In Murdered: Soul Suspect you play as Ronan O’ Connor, an imperfect ex-con turned detective whose whole body is covered in tattoos that depict his life’s story. From the very beginning you see that this is going to be a rather brutal story with a killer that shows no mercy.
The basic premise of the game is that you are murdered and you are supposed to try to find your killer in order to pass over into the light. What makes the storytelling so eery is that the setting is Salem, Massachusetts and uses history, ghosts, sound and lore to unnerve players.
As a ghost you are able to pass through most things except for objects that have been consecrated, which I found to be a clever way to solve the problem of just walking through everything. You’re able to posses people and even cats to help you further your cause.
Even though you can do side investigations, collect crazy stories, poltergeist electronics and vanquish demons, none of these things make the gameplay particularly exciting especially once you’ve done them a few times. I didn’t feel engaged while I was playing because there didn’t feel like there was any except if you chose to vanquishing the demons because they could be ruthless if you weren’t careful.
I don’t think the developers where able to decide which direction they wanted to take this game and the overall gameplay suffered because of it. The indecision on whether to make this a sort of open world/free roam, action, adventure detective, and/or puzzler made what had the potential to be a great game a rather mediocre game. I’m not sure if the idea was to try to please the fans of multiple genres but I think by trying to cram so many elements together it ended up diluting the really creative concept of the game.
Bottom Line: I am disappointed with the indecisiveness in what type of game this was trying to be; there seemed to be so much squandered potential. I wish that the commitment was made to this being a detective game because it just didn’t feel like it; most of the time I felt as if I was being led by the hand and never had the option to change the difficulty.
This review is based on a retail copy of Murdered: Soul Suspect for the PC which was provided by Square-Enix.