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RMGMDPunk

Murdered: Soul Suspect Review (PS4)

Rating: 3 votes, 4.67 average.

So I know that this game has been out for over a month now but I'm only just now getting the chance to play it. Murdered: Soul Suspect is a narrative driven mystery game that's done somewhat like Rockstar's LA Noire. The key difference being: LA Noire is way better. That's basically where my comparisons with these two games draw to a close because I don't want to write a review nearly as long as my Unlimited World R one. So without further ado, let's begin.

Plot, Settings, and Characters

-Warning: There will be MINOR spoilers in this section of the review-

Since Murdered: Soul Suspect is a game that revolves around a major mystery I'm not going to spoil who the killer is. But basically the game has you take control of a detective named Ronan who is investigating a serial killer in Salem, Massachusetts. As the game opens up Ronan is able to corner the man known as the Bell Killer but Ronan loses a struggle with the murderer and is thrown out a window and shot multiple times with his own gun. Because of the circumstances revolving around his death Ronan is unable to move on and must figure out the identity of his killer.

Along the way he meets a medium named Joy who has been targeted by the Bell Killer. Ronan also encounters other spirit characters and people who are still alive, such as his brother-in-law Rex, but for the most part this game is all about Ronan and Joy. And honestly, they're both really generic characters that you could find in just about any video game. Ronan is your typical badass cop who wants to join his dead wife in the afterlife and Joy is basically a whiny punk girl that warms up to the protagonist aka a tsundere. None of the other characters are memorable at all, except for one.

There is one character that stands out from the rest of the pack and that is a ghostly girl that Ronan encounters throughout the game who is named Abigail. Abigail Williams.

This is what brings me into my favorite part about this game the only reason that I kept playing. I have always been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials and this game explores that heavily. It's one of the few games I've played that's taken such an interesting approach to the subject matter and including Abigail into the game was an absolute fantastic touch. For those who don't know about her she is one of the two girls who originally started accusing people of being witches. Basically this girl is responsible for the death of 20 people. So what role does she play in this game? I'm afraid you'll have to play the game for yourself to find out. Or watch a LP. That works too.

The Map of Salem in this game is... OK. I have very mixed opinions on it. It's not the easiest map to travel around because there are constantly buildings that you cannot pass through at all. This makes going from point A to point B a lot longer because you have to find shortcuts and hope that you don't get lost. It's not exactly a super large map but it does have plenty of secrets and collectibles. There are always people around that you can posses but after too long you'll end up running into repeated dialogue.

-End Spoilers-

Gameplay

If you're looking for a game with a lot of variety in gameplay you shouldn't play this game. If you're looking for a game that has lots of gameplay you shouldn't play this game. This game is heavily driven by its plot. There are two major aspects to the gameplay that I'll be doing into detail about. First up is the game's detective sections.

As you progress through the story you'll have to piece together what has happened to try and find clues about what to do next or clues about the identity of the Bell Killer. You'll be given a certain chunk of the map to look for clues. During these investigations you'll use most of your ghost powers. After finding certain clues you can possess witnesses and "influence" their memories to try and get some extra information out of them. You can also read people's minds to try and get just a little bit extra out of them or just find out what they're thinking.

These detective sections are the bulk of the gameplay and don't take too long. Once you get all the clues you piece together the important parts the story progresses. Not much to that. The other aspect of the gameplay is a lot less fun: stealth sections.

I'm not the biggest fan of stealth. ESPECIALLY mandatory stealth. And this game has plenty of mandatory stealth. The only enemies that you encounter in this game are Demons that look like they were ripped straight out of Harry Potter. You can choose to either sneak past them or sneak behind them and kill them using a quick time event. If they see you they can kill you insanely quickly if you don't run and hide in "spiritual residue" that is all over the map. These sections aren't exactly hard but they can get pretty annoying when you just want to progress through an area.

The rest of your time in the game is going to be spent using your last ghost power: teleport, or just walking through walls, to find the insane amount of collectibles in the game. You can find out some certain horror stories and you can get some insight to other characters in the game but honestly you don't have to go out of your way to get these unless you want the platinum trophy (which is insanely easy to get by the way).

Now for one of my BIGGEST COMPLAINTS: THIS GAME HAS NO KIND OF MAP SYSTEM AT ALL. I cannot STAND THIS. We're in 2014 why don't you have a map in your game?! Especially if you designed the city of Salem to be a MAZE. Artificial Difficulty is not the same as legit difficulty guys. It just doesn't work the same way.

Graphics and Music

So obviously I played this game on the PS4 and honestly it doesn't look that much better than the PS3 version. I mean the game looks GOOD but there are plenty of games that look so much better on the PS4 like Watch_Dogs or Infamous: Second Son. I'm pretty positive that the PS4 version is nothing more than an enhanced version of the PS3 version. And that's fine. But I still wished they touched up some sections a little bit.

There isn't much to the music of the game. In fact none of the music in the game is even memorable. It's so faint and absent throughout most of the game that I can't even say there is a proper soundtrack. Most of the areas just have sounds that try to create a scary atmosphere, but it doesn't work in this game. At all.

The voice acting is also... lacking. Ronan and Joy don't show enough emotions during their scenes and there are multiple times where mouth flaps and dialogue don't match up with the NPCs. Things like that are nitpicky but they're also unacceptable to me at this point.

Conclusion

Overall Murdered: Soul Suspect isn't a bad game. But it isn't exactly very good either. A lot of people gave IGN a lot of shit for scoring at 5.5 but honestly I see that as a good score on MY personal scale. IGN's scale is just... bad. But that's a rant for another day. The game has an interesting story and tries to be a little different from the rest of the group but in the end it falls short mostly thanks to some PS2-era design choices, such as the lack of the map. Another HUGE negative is that once you go to the last area of the game you get locked in. The only way to go back to exploring Salem is to START OVER. This is frustrating and even though the game does warn you, I don't think it's exactly the best design choice for a game in 2014.

Would I recommend this game? ONLY if you enjoy a good story or if you're interested in the Salem Witch Trials. Otherwise, you're probably better off playing something else. And DO NOT pay $60 for this game! I only paid $42 and that was for the Limited Edition. This game is not worth full price. Wait for a price drop, if it hasn't already dropped in your area. So the score for this game is:

6/10 - Above Average


Thanks for reading! I'll be posting more reviews in the future.
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Comments

  1. Kaguya's Avatar
    Great review! It was very detailed, too. I never heard of this but you've piqued my curiosity.

    The stealth segments seem gimmicky but I wouldn't mind them if they aren't overused.

    As I was reading the review, I correctly deduced that the game would have a "point of no return" at the end. It's cliche but at least you're warned.

    In the end, I would get this at a price drop or check out videos of it online. Edit - Actually, it's on Redbox. I certainly won't mind renting it for a dollar or two.
    Updated 07-31-2014 at 03:26 PM by Kaguya
  2. RMGMDPunk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaguya
    Great review! It was very detailed, too. I never heard of this but you've piqued my curiosity.

    The stealth segments seem gimmicky but I wouldn't mind them if they aren't overused.

    As I was reading the review, I correctly deduced that the game would have a "point of no return" at the end. It's cliche but at least you're warned.

    In the end, I would get this at a price drop or check out videos of it online. Edit - Actually, it's on Redbox. I certainly won't mind renting it for a dollar or two.
    Thanks! I've really started to like writing reviews so I'm glad people are enjoying them. And yeah it was a game that didn't get too much attention.

    In fact IGN gave it a 5.5, which on their scale is END OF THE WORLD WORST GAME EVER tier and the game didn't sell well at all. And now the studio is closed down. Very upsetting. It's not a bad game at all, there was just room for improvement.

    And hope you enjoy it! It's definitely worth playing for only a couple of bucks lol.
  3. Zoro's Avatar
    Great review. My friend has this game so I'm gonna borrow it once I buy a PS4.
  4. Kaguya's Avatar
    I noticed some parallels with Folklore. This excerpt from your review also describes that game nicely:

    "If looking for a game with a lot of variety in gameplay you shouldn't play this game. If you're looking for a game that has lots of gameplay you shouldn't play this game. This game is heavily driven by its plot."

    Ironically, the developer behind that game is defunct.

    Anyway, I'm sure that the people who worked on Murdered: Soul Suspect will find work elsewhere but what happened is sad nonetheless.

    Needless to say, I'm glad that there are reviewers out there like yourself that are willing to take the time to share hidden gems like this one. It may have flaws, but it definitely doesn't seem downright terrible.

    By the way, happy birthday.
    Updated 08-02-2014 at 08:40 AM by Kaguya
  5. THOMAZTOM's Avatar
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    Game is in my blood I use to play on daily basis for the community and give new No Time to Die James Bond Suitthings to community and post new forum .
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