Posted: February 26
Oh dear, I'm dead - pretty much the main mechanic of the game. MURDERED: Soul Suspect
starts out with the death of the main character who goes by the name of Ronan, a local Detective investigating a murder. It's not the most unique premise out there, but it handles it in such a way that makes it intriguing, but can ultimately fall a little short thanks to the way the game itself is structured.
A Clean Cut Ghost
While Ronan and the other main characters look pretty good and the environments themselves look pretty top notch, I can't really say the same for the NPCs. I noticed they re used qutite a LOT of NPCs without as much as trying to hide it somehow, which can definately break the immersion this game tries to set in with it's dark and drab setting. The lighting is top notch also, and really helps give the game the sense that you're in some ghostly world in an already dark setting.
The environments, as stated above, look very nice and I really like how they themselves tell their own stories because of the way the game places just random objects in an area. You can have, for example, a train inside a museum to let the player know that in the past, where the museum stands now used to be a regularly used train track and the game's chock full of little things like that, as well as it uses flat and ghostly images that sorta just fade out as you get closer to them to help accentuate that you are indeed in a ghost world. It's really good.
Even greatly influencing the atmosphere the game has, is it's sound design. You can occasionally hear ghostly wails in the backgrounds, and the game is very light on music, only really playing it during tense moments like when there are Demons around, it knows when and when not to play music and it handles it pretty well. Voice acting is pretty par for the course, Ronan and the main characters sound decent, but some of the VA's for the NPCs can be pretty hit or miss.
Solving the Case Murdered: Soul Suspect
is pretty much a glorified adventure game. The very linear structure the game has is done to help accentuate the story, making it feel actually more like a 3D Visual Novel than an Adventure game. The game is pretty much divided up by "stage" sections and an overworld (The Town). Each "Stage" has it's own set of collectibles that, once fully completed, gives you insight into a usually very dark and grim backstory into those items you collect as well as having it's own story section and more in general collectibles.
What can feel detrimental to the game's pacing, is the way each stage is handled. It always ends up being a straight up Move from Point A to Point B sort of ordeal while exploring through every nook and cranny to find collectibles.
As far as mechanics go, the game can sometimes feel a little messy since there's no map to indicate an overall layout of the area you're in, thankfully, no one area looks exactly like another so it's usually easy to tell when you're going the wrong way - you can also walk through certain walls, and railings on stairs but not all of them. You can also posses people and read their thoughts (random NPCs) but sometimes they just end up repeating lines, other times, for story purposes, you can posses people to get over obstacles, you can posses objects to cause noises and distract NPCs and you can influence people to think about certain events by using clues. Clues are items you inspect during an "Investigation" phase which can be used occasionally only during said investigation, or sometimes long term throughout the whole game.
That being said, the only challenge this game does bring, is some half baked stealth sections involving "demons", creatures that live to suck out a spirit's soul and re-kill them I guess? These sections can be very tense thanks to the musical cues and the great wails they tend to do, but they merely serve to give the game padding and often can break up the pace of the story. The demons are also never used in any meaningful way to complement the story. Murdered
is a pretty fun and short adventure game that can clock you in anywhere from 4-12 hours depending on how much you decide to focus on collectibles. There's no real punishing methods the game uses outside of demons catching you, it has a fairly uneven pace that can otherwise dull a pretty nice Murder thriller story.
+ Amazing atmosphere + Great sound design accentuates further the atmosphere + Decent Voice Work
+ Interesting and fun story + Fun mechanics that makes you feel like a ghost.
- Uneven Pacing - Game is on the short side, story alone clocks in at about 4 hours or so - Repeated use of NPC models can break immersion. -Demons serve no purpose to the story and are used as padding.
Overall, if you can pick this game up at a decent price range, it's definately worth a playthrough if you enjoy Murder/Crime Thrillers, outside of that, this has very limited appeal.