Murdered: Soul Suspect is a game created by Airtight Games and published by Square-Enix for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4. Murdered: Soul Suspect puts the player in the shoes of Ronan O’Connor, a detective for the Salem Police Department. Ronan is thrown out a window and killed while investigating the Bell Killer and must resolve his unfinished business to be able to join his wife on the other side. Let’s see if we can Sherlock our way through a ghostly world full of lost souls, demons, and mystery.
Murdered: Soul Suspect is one of those games that is driven by its story elements. If it’s an action/mystery game you’re looking for, this is not that game. The only actionable events in the game primarily occur as demon exorcisms which you accomplish by ‘ninja-ing’ yourself behind a demon and then a short, but simple quick-time event (QTE) to finish the job. In the realm of conventional action, there isn’t any. That wasn’t the goal for the game though so let’s not judge it too harshly.
Mechanically, Murdered: Soul Suspect is very simplistic. The player spends much of their time running through walls, once inside a building, exploring the lives of the living within. While exploring the environment within a building or the streets of Salem, Ronan will happen upon other souls that are trapped as well. The majority of these spirits are trapped here because they died under strange circumstances and don’t understand what happened, how it happened, where their body is, etc. Ronan, being the clever gum-shoe he is, can help them solve the mystery holding them in the corporeal world and watch them pass on in front of him.
The storyline of the game is nothing exciting. The story we’re presented with has been done numerous times in other forms of media. Ronan is murdered while tracking the Bell Killer; he doesn’t realize right away that he has died, but once he does the character has a hard time with acceptance. Ronan’s death is finalized when the killer comes down to his body and puts 7 rounds into his chest. Ronan is presented with the stereotypical ‘white light’ and must head towards it. He meets his wife, who died some time ago, to be informed that he is at a bridge and cannot join her until he completes his unfinished business. It’s immediately apparent that the unfinished business is his own death.
The title of the game is an interesting choice. Murdered: Soul Suspect. For the majority of the game, your suspects aren’t souls. You don’t discover the truth of the matter until the final act of the game. Beyond the non-enigmatic story, Ronan gets a very basic instruction of how to interact as a ghost in the world. The down-side, this also gives the player a very basic instruction. You can suddenly exercise demons, but there is no explanation as to how you are able to do this; given Ronan’s lack of knowledge, it seems inappropriately gifted to the character.
Graphically, the game looks pretty good. It’s what I would expect out of a game published by Square Enix. The ability to move through certain objects keeps you immersed in the world. There is a lot of Salem to explore and Airtight Games did a good job with blending the modern themes of Salem now with the spirit world building of a more Puritan Salem. These feature lend to the ‘soul’ of Salem and many of the myths and legends that surround the city. Investigation allows you to take a look at some nicely detailed items to flesh out the overall mystery.
It’s that time…the breakdown time:
Overall, I would give the game a 7/10. Murdered: Soul Suspect accomplishes everything it set out to do mechanically. Simple enough to get a grasp on, but definitely not packed with actionable events. The story is the biggest let down. Most of the attributed reason being because it’s been done before. They didn’t break some sort of new ground and even if it was a used story, it just wasn’t compelling. Graphically, the game looks good and has a lot of great features that make all parts of the game environment unique. If you like story driven games, this one is 100% that, but there are better selections for better story’s out there. At the end of the day, maybe give this a rental, but it won’t torture your soul to give this a pass for something better.