Detective Ronan O’Connor is killed in the line of duty while investigating Salem’s Bell Killer. O’Connor, a widower, is unable to join his wife in the afterlife until he can take care of his unfinished business. Ronan now exists between two worlds: the living world and a ghost town full of souls who haven’t resolved their corporeal affairs. Ronan now must solve his own murder before the Bell Killer can strike again. Sounds like this ghost could use some help.
Ronan soon finds a reluctant ally in a local medium, named Joy, whose mother was helping the Salem police on the Bell Killer case. The killer has taken an interest in Joy and her mother, so the girl takes refuge at a nearby church while helping Ronan with material objects, like opening doors. O’Connor often finds opportunities to help other ghosts find the light by using his detective skills to find their bodies, solve their deaths, or remove whatever personal baggage is holding them to the material plane.
No Ghost Bullets For You
Murdered: Soul Suspect is not a shooter game, it’s a detective story. Much like Ryse, the game is driven almost completely by its narrative. The majority of the gameplay is spent doing detective work, exploring the world, interacting with ghosts, and a few quick time events. If you’re looking for some kind of spooky shooter or horror game, then keep looking. The only actual action in the game consists of taking down demons, which is a quick time event, or running around as a cat, which introduces some mild platforming elements to an otherwise action-free game.
It’s Kind of Like LA Noire
Those of us who have played LA Noire have some fond memories of collecting clues, pondering the evidence, interrogating suspects, and solving the case. Some of the elements have trickled into this game, but they have been dumbed down for a slower crowd. The clues in Murdered: Soul Suspect are impossible to miss, since they are usually marked by chalk, an evidence marker, or have a light shining directly on them to make them stand out: you’d have to be an idiot to miss them. Even if you are an idiot, there is no way to come to the wrong conclusion due to the “everyone’s a winner!” style of unerring deduction. Players are simply not allowed to be wrong. This would be fine if Murdered was being sold as a children’s game, but the profanity puts this on the adult shelf.
It’s Kind of Like Watching TV
The seemingly singular focus on the narrative almost eliminates the necessity for someone holding the controller. I play games because they’re interactive. The player should have some measure of control, or at least the illusion of control. There should be some sort of accountability for player error, and there should be a reason for a controller and a person holding it. When the most interactive part of your game is prowling around as a house cat, then there’s a problem with your game.
This is not a game: it’s an episode of the Twilight Zone. The game looks good, the voice acting is top-notch, and the story is one of the best on the new consoles, but Airtight focused so heavily on crafting a story that they left the player out. I can watch fucking ghost stories on Netflix.
The game is short enough to be conquered in a couple of evenings and offers no replayability. Consider this title a weekend rental only.