MURDERED: SOUL SUSPECT
Though intolerant of fakes such as Mediums and Psychics and their despicable lies, as they prey on vulnerable people wishing to reconnect to their loved ones – MURDERED: SOUL SUSPECT had a compelling premise that I had to check out.
The story begins with protagonist, Detective Ronan O’Conner as he is killed by the infamous ‘Bell Killer’ in Salem, Massachusetts – home of the Salem witch trials. His ghost self looks down at his own dead body and the murder mystery begins. Ronan has a brief encounter with his late wife Julia, who tells him he cannot move on until he sets to right unfinished business.
One might expect a crime mystery to be made difficult by the fact that the detective is a ghost, and they would be right but with the help of the gifted character Joy, actions and methods of mystery-solving in the game are creative and intuitive. However the interaction with items and their on-screen indicators are often unresponsive, forcing one to move Ronan back and forth for him to eventually clock onto those specific actions. As the game is built around clues and observation, this particular annoyance is prevalent throughout.
Despite prior assumptions of MURDERED: SOUL SUSPECT sporting slightly upgraded last-gen graphics, I was pleasantly surprised to see sharp impressive character models and generally detailed environments. The environment did lack the textural fidelity of next-gen and it is very evident the essential structure of the game is one built for last-gen consoles – the only improvement evident being a graphical upgrade.
A major problem I had with the game (despite it crashing 5 times) is the shallowness of character. It was an odd decision to make the protagonist and his sidekick Joy the only compelling characters, though I still did not feel they were strong enough to carry the story – everyone else is brushed in with one-dimensional strokes. All officers were morally identical as were the citizens that pepper Ronan with their unhelpful and often annoying thoughts during possession. Though I can overlook the minor point of the protagonist’s readiness to accept death, the pathetic confusing side stories we cannot pass over. One murdered young woman is found to have been killed by an elderly one for simply playing music too loud? Really? Ronan then speaks to another young woman and puzzles out that she was a victim of a boat accident and was reported to be a hero (it should be heroine) after a boat accident – despite the fact it cap-sided and she can’t swim…? Am I missing something?
Though the game has disturbing elements, the afterlife and various associated evils are inconsistent. The game would have benefited from a much darker tone as one experiences dashes of peril then long periods of relative calm.
A engrossing if not short and easy, MURDERED: SOUL SUSPECT is a compelling game that has sinister moments. It is odd that the game prevents players from returning to Salem upon completion of the game, even though true to story one may not return. The game took me roughly 4 hours to complete and it unfortunately has no replay value at all. The game is a one-shot wonder that I recommend you pick up second hand.