Murdered: Soul Suspect™ (NA)
Third party DRM: SteamThis game requires a free Steam account to play.
THE HARDEST MURDER TO SOLVE IS YOUR OWN.
Murdered: Soul Suspect is a supernatural detective thriller which challenges players to solve possibly the hardest case of all… their own murder.
When Ronan O’Connor, a detective with a chequered past, gets caught up in a violent burglary, his life is brought to an untimely end by a brutal and relentless killer.
Shocked to find himself in the afterlife, his only escape from the limbo world of ‘Dusk’ is to uncover the truth behind his killer, track him down and bring him to justice using his detective instinct and new-found supernatural abilities.
As Ronan, you have the freedom to explore the modern-day town of Salem: its New England-style wooden houses, narrow streets, gothic churches and mental asylum for clues. Battle demonic spirits to save your soul and uncover the shocking revelations about who is responsible for your death.
A fairly engaging Gothic mysteryfireproven | July 8, 2014 | See all fireproven's reviews »
The ambition of the premise exceeds the game's grasp, but it's still a relatively involving way to spend the roughly 8 - 10 hours it takes to complete the main storyline as well as side missions (which are sparse and quite brief). Set in an interesting -- if not particularly imaginative -- locale (Salem, Massachusetts, USA, best known for the Salem Witch Trials, a key element of the storyline), the atmosphere is suitably dark, mildly morbid and blue-tinted; apparently the sun never rises in Salem, at least not for ghosts.
Exploring the locations is a great deal of the game's charm, but is slightly marred by a game mechanic which is not always clearly defined; the protagonist, deceased detective Ronan O'Connor, is able to pass through some walls and yet not others. A vague glow is meant to give indication about where you can and cannot traverse, but it's inconsistent at best, and when coupled with somewhat weak waypointing it can lead to a great deal of frustrating backtracking. That said, as far as being lost goes, the game's representation of Salem is certainly not a bad place for aimless wandering.
The voice-acting is quite excellent and exceeds the other areas of the game in quality, although given the premise the dialogue is well-written and surprisingly low on ham. Being an undead detective leads to some of the game's most interesting moments: helping other specters to solve the mystery of their murders is quite rewarding, but unfortunately there are only three such missions in the game. The ability to unearth ghost stories by collecting the remnants of "artifacts" is a nice touch, as some of the stories are genuinely spooky and delivered fantastically by the voice actors.
The actual crime-solving is quite rudimentary. There is no particular possibility of failure; if you incorrectly guess which piece of evidence is most relevant to the case at hand, the game will quite obligingly afford you endless opportunities to try, try again. Searching for clues is more difficult than the puzzles themselves, but not in a fulfilling sense; repeatedly moving your mouse over textures in search of a clue trigger is not exactly thrilling nor thought-provoking. Considering that this is one of the main elements of the game, it gives the impression of a semi-lame duck: the developers clearly had a great many wonderful ideas, and lacked either the time, resources or know-how to properly execute them in the final package. "Vision unfulfilled" sums up the game in a nutshell.
Overall, I enjoyed my time in Murdered: Soul Suspect, but would only recommend it at reduced price. If atmosphere and storytelling interests you more than crime-solving, this is a pool into which you should wade at some point. But if the thought of carefully unearthing and piecing together evidence is the main draw for you, you are likely to find the entire ordeal lackluster.
A failed attempt at horror/crime solving.Baconation | June 14, 2014 | See all Baconation's reviews »
It takes a simple idea of finding out who murdered you and treats you like a child all the way through. The puzzles are extremely easy to solve, it almost always tells you what to press. The demons that hunt you are irritating and only serve the purpose of lengthening the game play.
I really wanted to like this game but I just can't, it's L.A. Noire except extremely linear, easy, and uninteresting.