About the Gameplay
Deadly Premonition is an open-world survival horror game. The player is largely free to explore the small town of Greenvale. Many optional events and activities are available in addition to the mandatory sequences which advance the story. The protagonist is controlled from an over-the-shoulder perspective, similar to Resident Evil 4. Francis York Morgan must stop moving in order to aim and fire his laser-sighted weapons. He can explore on foot or use a variety of cars to travel long distances quickly. Cars have to be maintained since they consume fuel and accumulate damage, both of which cost money to fix. York himself must also be maintained, as he requires food and sleep at regular intervals. He must also shave and change his clothes periodically or his hygiene-related scores will suffer.
There is a real-time day-night cycle but time frequently skips ahead in response to story events and York can accelerate its passage by smoking. Places of business have specific hours of operation outside of which they will be closed. Citizens of Greenvale also have their own schedules and will travel about town realistically as they go about their business. York can peep through windows to observe activities of inhabited buildings and if he engages them at the right place and time of day they can offer him Side Missions to perform for additional rewards. The most extensive Side Missions deals with trading cards which can be collected while exploring. There is also a dynamic weather system, in which adverse weather occurs at random and will change conditions in the town.
The game also contains numerous survival horror combat sequences, in which York must defeat otherworldly enemies while trapped in certain locations. Enemies can approach by walking or by a quick teleportation maneuver, and will engage York with hand-to-hand, melee weapons, guns, or other types of weapons. During these sequences, York's primary objective is to investigate crimes which took place there in the recent past; collecting photos of evidence will allow him to "profile" the scene and reconstruct the events that took place with his deductive skills.
Spoiler-Free Beginner's Guide
- To open doors quickly, press A while running into them.
- To go straight to the map screen, hit Select or Back.
- To speed up text, hold B.
- To skip the "You got X item" screen or to skip the getting in/out of the car animation, hit Start.
- To toggle between Item and Toolbox screens while in the toolbox, press the shoulder (LB and RB) triggers.
- To turn around instantly, pull back on the stick while tapping X.
- To stop York from pushing something even after it's gone as far as it can go, let go of the A button just before it hits a wall or other immovable object.
- To switch window views instantly when peeking, hit the shoulder buttons.
Unlike most maps which remain fixed, your map will shift around you depending on your location and which direction York happens to be facing. This will be frustrating at first, so learn to memorize street names and orient yourself properly.
Red arrows will always point to your next mission objective. When the arrows are grayed out, it means it's not the right time to go there yet.
On the minimap there is a tiny blue arrow that will always point north.
There are two ways of passing time quickly: smoking Heavy Cigarettes, which you can do anywhere, or sleeping in a location with a bed. The player can sleep for 3, 6, 9 or 12 hours at a time. Both smoking and sleeping will make you hungry, so you should always had some food on hand as starving will rapidly deplete your Health Bar until you eat something.
- Your pulse rate (the bar under your Health Bar) goes up under the following circumstances. When it is completely filled, depending on the situation, York will either become momentarily fatigued and move much more slowly until the bar empties, or he will be unable to use that action again until the bar empties. Using a Stabilizer will instantly empty your pulse and keep it low for a while.
- Holding your breath with LT in combat renders you invisible from zombies (although they can still grab you if you get too close).
- Using the siren boost while driving a patrol car.
- Holding your breath during dart games (unlike in other scenarios, your pulse will not drop until the end of the dart game).
- Using the Auto-Lock when aiming in combat.
Every time the game opens up, take the time to do Side Missions. Even though you will often have a "window of opportunity," or a certain time frame in which to complete the mission, you can always just wait until the next day to complete it. You can literally spend as long as you want puttering around Greenvale and need only do the mission if you want to advance the main story. Take every opportunity to do Side Missions, especially in the first couple of chapters, as there will be far less time to do them later and the benefits are incredible. There will seem to be a lot of pressure to get the story moving, but ignore all the prompts and you'll be fine.
If you replay chapters, you will not be able to save until the chapter is complete. If you finish Side Missions while in a replay chapter, all associated items and rewards are added to your main save game. The fact that you can't save here makes doing Side Missions in your regular game more appealing.
You can tell if a character has a Side Mission ready to be activated if they have a notebook above their heads in-game and on the map.
Most missions are available on clear days, but there are quite a few that only open up when it rains. Some missions can only be activated after others are completed, sometimes across different characters, so do not be concerned if not all the characters are opening up to you at once.
In most cases, you can only take one Side Mission from a character per chapter playthrough or day. That means that even though a character might have multiple Side Missions for you, finishing one means that they will not give you another until you complete the current Side Mission or sleep a day. You can always talk to them again in the next chapter, provided you get the chance, or simply replay that chapter to refresh.
Essential Side Mission Rewards
- An item that lets you teleport to locations previously visited.
- Infinite ammo versions of firearms and more powerful melee weapons.
- Faster cars with better handling.
- Better, cooler suits with additional bonuses.
- Larger item and weapon capacity.
Allows the player to teleport to previously visited locations. Your first opportunity to get this is Episode 1, Chapter 2. Talk to George Woodman while he's hanging around in the Greenvale Sheriff's Department and find the item he's looking for. This unlocks a new mission that can be activated by visiting George when he's in his house any time after 21:00 P.M. He'll ask to find an item that appears only when it's raining (it will show up on your map). So, if you want, you can find it beforehand and have it ready before you talk to him.
- Infinite Ammo Versions of Weapons:
Here is a basic guide.
- Upgraded Vehicles:
Talk to Jack the Raging Bull and bribe him repeatedly from the Filler Up screen until he has $1000. Then talk to General Lysander about getting your car fixed. Lysander can also upgrade all the parts on your car and will also sell you other cars that you may be interested in.
- Snazzy Suits:
You can get extra suits by doing Side Missions, but the most useful is collecting 32 trading cards and showing them to Wesley the Gunsmith at the Panda Bear after 21:00 P.M. He will give you the Passion Red suit, which increases your health by a fair amount.
- Upgraded Item and Weapon Capacity:
Complete Side Missions No.025 and No.030 (these do not open until Episode 3, Chapter 14).
There are 12 achievements in Deadly Premonition.
- Prologue cleared! 50G
- Episode 1 cleared! 50G
Completed episode 1.
- Episode 2 (Part 1) cleared! 50G
Completed episode 2 (part 1).
- Episode 2 (part 2) cleared! 50G
Completed episode 2 (part 2).
- Episode 3 cleared! 50G
Completed episode 3.
- Episode 4 cleared! 50G
Completed episode 4.
- Episode 5 cleared! 50G
Completed episode 5.
- Episode 6 cleared! 50G
Completed episode 6.
- Game completed on Easy! 100G*
Completed all episodes on easy difficulty.
- Game completed on Normal! 150G*
Completed all episodes on normal difficulty.
- Game completed on Hard! 200G*
Completed all episodes on hard difficulty.
- Collected all trading cards! 150G
Recovered all the trading cards.
* The difficulty achievements DO NOT STACK. If you wish to earn all three difficulty achievements, you have to complete each of the difficulty modes separately.