Developer: Airtight Games
Reviewed by: Aaron Matthew Holmes
The Unique Beginning
In all RPG games I’ve personally played, never have I encountered a game quite like Murdered: Soul Suspect. As the hero or heroine, you gain allies, you fight enemies, you watch as allies fall, and in the end, you always overcome perilous dangers and defeat the final powerful boss at the end to emerge victorious. In Soul Suspect, you don’t even get to begin the game without being brutally murdered in cold blood by a merciless serial killer whose victims have no relation to one another, and appear to be randomly chosen by no apparent means.
Step into the shoes as Ronan O’Connor, a fugitive and a detective. Initially raised on the streets but finally making a name for himself years later, Ronan fell victim to the “Bell Killer”, the mysterious killer who’s been terrorizing the town of Salem. As Ronan, well, Ronan’s ghostly self, you’ll explore the town of Salem and continuously follow clues as to who the “Bell Killer” is. You’ll also end up helping out others who have died, either at the hands of the serial killer, or unknown circumstances that you must learn about to help them move on from the Earthly realm.
Playing the game
Starting Soul Suspect, the game puts the player into a position where they must use both control sticks to perform various tasks such as opening a door and aligning their ghostly form with their physical body that seems to still be alive. The tasks feel a bit tedious at first, and you get the hang of it pretty quickly, but this seems to be the only point in the game in which you have to try and be so precise with the controls.
After the initial intro to the game, witnessing your own murder and from an eerie point of view, the game truly begins and immediately puts you into a position of investigating a crime scene… your own.
You must traverse the area looking for clues, including possessing bodies of those in the area to piece together clues.
What I’ve noticed in my time playing; is that the game doesn’t seem to mind if you pick up all the evidence or not, but it does require you to have all the important evidence which helps in solving individual cases. One of the issues in collecting evidence, is that it’s not always easy to find all the necessary hints or hidden objects that allow you to solve a case. Searching for and finding a clue should be hard, I will admit that, but I don’t believe that some should be nearly impossible to find, no matter how many times you circle the investigation area.
Investigating a case
Throughout various investigations that the player comes across, there are usually a set number of clues to find, most of which are scattered around the area others can only be discovered after possessing someone.
A couple of minor frustrations include:
1. Not being able to find every single clue for certain investigations. I searched areas high and low on numerous occasions and just couldn’t find the last remaining clue or clues in some cases, and came close to using video playthroughs, however, I could usually complete an investigation from what I already collected.
2. There was apparently a “rank” system within the game that was not made use of properly and was also not explained well enough. When solving a case, when piecing together what happened and you’re given various hints to recollect upon, selecting the wrong one would lower your rank (highest being 3, lowest being 1) or not selecting a clue in the right order.
It felt as if this “rank” system could’ve been implemented to reward the player in some form, but it never did, and it never negatively affected the game.
This game really gets the player into the game and trying their best to solve each and every mystery, including the mystery of their own death. The game does have issues even after being installed, it will have moments of “lag” when transitioning between areas from the central area/hub.
The game also features numerous “hiding” spots to hide from demons, however, they’re not used efficiently, or at all in the central area of the game. Additionally, the demons only ever spawn during certain gameplay points and never re-spawn once defeated, this takes away from any immersion or fear of having another death.
Other than everything I’ve mentioned above, Murdered: Soul Suspect is definitely a good game to rent or buy if you really enjoy it. Especially if you’re into investigation/mystery games. The story, music, and constant twists within the plot will have you sitting at the edge of your seat by the time you finish the game!