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Murdered: Soul Suspect Review


If you happen to end up being murdered and would like your ghost to uncover the mystery behind the crime, then it’d probably be handy if you were a detective. That happens to be the case in Square Enix’s latest title, Murdered: Soul Suspect. It’s an odd game in some respects and it certainly has its flaws, but the way the story is told is well executed and what a great story it is.

Murdered: Soul Suspect is set in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, a real life city that’s cultural identity is reflective of its role as the location of the Salem witch trials of 1692. This is quite significant as the lore of Witches does play a small part in this title, although I’m not going to go into any details surrounding the story so as not to spoil it.

Murdered: Soul Suspect starts off with the main character’s murder, which is certainly a twist from the usual plots out there. The protagonist, Ronan O Connor, was a detective with a rather dark past. He was no stranger to the law before he became a detective and he’s also had his fair share of tragedy since the love of his live was also murdered. This time though it’s his own death that he has to worry about and in this respect being a detective certainly comes in handy.



Once Ronan comes to grips with the fact that he’s actually dead, things go ghostly, as the real world becomes shrouded in a mythical shine, with real people becoming props for you to interact with and gain clues from, and the dead becoming the victims. This limbo world is known as Dusk and it’s where you’ll spend the rest of the game, with the aim being to solve Ronan's murder and allow his ghost to move on from Dusk to a more peaceful place where he can be with his wife.

Without giving too much away, the first crime scene is your own and the main aim is to have a look around and gain some information as to who the killer was. Clues can be found in many ways, such as by possessing members of the public, cops and others to either read their thoughts or by eavesdropping or even peaking at information that they may have in front of them. Sometimes you can even influence their decisions by making them think of something, allowing you to find the clues that you need. Of course you are also able to inspect crime scenes and look for clues in the normal way and once you have all of the clues you can then piece them together and move on to the next location in order to continue your investigation.

Being a ghost certainly has it’s advantages; You can’t enter any properties that don’t have an open door or window, but once inside you can go pretty much anywhere, allowing you to head through walls or even possess cat’s in order to climb trees or jump onto ledges or even head through vents. As you wander through the town or the many locations you’ll visit throughout the game you will uncover all manner of collectibles. These items allow you to discover mysteries about Salem and it’s residents. You’ll have to collect a set amount of each item in order to complete the story, but it’s worth doing as not only is it interesting but it also allows you to unlock a trophy for each story you complete.

Being a ghostly detective certainly has it’s advantages as you are also able to help other beings who are stuck in Dusk. Many of these ghosts have unresolved problems which are keeping them from moving on, so by agreeing to help them Ronan can find the clues surrounding their death and give them some much needed peace of mind. These are side missions and don’t really affect the main story, but they can be quite interesting so I’d recommend not passing them by.



One of the things you’ll notice about Murdered: Soul Suspect is that it does play the same throughout. Generally you’ll hunt for clues, try and piece together the information you have gathered to gain more information and then move on. Occasionally things will get mixed up as you pursue a ghost or try to avoid obstacles, but generally it’s a fairly similar experience.

There are a few abilities which Ronan gains as you progress which make things a little different, for instance he learns to teleport, which comes in handy when trying to get to unreachable places and he can also disrupt various items as a poltergeist, causing TV’s to switch on, phones to ring, radios to go haywire and camera to malfunction. The latter comes in very handy within the story, although you’ll need to play to find out why.

A major twist which I have yet to mention is that the game includes demons. These ghostly figures have been stuck in Dusk so long that they have become corrupt. Often they’ll take the form of hands sticking out from the floor which can grab at Ronan. At other times they’ll actually patrol the levels, moving in set patterns until you kill them. Killing the demons can be tricky as if they spot you then you’ll have to run and hide within the shadow-like ghost residue, moving between as many as you can until they eventually give in and go back to their patrol. Generally when the demons are about there’s plenty of Ghost residue which you can hide in. To kill a demon you have to get behind them, hit R2 and perform a quick-time move. This can be quite tricky if there is more than one as you’ll often be spotted, however there are ways around this, such as using a crow to distract them or by using your ability to see them through walls, allowing you to attack when their back is turned.

To be honest I’m not really a fan of the demons. I understand why they are there but to me they feel like a bit of a filler; a way to slow down the story so that you don’t get through it too fast. I really enjoyed the investigating and the ability to go back and explore any area, so to me the demons where just an unwanted distraction.

There is no question that the best part of Murdered: Soul Suspect is the story. It’s pretty gripping throughout and the ending is just incredible, with a twist that I part suspected but at the same time blew my theory out the water. The way the story is told is also pretty impressive. The acting and music is very immersive, while the graphics, despite being a little glitchy and basic at times, add a suspenseful feel to proceedings.

When starting Murdered: Soul Suspect I wasn’t really expecting too much but by the end I just wanted more. Despite not being the most technically impressive game in the world, Murdered: Soul Suspect is an immersive and impressive experience. Sometimes a game surprises you and this is one of those times.

Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)

Pros

+ Great story
+ Interesting presentation
+ Great acting

Cons

- Occasionally glitchy

Edited On 03 Jun, 2014

Comments
( 5 )
Old Timer's avatar
Old Timer 3 years ago
Great review. I wasn't sure about this but shall definitely be picking this up.
Dave 'BubbaJai' Aston's avatar
Dave 'BubbaJai' Aston 3 years ago
Another good review. Been wanting this since announcement. Can't wait to play it
SquareSofty's avatar
SquareSofty 3 years ago
I keep getting very tempted to pre order this but then something else stops me. Really strange. Why can't the X1 give demos for all games.
redtodead's avatar
redtodead 2 years ago
anyone recommend this game in some vids it looks good in others it doesn't am not sure just seems like it could get boring fast, but am shore ill get it at some point.
Dave 'BubbaJai' Aston's avatar
Dave 'BubbaJai' Aston 2 years ago
If you like the idea of a game that involves hunting for clues and using your brain and not just blasting everything that moves, then yes, I would recommend it. I have it on PS4 and I thinks it's a great game that went a little under the radar

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