Murdered: Soul Suspect – A Video Game Review.

It has been a while since I’ve written a review for a game I’ve completed, so today, I’m going to share my thoughts on a game that took me by surprise- Murdered: Soul Suspect.

In the game, you play as Ronin, a detective attempting to solve the Bell Killer case, in the town of Salem. Unfortunately, Ronin finds himself joining the growing ranks of the serial killer’s victims but is stuck as a ghost until he uncovers the truth and reveals the killer’s identity. Overall, the story is what you would expect from a murder mystery- an unlikely partnership, exploration of various abandoned places and enough plot twists to keep things interesting. I will say the ending did catch me slightly by surprise, in a good way, as I thought I had solved the case but the writers decided to add one final plot twist, which was pretty satisfying to see play out as there clues scattered throughout the game that hinted at the ending.

So, how does a ghost solve a murder? Well, Ronin may not be able to talk to the living, he can talk to other spirits and there are plenty of restless souls to talk to. Ronin can also manipulate the world through his possession and manipulation abilities. I will admit the fun of the possession ability does wear off quite quickly, as the thoughts of the living tend to repeat themselves quite often. Much of the game consists of you exploring various locations, finding clues and then piecing together the clues to solve the mystery. As far as gameplay goes, it is pretty simplistic. The developers did try to add a little more depth to the game, by including demons- ghosts that have stayed in this world too long and constantly seek out other spirits to sate their hunger. In order to deal with these demons, Ronin must move stealthily behind the demon and perform a quick time event execution. I’ll be honest, I found the demon parts of the game annoying and just served to slow the game’s pacing down. The gameplay, as a whole, is pretty simple and can feel a little repetitive at times however it has been done well, so I guess this is a case of if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Where Murdered: Soul Suspect does excel is with the atmosphere it creates. This is not a horror game but it does a great job of creating an unsettling feeling in many of its locations. Firstly, it is set in the town of Salem, which is an ideal setting for a ghost story and the developers do a good job of incorporating Salem’s history in the story. The game also has a good variety of locations from your standard apartment building to a ghost filled cemetery. Each location has items, ghosts and even little scenes that hint at that particular location’s history, which makes Salem feel like an old town haunted by its past.  The developers do a great job of balancing out the creepier locations, such as the hospital with a location like the church. This means that even if you don’t enjoy being creeped out, you will have some segments of the game that you can enjoy.

The final aspect of the game that adds to the world are it’s collectibles. There are a lot of collectibles to find- over one hundred and fifty of them. These collectibles do have a function as they add to Salem’s history, the various characters’ backstories and add detail to the Bell Killer investigation. My personal favourites were the ghost stories. In each of the locations, there were location specific collectibles. If you collect all of those collectibles in the locations, you will unlock a ghost story tied to the location. I really enjoyed the church’s and the cemetery’s stories but all of them added to the town’s worldbuilding. In fact, all of the collectibles do this which makes hunting them down less of a chore and more an important side activity.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with Murdered: Soul Suspect. It is the perfect game for someone who isn’t a fan of horror games but wants an appropriately themed game to play in October. It isn’t an overly long game but it is long enough to tell it’s story and do the story justice. The gameplay is the weakest part of the game as it feels repetitive in places and the demons felt like the developers were trying to pad out the game time. Despite its flaws, I had a great experience with the game and it is a shame that it wasn’t as positively received at the time of its release, as I would have loved to have seen this world explored further in a sequel. If you are looking for a detective themed game or a spooky mystery, I would highly recommend you give Murdered: Soul Suspect a go.

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