Geplaatst: 14 december
Murdered: Soul Suspect is a very intriguing noir-style adventure-game and experience. You experience + play the game as Ronan - who is a cop that gets killed by this serial killer only known as The Bell Killer that he's chasing; becomes a ghost; and is trying to find out who killed him + why. Not only that, but Ronan is also trying to find out why the Killer has been also killing people. The game is set in Salem, Massachusetts - which is widely known historically for the Salem Witch Trials; and is an excellent setting for this game's story. Throughout the game, Ronan is on this mission of finding the killer - and embarks on this excellent story that any fan of noir, thrillers, and murder-mysteries should experience just for that alone.
Ronan is a ghost. With that, Ronan comes by some interesting abilities. Ronan can jump into their bodies and possess them. Ronan can influence other NPC's to do things, once he has possessed them. Ronan can even possess cats and even more around in their body. Ronan can read their minds. Ronan later on can even teleport to hard to reach areas or out of danger, similar to the Blink ability in Dishonored for Corvo + Daud. In one of the most legit uses of letting your character clip through walls, doors, and even other human beings. You can manipulate objects like a poltergeist - such as TV's (so they go static) and printers (and knock the paper out) to distract enemies. All of this is at first very odd and strange - but this is also makes this game interesting, unique, very cool, and very different; especially once you get used to it.
Unfortunately, there are stealth sequences in the game. Not that this game needed any, since they feel so half-baked and are, for the most part, not fun. A great concept is in place: since ghosts and their residue linger, you can teleport to these spots to hide. You have to avoid demons, who when nearby have a lethal scream that can damage you and even possibility kill you. If you can get behind the enemy, you can attack them and one-shot kill them - which feels like a Quick-Time Event that tells you what button + movement on the gamepad (yes, I played this with an X360 gamepad - by the way; and it played fine with that). In theory, this all sounds pretty cool - but, it really isn't. It's not executed that well. Unfortunately, these elements feel half-baked and you can die very easily. Not only that, but like many games with auto-saves, don't be surprised if the game reloads at place that's a bit away from you'd have liked the save to have been at; and/or have to do a certain section over and over many times that really shouldn't need to be done again b/c the save was so poorly placed (i.e. before a cut-scene, at a long-winded walk before you reach a location where the saved should've been).
Sometimes, you'll be escorting a character safely from one spot to another - and your objective is to move + manipulate objects like a poltergeist, just to distract them so the NPC can move from one location to another. These elements are very cool and really play into the ghost theme that the game is going on in this game. These certainly were much better than the stealth elements than were in the game.
When investigating crime-scenes or locations, whether on the main quest or the very few story-based side-quests - you often have to find a handful or so of clues, more or less, in the game-world or specific game area. Sometimes, you then have to also answer a few questions (that you're asking yourself - or well, the game is asking, as you're piecing the story and events together); and come by the right answer to push the plot + stort forward.
When investigating: you are scored from 1-3 badges. Don't make mistakes, you get 3 badges. Make another mistake, 2 badge-score. Make more than that, 1-star score - no matter what. There's no real punishment for failing - there's no reload screen for failing; and/or you aren't really aren't scored with a total score on how well or poorly you did. So, there's no real consequences for failing - you can pick the wrong answer, get a 1 score, and not even worry about your score. You could guess, if you can't figure out the answer - narrowing it down via trial and error, if you feel so inclined.
There are plenty of collect-a-thons for side quests. From finding info about your character, to seeing old memories, and other things - the game is loaded w/ collectibles. Many of these, they actually do reveal more about the Salem setting, Salem's history, the game-world, the killer, and the characters in the story. So, if you want to get the most out of this game's story, setting, atmosphere, and characters - you'll likely want to find a good deal of these. Finding this stuff certainly actually does enhance the already interesting, fantastic & excellent story.
Performance on this game with most things on higher settings on my PC (i7 950; 1 GB VRAM GeForce GTX 560 Ti; 16 GB RAM) at 1080p was a bit over the place, frequently jumping between 35-60 frames. Locking VSync On to half-refresh rate via the NVidia Panel certainly solved this problem, keeping the game regularly not budging at all from 30 frames per second. While the graphics in this game do look good, they certainly are not the best technical quality that is out there.
After the 10 hours or so I spent with this game, according to Steam - the mystery was over. I came to the game's conclusion - thrilled with the plot, story, game-world, setting, and characters. But, I was certainly not thrilled and often frustrated with the game's half-baked stealth elements. While I do wish the game had more story-based side quests + that the game's (so-called) "puzzles" were a bit harder, I still came away really enjoying a good deal of the actual experience itself. If only the gameplay elements - namely, the stealth elements - were improved quite a bit (or removed entirely), we'd certainly be talking about the best adventure game of 2014. Fans of murder-mysteries, the supernatural, and noir - if you can tolerate the not-so-great stealth elements, this game most definitely should be experienced alone for its setting, story + character elements.
Final Grade = B-