Stabby stabby fun
gameplay 75 / story 99 / graphics 95 / sound 95
DISCLAIMER: Gamelust was given a copy of Murderous Pursuits from Blazing Griffin to review.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Ship. It was a superb Clue-style game that had me hooked for hours. When I heard Blazing Griffin (the people behind The Ship and its remaster) were launching a “spiritual successor” to the murder-mystery game my urge to thrust a 6-inch dagger into my unsuspecting quarry suddenly sprung to life.
In Murderous Pursuits, you play as one of eight dangerous characters onboard the HMCS Brittanic, a time-traveling ship on its way to the Queen’s Jubilee; Mr. X has other plans as he seeks a cohort to join his devious operations but how would he find the one? Make them butcher each other until one comes out on top, of course. This is the premise for every match you’ll play in Murderous Pursuits.
Speaking of matches, Blazing Griffin has created a textbook example of a matchmaking system; loading screens are quick, and bots are placed into the game making it easy for players to jump in without waiting for all eight human beings to smack that ready button. Bots too easy? Nope. In fact, I often found bots performing better than humans solely because they could naturally execute their kills; this doesn’t mean they don’t mess up, boy they mess up hard sometimes thanks to their programming.
Progression is a welcome feature; a simple leveling system is present and acts as a way to measure how far you’ve come in the game. Each match rewards you based on your performance, if it’s your first match of the day and how long you’ve stayed on that particular server. Honestly, I craved more from the system as no rewards come from logging on every day or spending your time with the same enemies. This being said, you can unlock different colors for your outfit using favor (points you earn in the game), but there’s no automatic way to tell how many you have.
Speaking of content there are only four maps all taking place in the same ship contrast to The Ship which took place across multiple ships (and even an island!); I’m not saying this game should copy it’s older sibling but returning to that picturesque island again would be a dream. Maps were rich with detail, corridors were filled with fire axes and ATM machines, rooms had wardrobes, beds and some even had an ensuite! Murderous Pursuits lacks all of this; the attractive graphics and modern feel don’t compensate for this loss of content. Maybe I’m expecting too much? Perhaps, but it really does feel like BlazingGriffin had to water down their game as if the TTB were keeping tabs on them.
Enough content bashing, let’s move onto the actual specifics of how the game works. Each round sees you and seven other players compete against each other to earn favor in matches lasting 10 minutes. Stealth is crucial to both surviving and drawing out your victims and luckily Murderous Pursuits gives you a range of skills at your disposal, each with their own unique way of carrying out your dirty deeds. For example, the reveal skill scans everyone in a short radius and informs you if they’re your hunter and/or quarry. Flash deploys a flashbang that blinds everyone in the area, perfect for escaping that pointy knife or a stiff slap on the cheek.
Stealth also comes into play with a unique detection system that’s based off a timer. The concept is if you stay outside vignettes (areas where events such as socializing or eating pies take place) for more than 10 seconds you’ll be ‘exposed’ revealing your position on the map to your hunter(s) and your quarry; this means constant stopping to witness a death or warming around a bin fire in the lower decks is a must (unless you want to make it troublesome for yourself) before carrying out the messy deed. Vignettes are also only one of the two ways you can freely move in this game; actions are played out through a smooth, satisfying animation. A simple point and click are enough to trigger the animation and I found myself inadvertently pointing my knife at the wrong quarry wasting precious round time. You know what else wastes time? Police; the bobbies patrol upper decks making it increasingly difficult to execute your quarry but they can also play to your advantage, acting as a shield against incoming hunters.
All in all Murderous Pursuits has been a mixed experience for me as it felt like a return trip to a game I love but instead, I received a completely different game which while not being equally as fulfilling it was still a worthwhile trip onboard a Victorian-esque spaceship traveling to the Queen’s Jubilee (whoever came up with story deserves an OBE from the Queen herself). My final thoughts? Murderous Pursuits is charming, competitive fun worth both your time and money.
Did you enjoy this review? Want to post your own review? Anyone can report the news, or post a review on gamelust.com, AND have a chance to become featured on our homepage! All you need to do is log in or register with us and add your voice today!
You must be logged in to leave a comment