Ghost stories are all and good, and especially when the sales pitch is in the theme of a mock Sherlock Holes in Salem, Massachusetts. Like most sales pitches there’s an ever slight creep of Swiss Cheese Syndrome. The thinner the slice, the more holes to find. Out the gate within five minutes of starting Murdered: Soul Suspect, Ronan, our fedora tattooed protagonist, is thrown out a window. But then we get this masked murderer grabbing his gun and shooting Ronan. Insult to injury.
The name of the game is walking around and finding our killer. First thing is first, tutorial mode of how to be a ghost. Low and behold there’s other ghost among Salem. And as much of a selling point it is to be a ghost in a video game. The afterlife is really watered down with limitations which aren’t even fulfilled through the end of game. Thus, the game becomes scripted hard. Instead of a fluidic video game script. Now on one hand the game has a great who’s done it plot. However, the sub-plot of Ronan’s wife became irrelevant. The plot twist was seen from a mile away, even after five hours running around aimlessly. Leading me to where our story is placed.
Salem has a rich history for America. However, how waisted is it for this game. Some people have called it a sandbox. However, the problem with calling this game a sandbox is the linearity of running from point A to point B. Unlike, “Prototype” or “Silent Hill.” Running around aimless in wannabe New York or some horror town. Point is, not only has the game poorly developed characterization and playability and environment. Lets see what else went wrong.
Now Ronan can walk through walls, he can disappear in respective areas. And he can give wedgies to other ghosts too. However these tricks become insignificant two thirds of the game in. Especially when the first plot twist rolls around and though the game really wanted me to be stealthy through a particular area. I found it was even more practical to just run through the area Rambo style. Also known as my Super Mario World play through.
As for the Mystery… Let’s break it down Barney style…. You’ll be in a room with a bunch of clues. Name of the game is to find all the hints and deduce what might have happened. The headache comes in when the developer really thinks we’re fucking dense. A question was, “What happened here?” In my head, given the clues I gathered, the least likely blatant answer I thought the game was really look for was, (I’m not shitting you) “A murder happened here.” Um, excuse me game for not thinking I seriously needed to tell you a murder happened. It’s in the game title! By the way, this isn’t the only example. The game does this nearly every ‘level’ and it’s not only annoying, but irrelevant.
Though the overall concept of Murdered: Soul Suspect is plausible to be entertaining. The real problem is the fact it’s a game built as a “pick your path” but seriously only has one true path. It’s a game which only cares about the ‘who done it’ plot. While also trying to make other aspects relevant. Meanwhile, after a couple hours playing the main plot… The game seems unfinished. And even if the game wanted me to play through a second time I realized wouldn’t even waist my time again.