One game that has had my interest since it debuted, was Murdered: Soul Suspect. Besides being a brand new IP, it’s also got an interesting premise, in that players have to solve their own murder using their ghostly skills to do so. But it’s probably just a game with vague detective work and angel gun bullets or something, right? Wrong folks. Dead wrong.
I checked out the new Square Enix game behind closed doors today, which showed what was most likely the first stage, following the death of detective Ronan O’Conner. Dead, confused and burning to discover who killed him, O’Conner soon discovers that he can interact with the living world, albeit in a very limited way.
While O’Conner may not be in heaven or hell, he does happen to be in a state of limbo, existing on a plane known as the Dusk. As a resident of this new afterlife, O’Conner also finds additional challenges in the form of the history of his city, Salem.
The Massachusetts state is steeped in mythology and folklore, some of it relating to the very real witch hunts and trials that took place there. Thanks to the centuries-old superstitions of Salem, O’Conner is also limited by which buildings that he can noclip ghost his way into, which is most likely a decent excuse from Square Enix that addresses any potential limitations of this particular game idea.
Moving on, O’Conner soon finds that he can possess people, but not control them. What he can do though, is influence their memories, transferring his own into them. O’Conner demonstrates this when he possesses a nearby witness, using her to help the officers at the scene to gain a clearer understanding as to what happened.
But O’Conner can’t rely on the living world to solve his mystery for him. Analyzing the scene of the crime, O’Conner finds several clues, which create a string of theories that he has to piece together in order to create one solid lead that unlocks more memories. It’s a nice feature, and while it isn’t horribly difficult, it still presents enough of a challenge that requires some logical thinking in order to solve.
Finding a breach point in the supernatural-proofed house where he was thrown out the window of, O’Conner heads inside and finds another ghost. A lady without any memory of where her body is, she pleads with O’Conner to help her move on with her afterlife.
Exploring the building, and now free to walk through walls, O’Conner finds a strange couple. Possessing them, O’Conner watches their memories and learn that they murdered the now expired woman, and where they hid her body. O’Conner passes this info on, allowing for the optional side mission to be completed.
So far, Dusk has been populated with only confused ghosts, but at this point, O’Conner finds himself staring down a demon. Predatory phantasms who seek to devour souls in order to be human again, O’Conner almost dies until he possesses the demon and explodes his way out from the inside.
While this may look like some cheap combat, we’re assured that it is actually best to just avoid demons and sneak past them, or come up from behind and insta-kill them only when necessary. Going head to head with one of them is suicidal, even if you happen to be dead.
Moving further upstairs, O’Conner investigates more clues, piecing together more leads before finally finding a memory that he can access, which gives him further understanding into how he died, as well as the fact that there was a witness present in the room.
So far, Murdered: Soul Suspect has been light on action, and very heavy on solving puzzles and gathering clues. It’s a refreshing game, and it could be one to watch when it eventually launches.And the fact that a gun wasn’t fired once throughout the whole stage, gives a tinge of hope for this third-person whodunnit. It’ll be out, sometime in 2014 on current-gen consoles..
Last Updated: June 12, 2013