Sunday, 12 April 2015

Murdered: Soul Suspect Design Review

Murdered: Soul suspect is a third person ghost game putting you in the shoes of ex-criminal now detective Ronan who is murdered in the opening cut scene in Salem Massachusetts. Now dead, Ronan must figure out how to stop the killer with the help of a teenage girl. Unsurprisingly this game has links to the infamous Salem Witch Trials. I've played the Blackwell games by Wadjet Eye Games and this game is quite similar although in this game.

What I liked:

Feels exactly like what a ghost game- The game's overall mechanics such as the ability to work through normal walls but not ghost walls, influence people to do things and even possess cats. It just feels right.
Solid voice acting- Very spot on solid voice acting.

What I didn't like:
Straightforward- The game is a bit too linear and straight forward. I realise this is a staple of the adventure genre but the puzzles and investigations were a bit too easy to solve. You just need to spot all the evidence and answer a simple quiz. Wasn't really challenging.

Very short- The game is very short and can be completed iin 5 to 6 hours.

Too many collectibles- You have these collectibles you can collect to get narrated ghost stories and if you miss one, you won't be able to get the story. And there are a lot of them! What's worse is that there is no radar and some are only available in missions so if you miss them you can't back for them!

Combat- Adequate but sort of pointless because you have to creep around and 'stealth kill' demons. If you get spotted you have to sprint away. Most other reviews mention this and it really is boring.

Map- This game lacks a map unless you pre-order. Which is silly. To be fair, the town area isn't big enough to really need a map and never really got lost but deliberately chopping off the map and making it 'pre-order' just doesn't sit right.

Lack of innovation-The problem is not what it does in my opinion, the problem is that it never truly expands on the gameplay to become something more. Both the Blackwell series and Episode 5 of Tales of Monkey Island where Guybrush gets turned into a zombie and ghost does more to push the ghost adventure game genre in terms of puzzles way more than this does. For example, why not have the ability to travel into the ghost past? Or have lots of interesting side quests?  It's strange to think that these two lower budget games can be compared favourable to a AAA game like this by a large corporate like Square Enix.

Overall I enjoyed Murdered Soul Suspect as I enjoy adventue games. Its an enjoyable interesting if straight forward adventure game and worth my time. Its worth a few bucks (like in the recent Square Enix Humble Bundle where I got it from) and its an interesting tale. I would love to see a real large ghost city where you play as a ghost detective and have to solve many more mysteries and side quests than the handful here. Unfortunately it didn't sell well so I doubt we'll get a straight sequel. Maybe someone might be able to make a spiritual sequel (pun totally intended).