shooter trying real hard to look like a compelling thriller trapped in the wrong gaming genre, Deadly Premonition is a fascinating experience where you really do feel like a detective solving a crime, an outsider getting to know an isolated town, and an audience enjoying a richly developed, self-contained story branched through plenty of characters who seem alive.

    This is, of course, a generalization. There are minor exceptions here and there. Alan Wake still has a powerful premise, more original than Deadly Premonition's, as well as a few bulletproof characters like Barry or the Old Gods. In turn, Deadly Premonition also makes a great use of quicktime events and rather creative features like multiple screens to offer some memorable action sequences. But overall, the description above summarizes pretty closely my impression of both games.

    While I was playing Deadly Premonition, I kept remembering quotes from Remedy's team on their decision to abandon all non-action oriented features in Alan Wake. Yet there I was, playing a videogame that is essentially what they originally planned and assured was impossible to make, made by a group of Japanese guys who can't even program a car that turns left and right properly. There was not a single time while I was playing Deadly when I felt that the open world mechanics affected the flow of the story and its pacing negatively. If anything, being able to explore Greenvale made more sense within the story, getting to meet other characters was tremendously beneficial for my experience, and knowing that time and weather could affect the course of my game made everything more real and tense.

    Strangely, I'm not one of those who resort to Deadly Premonition after hating Alan Wake. I liked Alan Wake and I still like it. But playing Deadly definitely made me see how much of a better game Wake could've been, how much potential was there waiting to be taken advantage of. Because while it's hard to imagine a Deadly Premonition with proper controls and graphics (and perhaps the lack of both helps solidify its bizarre atmosphere), it's really easy to imagine Alan Wake as a much more profound experience, since Remedy probably has the resources and talent that Access Games couldn't get in Japan. In the end, those who make these games know better than anybody the pros and cons behind the process, for me, I can only hope that a future Alan Wake gets closer to what Deadly Premonition was.

  • #2
    Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

    I absolutely LOVE Deadly Premonition and think that it's a game that the fans of Alan Wake should play. I completely agree with your post.

    While the combat is clunky and the graphics aren't really that great, it is the characters and the additional exploration that you do in the game that really makes it an interesting title.

    These were some of the things that I think first Alan Wake was missing: we were shown a handful of characters, but honestly most of the characters were shown for a brief moment and then you wouldn't see them again. That was kinda sad.

    Apart from the combat, there was a lot you could do in Deadly Premonition. It wasn't always perfect, but at least it didn't do action all the time. This was Alan Wake's biggest problem: I know I've repeated this for way too much, but the daytime scenes were some of the best parts of the game. It's pretty sad that they decided to remove some of the daytime scenes (there was a sea plane ride scene, but it was removed for some reason).

    Look at Dead Space, look at Resident Evil 4. These games were great, not only because of the combat, but also because of the other parts you did in the game. People found enjoyment managing their inventory, exploring different places etc. This is also what made Deadly Premonition so much better.

    It might be not Remedy's developement mentality, but I really wish that the next game wouldn't be centered around the combat so much. There really need to be variety in the gameplay and I by this I don't mean additional enemy types, new weapons or new ways to kill destroy The Taken.


    What I mean that there should be gameplay elements outside the combat. Dialogue options, inventory managment? Perhaps. It's easier said then done. American Nightmare did show a couple of tricks, like the whole rewriting reality thing.

    It's interesting to see what the team does for the next game: do they add new elements or follow the same formula and keep the combat oriented gameplay?

    Well, it's only a matter of time when we find out.
    KATAKOMB - Upcoming horror game by me

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    • #3
      Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

      As for being shown a handful of characters.I saw on another forum that someone had posted.That by the time you reach the cabin for the very first time in episode 1.That every main character in the game you have either meet them or they have been somehow referenced.
      It is said that it has to do with the manuscript that wake writes called departure.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

        Originally posted by youcannotsee View Post
        As for being shown a handful of characters.I saw on another forum that someone had posted.That by the time you reach the cabin for the very first time in episode 1.That every main character in the game you have either meet them or they have been somehow referenced.
        It is said that it has to do with the manuscript that wake writes called departure.
        Sheriff Baker?

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        • #5
          Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

          Originally posted by AnttiApina View Post
          It might be not Remedy's developement mentality, but I really wish that the next game wouldn't be centered around the combat so much. There really need to be variety in the gameplay and I by this I don't mean additional enemy types, new weapons or new ways to kill destroy The Taken.
          I think the same way, but after American Nightmare, I sort of lost hope. Not only that, I've seen people on these very same forums discussing what they'd like to see on future Alan Wake games and most ask for new pistols, automatic rifles, machine guns, basically stuff that adds absolutely nothing to the experience, is completely out of place in a game like Alan Wake, and doesn't even differ from thousands of other games being produced every day.

          Alan Wake disappoints because gameplay wise is flawed from two points of view: as a shooter, they're focusing on firepower instead of creative ways to use light, which is the distinguishing element of the game. As a mystery tale, it just doesn't work in game form, because there are no playable elements there other than action-oriented ones.

          You mentioned Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space earlier, but I think those are not good examples. Those two were action/horror games, and excellent action games because they pushed the genre forward in very interesting ways. However, Alan Wake is an action game that wants to be something else, and could be something else more coherent with its plot, but was reduced to an action game. Deadly Premonition is perfectly consistent with itself, offering occasional shooting moments that are just one more element of a bigger, more important quest-oriented gameplay scenario devoted to its story.

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          • #6
            Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

            Sheriff breaker is Defiantely referenced at the diner.Before you reach the cabin for the first time.In episode 1.

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            • #7
              Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

              Originally posted by Liberance View Post
              I think the same way, but after American Nightmare, I sort of lost hope.
              Don't worry! Remedy has stated that they won't use the more action oriented approach for the 2nd game.

              Originally posted by Spong
              In an interview to be published tomorrow, SPOnG asked franchise development head Oskari Häkkinen if, should fans and critics react positively to the new gameplay mechanics, the studio would consider lifting some of these ideas for a core Alan Wake title. "Probably not, no", he said.

              "It’s weird because we’re a story-driven studio, and American Nightmare started with arcade action in mind, with a Horde mode and everything," he explains. "It's very non-Remedy, but we had fun with the game and found it a perfect fit for the digital space."

              "And sure, we're not exactly pushing the envelope here in terms of video game storytelling than we were with Alan Wake - this is more made for the pick-up-and-play medium. We’ll see, we’re definitely learning stuff from this as well. Every game that we make is a learning curve."
              http://spong.com/article/26357/Alan-...ican-Nightmare

              Hopefully they'll continue trying to push the envelope further.
              KATAKOMB - Upcoming horror game by me

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              • #8
                Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                Deadly premonition is supposed to get a new edition (with updated graphics and improved technical side of the game) and a sequel has also been in talks. I personally play Silent Hill 1 every once in a while. Graphics aren't really my concern.
                I love how deadly premonition puts humor into serious situations. Most games either try to be completely serious, or have humorous situations, never both at the same time. I saw a lot of people having a problem with that tho.
                Once you realized that an hour in-game takes 20 minutes IRL, you would actually start exploring the town more. There is a LOT of stuff to do.
                People from the town aren't standing still in some predetermined place. They carry on with their day-to-day lives, go to work, visit other people, go for a lunch... All of this has been very carefully thought through and must have taken ungodly amount of effort.

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                • #9
                  Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                  Originally posted by youcannotsee View Post
                  Sheriff breaker is Defiantely referenced at the diner.Before you reach the cabin for the first time.In episode 1.
                  Really? When?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                    Originally posted by AnttiApina View Post
                    I absolutely LOVE Deadly Premonition and think that it's a game that the fans of Alan Wake should play. I completely agree with your post.

                    Yeah... I did... and I despise that game for being so terrible.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                      I played DP now for the first time, because I didn´t have a PS3 or X-Box before.

                      This game is incredibly good. The graphics and the controls are horrible, the audio disappears every once in a while and storywise it jumps the shark big time in the end, but still. The open world and the story in general are incredible. The exploring was the best thing about it and just like in AW the combat part is what annoyed me the most. I hope Remedy takes a leaf out of their book^^

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                      • #12
                        Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                        Originally posted by JackMarco View Post
                        I played DP now for the first time, because I didn´t have a PS3 or X-Box before.

                        This game is incredibly good. The graphics and the controls are horrible, the audio disappears every once in a while and storywise it jumps the shark big time in the end, but still. The open world and the story in general are incredible. The exploring was the best thing about it and just like in AW the combat part is what annoyed me the most. I hope Remedy takes a leaf out of their book^^
                        What happened to the real Alan wake fans?

                        Are we all insinuating that the next Alan wake shouldn't have any gunplay because if so I'm not getting on that band wagon.

                        If anything we need better gunplay not bigger gunplay. I'm perfectly fine with them adding to the combat as long as the original tone and story driven aspect isn't dumbed down.

                        Everyone is saying that the gameplay is terrible in deadly premonition but then they say remedy should copy them? How about remedy does their own thing and well pretend this thread doesn't exist.

                        Alan Wake is its' own beast, let it stay the course.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                          Well now that we've gotten the PC version, been trying it out. Have to say they botched the graphics. Thankfully Durante has come in to save the day.

                          http://blog.metaclassofnil.com/

                          Originally posted by ShockBox08 View Post
                          What happened to the real Alan wake fans?

                          Are we all insinuating that the next Alan wake shouldn't have any gunplay because if so I'm not getting on that band wagon.

                          If anything we need better gunplay not bigger gunplay. I'm perfectly fine with them adding to the combat as long as the original tone and story driven aspect isn't dumbed down.

                          Everyone is saying that the gameplay is terrible in deadly premonition but then they say remedy should copy them? How about remedy does their own thing and well pretend this thread doesn't exist.

                          Alan Wake is its' own beast, let it stay the course.

                          No people aren't saying to "copy" deadly premonition, but to borrow Deadly Premonitions style of focusing on story and characters rather than the gunplay. That seems to be the general consensus.
                          In fact Deadly Premonition would be a even better game if they removed the rather easy, repetitive enemies... mandatory "shooter sections" in horror games just doesn't make sense anymore after we've seen horror games do very well without any combat.


                          I thought the shooting sections in Alan Wake where repetitive, not as bad as Deadly Premonitions but still rather boring after the first hour (and where talking about a 5-6 hour game.

                          For Alan Wake they definitely should ramp up the ability to interact with the environment and add dailogue choices when talking to characters, questions you could ask like LA Noire.

                          I am kind of ok with the idea of combat still being in Alan Wake, but only if it takes a backseat to the main gameplay.
                          Last edited by TheUnbeholden; 11-06-2013, 10:34 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                            Haven't played Deadly Premonition (but since a fellow fan of Alan Wake says it's pretty good, I guess I have to now! hehe), but I will open with saying I am so glad AW wasn't an open world game as originally planned. My feel is that 10 times out of 10, this feature will only hinder the horror and suspense. Linearity is rarely a good thing, but in horror-thrillers? It's almost a necessity. I just can't picture myself being very tense about a situation I know I can go to whenever I'm good and ready (e.g., after stocking up on ammo or a leisurely trip around town, etc.)

                            And I also think they kept Alan from getting to know the other characters on purpose. The whole time playing, I felt that Alan was alone and desperate for some solid support from another (verifiably real) person. Even when I had other people with me, I never felt they were really with me, you know? I'd like to think that wasn't by accident.

                            Originally posted by Liberance View Post
                            Now, the comparison with Alan Wake goes beyond the obvious Twin Peaks references and small town setting. In a way, each game excels at what the other most notoriously lacks. Deadly Premonition's combat is clunky, dated and frustrating, horribly designed and tedious; while Alan Wake's is fun, creative and fast-paced.
                            I'm on your side, regarding AW's combat. I think it's very addictive. But I've heard critics also say that it's clunky, frustrating, repetitive, boring, etc. too.

                            Altogether, you've got me curious about Deadly Premonition, though. I'll have to add that to my "must play" list

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Alan Wake vs. Deadly Premonition

                              Originally posted by youcannotsee View Post
                              As for being shown a handful of characters.I saw on another forum that someone had posted.That by the time you reach the cabin for the very first time in episode 1.That every main character in the game you have either meet them or they have been somehow referenced.
                              It is said that it has to do with the manuscript that wake writes called departure.
                              Indeed. This allows for the theory that Alan just used whatever names he had heard before in writing the manuscript, making people "bad"/"good" at whim. Would explain why only the people he's met or heard of (with one exception) are important to the story that unfolds.

                              That, or the dark presence "heavily revised" the story to include these names so Alan wouldn't talk to anyone else and learn anything more. Perhaps it decided he had gotten enough exposure to the locals (and their collective knowledge of the town) already.

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