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Unpopular Opinion – I Loved Murdered Soul Suspect

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I rarely play Square Enix games apart from the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series, but there was something in Murdered: Soul Suspect that caught my eye right from the start. According to pre-reviews, it had caught a lot other peoples’ eyes as well, and the game was getting some pretty sweet hype. Fast forward to the game’s release and suddenly the reviews that were being churned out were sub par at best. Obviously it didn’t stop me from purchasing it anyway, because everyone has their own opinion.

In fact, all I kept thinking about was how many of my friends completely hated LA Noire, meanwhile I still swear by that game. I much preferred gathering clues, interviewing  witness and suspects, and using evidence to back things up. It’s probably exactly why I also fell in love with the Ace Attorney series too. So I was certainly willing to check out Murdered: Soul Suspect for myself and make my own decision on whether the game was worth my time or not.

To be fair, let’s keep in mind that I’m not one for first person shooters, or quite frankly any shooters for that matter, which might be another reason why I gravitate towards games that may differ. And this game certainly differs from any game I’ve ever gotten my hands on.

Murdered: Soul Suspect is based in Salem, Massachusetts. If you’re a history buff like I am, you’ll know that the Salem Witch Trials are a very bloody period of our country. Many women and men were brutally murdered after being falsely accused of witchcraft. Obviously, with the game set in Salem, there is bound to be some connections, and the more you explore the town, the more stories you’ll unlock. Plus you’ll gather trophies in the process.

murderedsoulsuspectmurderIn any case, Murdered opens up with your character, Ronan, a cop who tracking down a serial killer dubbed the Bell Killer, getting thrown out a window by the murderer himself, and then also getting shot seven times. A bit overkill, am I right?  Naturally, you then become a ghost. Unfortunately, you are unable to move on to the great beyond because you have unfinished business: solving the case of your murderer, and in doing so, solving the Bell Killer case.

The interesting thing about this game is that due to the fact that you’re a ghost you can literally walk through a lot of the scenery. However, because Ronan is in the in-between,  he can now also see remnants of times passed, and these things cannot be simply bypassed.  You can’t also just enter any house. A door or window has to be open in order for you to enter, and then it all becomes fair game. Think of it like a vampire almost: You can’t enter unless invited.

Aside from walking through walls, you can also possess humans. Once possessing them you can read their minds, listen in on conversations, influence their thoughts to get information, and even peek at things through their eyes. Doing any combination of these things will help you gather even more evidence that will be filed away for later use.

murderedsoulsuspectcluesThey are plenty of crime scenes to investigate. The more clues you gather, the easier it is to deduce what exactly is occurring. There will be times you have to put together a series of events. When put together correctly, you’ll have psychic flashbacks and be able to see how certain events transpired. Sometimes, it didn’t always make sense, but I enjoyed trying to piece every clue together, and feeling like I really was a detective.

Of course, you have to remember that being a ghost isn’t always peachy. In fact, there are several downsides. First off, you can’t exactly touch much. Although you can usually mess with electronic devices, you can’t simply pick up a book, or move most things. You’ll be relying on Joy, your medium sidekick of sorts,  to touch things. But she will also be relying on you to distract guards in order for her to sneak her way through many levels.

Oh, and then there are those pesky demons that are constantly trying to suck your ghostly soul into oblivion. Usually appearing after making some headway in the case, you’ll have to slowly sneak your way around them without being ripped apart. Luckily there are plenty of places for Ronan to hide. He can also use ravens to distract the demons. Once their backs are turned you can run up behind each demon and rip their own soul apart, by pressing the right combination of buttons. If they so happen to see you, Ronan must run away and use the hiding spots, constantly dodging around the demon until it gives up.

murderedsoulsuspectjoyThere are also floor demons Ronan must avoid as well. Get to close and hands will reach up and grab you. This part is actually quite easily to avoid. Ninety percent of the time, Ronan can usually walk around, or even utilize a human in order to avoid being pulled down into the depths of hell.

Quite honestly, the only thing that seriously irked me about the game was how the camera could be fairly wonky at times. Unlike LA Noire that would make a sound when you got close to clues, Murdered: Soul Suspect relies on Ronan being close enough to a clue and the words “Inspect” or “Analyze” or other words to appear on screen. Unfortunately, sometime the camera angle can be so off that I was shifting the camera around madly, or trying to position Ronan correctly just for things to pop up.

But overall this game was downright enjoyable. The story was intriguing. I wanted nothing more than to help Ronan with his unfinished business. The more I uncovered about the Bell Killer, the more I found myself questioning just who the hell was responsible for all the murders. And to be honest, I didn’t see the end coming whatsoever. There is quite the twist.

So if you’re a lover of history, puzzle solving, and want a game heavily reliant on story, you’re more likely to enjoy Murdered: Soul Suspect. However, if you are looking for a game heavy on action, this might be a game to shy away from. In general, however, I personally found Square Enix’s attempt at a noire thriller to be quite a success. I can successfully say in the end: I loved Murdered Soul Suspect.

 

About Emily Horton

Emily is just your average twenty something girl who discovered her love for gaming at the age of three or four, all thanks to her older brothers. Mario, The Lion King, Aladdin, Zelda were her first loves, but Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Tales, and pretty much all Japanese games eventually fell into that category. She has an unhealthy obsession with Pikachu, hoodies, her 3DS, t-shirts, plushies, and purses. She may also fancy herself as an excellent lawyer due to number of times she has played through the Ace Attorney series. Outside of videogames, she is a Disney, Harry Potter, and Tolkien fanatic, while also recently discovering that she is now a hardcore fan of Supernatural thanks to Netflix allowing her to watch eight seasons rapid fire. She has elvish writing, the Deathly Hallows, a rather large Tinkerbelle and a large Yuna from Final Fantasy X all tattooed on her body, with only more geeky stuff to be added. Currently working on her own fantasy novel, she hopes to publish it eventually once all the kinks are worked out.

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