Murdered: Soul Suspect - Game Review
Foundations and storyline
Solving the crime of your own death seems to be a pretty unique idea, a different experience among those who have explored a lot of murder-mystery games. And that is exactly what I thought when a bug of this genre like me came across Murdered Soul Suspect. Developed by Airtight Games and published by the Square Enix, the third person action-adventure game takes you into an open world stealth experience between the living and eternity where you wander as a soul trying to find the man who put you out there in the first place.
The game starts off on a quick note, explaining the past events of the protagonist, Ryan O’Connor, who is a detective from Salem, Massachusetts. Ironically, he grew up as a street thug before becoming a man of the law. A flashback video educates the gamer about his past and explains the meaning behind all the tattoos on his body, which rather are scars of his memories painted on his skin. Assigned to the case of a serial murderer named the Bell Killer, Connor, while trying to pursue him in a building, is thrown off guard and onto the streets from the top floor which results in his death. This happens in the opening scene itself where the killer ends his life by firing multiple shots to his body, thus releasing Connor’s bullet-pierced soul into the world of the dead.
Free from his body, Connor is visited by his dead wife who appears to tell him that he needs to find his killer in order to find eternal peace and join her on the other side of the bridge( the world of eternity). After delivering her message, she parts ways him with and finally the game commences as we take control of Connor’s character. A crime scene is established by the local police, but your focus first falls into a ghostly girl wandering around in the alleys. After following the girl to a backyard, Connor learns that her name is Abigail and he is briefed about the supernatural world by her.
Features and Graphics
At this point, the gamer is explained about the positives and negatives of being dead and also about the surroundings. Connor learns that there are two kinds of entities that inhabit the mystic world. There are spirits just like him who are wandering around with unfinished business to take care of and then there are demons who are stuck here forever. You will be encountering these demons often as they seem to appear out of nowhere specially in buildings they control. However, the ghouls will come to your aid when you require assistance in your investigations. Plus they also serve the purpose of fillers, engaging Connor in side quests drifting well apart from the main storyline.
While Connor can interact with the living, it’s not the same other way around well except for Joy, a young girl he discovers in a local church as part of his investigation, who witnessed Ronan's murder, and possesses the ability to see ghosts. Initially, she refuses to help him. But Connor learns that she herself is looking for her mother who was a consultant with the police on the Bell Killer case. Eventually, both of them realise about their mutual objective and star working together to pursue their common enemy.
Coming back to the subject of interaction, Connor has the power to possess people and influence their minds in order to get substantial leads in the case. It helps to get the clues and get a clearer picture of things. Of course, going ahead, his abilities increase as he encounters other specific spirits in his way. So all of your strengths have to be utilised in order to find every relevant clue that can lead you to the Bell Killer.
But there remains the biggest limitation of not being able to communicate with the living particularly when everything is transparent to you and you can do nothing about it. There are also certain buildings from where you have been barred to enter because those areas have been restricted mainly to protect the inhabitants from occult repercussions. So you can walk through walls, furniture, walk unseen among the living but not supernatural enough to breach some places I guess.
Moving to the graphics, the city of Salem has been laid out pretty well and what’s most notable about the setting is the modern day city with a dark Victorian era like atmosphere. The graphics look good on the present generation consoles, even better on the next-gens. The characters have been well rendered and the focused elements look detailed. But the detailing aspect is unsatisfying when comparing the background components. While the gameplay looks decent, the character dialogue delivery just seems like a robotic monologue, and you will notice a gameplay glitch at times—sometimes, player movements are not related to what they are talking about.
Concluding this review, without revealing any spoiler, it’s worth pointing out that the game does have a good storyline to it especially the ending where the reason behind the bullet marks to his soul is revealed and of course also the identity of the killer. But except the story, the glitches in the gameplay and lackluster build up and the actionless approach really works against it. The game isn’t quite exceptional to be honest and may leave you wanting for more. It is certainly not built to entertain a mainstream audience but its features clearly conveys the pre-intentions of the developers of this game being audience-centric.
You don’t have fast paced action to indulge in, you involve in stealth tactics. You don’t get to shoot your way or punch a face or two for that matter, but calmly and patiently build up the way to finding your killer. If you are a fan of this genre and familiar with the likes of Heavy Rain and LA Noire, it’s a definite buy as you will be delighted to experience the middle ground between Heavy Rain‘s strict linear progression of scenes and L.A. Noire‘s ill-conceived open world. For those who want to give a first hand try at this genre, this is well recommended.
- Intel CPU – Core 2 Duo E7600 3.06 Ghz
- AMD CPU - Athlon II X2 265
- Nvidia GPU - Geforce GTS 250
- AMD GPU – Radeon HD 4830 512 MB
- RAM – 4 Gb
- OS – Win Vista 32
- Direct X – 9
- Hard Disk Space – 20 Gb
- Intel CPU – Core i7 – 920 Quad 2.67 Ghz
- AMD CPU – FX 8100
- Nvidia GPU – Geforce GTX 660
- AMD GPU – Radeon R9 270
- RAM – 4Gb
- OS – Win 7 64
- Direct X – 11
- Hard Disk Space – 20 Gb
Here is the gameplay trailer.Published 20 Jul 2014, 14:11 IST