gameplay 70 / story 80 / graphics 80 / sound 80
Murdered: Soul Suspect is the unusual tale of a detective who must solve his own murder from beyond the grave. I found myself intrigued by the concept behind this game from the moment of it’s announcement, and was saddened when initial reviews did not favor this game. I decided to wait for a price drop before buying this game, and as such, entered into the experience with low expectations. Before too long I found myself hooked, eager to figure out the identity of the hooded man who had been terrorizing the streets of Salem, and had murdered me the night before.
From the opening cutscene, where you witness your own murder, to the end of the game, I found myself enjoying just about every aspect of the game. In addition to solving your own murder, you will also assist the police on the case you had been working on prior to your death, tracking down a serial killer, all while avoiding a bunch of demons trying to capture your soul. Each area will present new challenges to overcome, a small side story experienced through collectables unique to that area, as well as other spirits in need of help before they can move on. As you progress through the story you will gain new abilities which will help you assist the police in the real world, such as possession, or the ability to poltergeist various objects. And for tasks that can not be completed from beyond the grave, you’ll have help from a young medium(she can see/talk with dead people) named Joy.
When you’re not looking for clues or hidden collectables, the game plays more like a stealth title than action. You can hide inside the remnants of a ghostly shadow to avoid seeker demons which will attack if you get too close, or if they see you. Rather than stealth my way through most levels I used these to wait for the opportunity to sneak up behind these seekers, and execute an attack which will pull the soul from the demon and send it back to hell. Although you technically can simply avoid these enemies, I found it easier to dispatch them entirely so that I could roam freely while seeking out collectables.
Personally I love a game with an unhealthy amount of collectable items to discover, and this game has no shortage of them, probably between 200 and 300 overall. As I mentioned earlier, each new area has its own set of collectables to gather, and if you obtain them all, a small story will be unlocked. Many of these stories seem to be tied to the overall stigma of the town, which has a past littered with accusations of witchcraft, and of burning the accused at the stake. Everything tied together really well, and I never felt like the side missions or collectable quests distracted me from the focus of the main story, but rather enhanced the main story with a rich yet dark lore.
Final Word: If you enjoy a good sci-fi mystery story, and enjoy games with a large amount of collectable items, this is the game for you. This is definitely one of those games that you should judge for yourself, while not for everyone, I loved it. I believe this game is one of those hidden gems that suffered due to poor reviews written by so called ‘journalists’ trying desperately to compare this game to other AAA titles. I found this title to be incredibly unique, and look forward to going back for a second play through to get those last few achievements.
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