Murdered: Soul Suspect is a homicide detective game with a twist, developed by Airtight Games. You are actually the murder victim and you have to solve your own death. As someone who enjoys solving a good mystery it was a no brainer for me to pick this game up. That, and I was completely intrigued by the whole concept. You play as cop, Ronan O’Conner, in the haunted town of Salem. The whole game takes place over the night of your murder, bringing with it the spooky atmosphere of a night in a town with a haunting history. The experience is elevated again when you remember that Salem is a real town in Massachusetts, well known for its history of Witch Trials.
I found the atmosphere of this game to be absolutely perfect. Walking around in a different plane, you see not only the present but also ghosts of the past. The way the town is now and the way used to be. It is eerie and honestly very creepy sometimes, but it is also fascinating and it didn’t put me off exploring the world. Well, not at first anyway. Add this to the noir, mystery vibe and I honestly think they nailed it. I would say there are definitely horror themes. Pretend you are in a horror movie and list everywhere that you don’t want to go. I dare bet that most of the places on your list are places that you will visit in this game. But it isn’t a horror game. I seriously don’t do horror, but I managed to get through it. Only just, mind you, but I’ll come back to that a bit later.
The story is divided into chapters where you enter an area (most of the time only available for that mission) to progress the story, then between the missions you will have access to the semi open world of the town. Most missions consist of getting from A-B safely, and investigating. I LOVED investigating. I love finding clues then putting them together. I loved exploring and finding hidden secrets. If that was solely what this game was about then I would have adored it. I loved the collectibles in this game, they really gave a purpose to exploring. Almost everywhere that you can go there are collectibles and sometimes there were even puzzles to get to them. Not only that but the collectibles were interesting. Each unlocking a piece of history of your character, or other characters, or the town itself. It’s one of the first games that I have actively gone hunting for collectibles without a guide and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, there is a downside though. If you don’t get all of the collectibles as you go then you will have to play the whole game again. This particularly annoyed me because in almost every section I had missed ONE collectible. I thought to myself ‘I’ll go back and get it later’… only you can’t go back and get it later, unless it is in the main town. Even then, once you have finished the final mission the game is over. On the bright side, your collectibles transfer over to your second play-through. So, even though you have to play the whole game again, you don’t have to re-find every single one, only the ones you missed. I personally would have no hesitation to play through a second time if it wasn’t for one thing that almost spoiled the whole game for me. Demons.
You learn pretty early on that demons can be found roaming around the ghost world, and if they see you they are a bitch to escape. The aim is to sneak up behind them and execute them but that is sometimes easier said than done. To be honest, they were an annoyance at best, at worst they almost made me quit the game. It is not like they are that difficult, but they completely ruined my mindset while playing this game. When there were no demons I thoroughly enjoyed searching every nook and cranny for collectables. However, when you hear that awful scream you know they are there and you are going to have to spend some time getting rid of them. As I mentioned above, I did not buy this game to kill demons and I did not buy this game for any kind of horror. I bought it because I wanted to play a detective game and solve a mystery. If they didn’t exist I would have finished and platinumed the game months ago, but I honestly never want to deal with those demons again. It is very annoying because I really do want to see the rest of the ghost stories. I wish they had never implemented them into the game, it would have been better off without them, they just weren’t fun.
The technical side of this game is where it is let down in my opinion. If you enter the clues menu, it tells you your current objective. Till the very end of the game, my objective was stuck on one of the first. I was afraid that when I turned the game off that the autosave may not have worked but it did, although the objective never updated. That was just a minor issue I had. The game is very buggy. One time it froze and I was just about to force my PS4 off but it started working again. Sometimes collectibles weren’t registering and the prompt to kill the demons wasn’t appearing. Also, whenever I came back to the game after turning it off, it gave me the tutorial messages for the menu features every single time. It does get quite annoying if you are playing through a lot of sittings.
I enjoyed the story of this game very much. From the opening scene, showing us Romans past, I thought it was beautifully done and I was sold. Throughout the game I kept going back and forth in my mind who I thought the killer was, then in the end it still surprised me which is something I value so much in a story. I thought the characters were all interesting and I just really enjoyed the direction the story went. The ONE issue I had was I wish the Epilogue scene was slightly longer, but that doesn’t matter too much since I can still use my imagination. It is a really nice mystery and I urge everyone who enjoys detective games to play, despite its flaws.
Overall, this game is all about exploring and investigating, uncovering mysteries and helping people, with some stealth involved, all in a supernatural yet realistic setting. If that sounds up your ally then I urge you to play. Especially since this game often goes on sale for £5 or less, you can’t go wrong.
Have you played? Did you enjoy it? Did you guess the killer? Did you hate the demons as much as I did?