After assuring fans that the controversial transphobic content in Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise would be addressed, game director Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro announced a new update for the game on Nintendo Switch has “fixed” the problem area. However, the extent of the changes may not be what players were hoping for.
According to Swery, the game’s first patch doesn’t change the “important point of the story” but makes a concerted effort to rewrite the scenario in which the transphobic content occurs.
“The scenario where the problem occurred has been fixed,” Swery said in a Twitter statement. “I didn’t change the important point of the story of this work, and I was able to make changes only where I wanted to make corrections. Therefore, I am confident that fans who were worried that ‘this fix may change the essence of the game’ will be reassured.”
One of the biggest criticisms against Deadly Premonition 2 was its apparent transphobia. Protagonist Francis York Morgan, and various other in-game characters, frequently misgender a transgender character. The game also uses this character’s deadname, the name assigned to a transgender individual at birth, despite many characters being positioned as allies.
According to writer Laura Kate Dale, the changes are minimal and leave in place lines where York misgenders a character. However, while Swery apologized for remarks on Twitter that he attributes to his “poor English,” he says he is done making changes to this aspect of the game.
In addition to the mistreatment of a transgender character in the game, Deadly Premonition 2 also came under fire for its poor frame rate, something Swery said will be “gradually improved [upon].”
Swery also confirmed that this Deadly Premonition 2 update fixes bugs and glitches the development team was aware of. Further, this patch only “partially [fixes] frame rate [issues],” but Swery said more patches are coming as soon as possible.
We scored the game a 5/10 in our Deadly Premonition 2 review, saying, “If you can get past its performance, there are glimpses of a good story here, and moments that make it a worthy installment in the Francis Zach Morgan saga. But, ultimately, Deadly Premonition 2 lacks the emotional resonance found in the first game. It’s a different brew of coffee from your favorite roaster, but one that’s more bitter than you probably hoped for.” This sentiment seems to be echoed by many other critics since the game launched on July 10.
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