Murdered: Soul Suspect | PS3 Review.

Thursday 8 April 2021

Developer- Airtight Games
Publishers - Square Enix, Broadmedia
PS3 Review

Guess who got their PS3 back out to play games in my backlog, that's right it was me but to be honest I have my friend Matt to thank for that which I'm not complaining about. Murdered: Soul Suspect has been sitting in a box under my bed waiting to be played since I bought it from CEX about 2 years ago now so I chose it to be the first game I would play and wasn't disappointed. Once again it's another detective game, I seem to be pulled towards them a lot recently but I love a good mystery. What I found was the first hour and a half(ish) it became very buggy but eventually sorted itself out. It was mostly slow movements and wouldn't recognise some of the choices I made but I won't hold this against the game as it never impacted my whole gameplay. 

Ronan and Joy

You are thrown into the mystery right away in the town of Salem, a very confused and uncertain detective by the name of Ronan O'Connor has been killed, he has no idea who has done it or why, due to his job as a detective he knew that the only way he will find out is to do the work for himself but he is met with more than he bargained for when it came to hunting down the serial killer known as The Bell Killer. Ronan already holds on to a lot of trauma from the loss of his wife years prior, after Ronan is shot we see a scene where she explains what is going on but only to an extent and we are thrown back into Salem again where he starts his investigation at the scene of the crime, his murder. For someone who has died he seems very chilled and determined, I think this was done to show how solving the case came before dealing with his own death in that moment, it felt a lot like work was his entire life and that wasn't about to change in death.

Along the way he meets a young girl tangled up in this mess called Joy, she has inherited her mother's gift and can communicate with the dead, she becomes a very important part of the game and helps Ronan not only by giving him the information he needs but also by letting him possess her to get past obstacles. Joy and her mother are a big part of the game when it comes to solving the case and although she was skeptical at first she agrees to help Ronan so she can find her mum again. Bringing the spirit world and living world together reminded me a lot of the show Supernatural, it gives off a very similar tone.

A lot of the time the story will expand and go off the path a little, along the way you meet other ghosts in need of help and use your detective skills to solve the case, the souls of these people and their stories made me so sad and they definitely pulled at your heart strings. Seeing their lingering souls waiting to move on was very haunting especially when all they wanted were answers, being able to give them feels very rewarding though. Ronan however was a lot more complicated, he may be able to help others but trying to solve his cause felt daunting, he would often use crime scenes that tied in with The Bell Killer, which helped him gather all the evidence he needed.

Murdered: Soul Suspect has a very gritty and dark feel to it much like Heavy rain and La Noire, the story is deeply rooted in a crime that many have tried and failed to solve, Ronan's determination to solve it once and for all as a ghost makes for an eerie introduction to the spirit world. Although you're dead in the game you can be torn apart and destroyed by enemies which were far by the worst part of the game, following the story and solving the puzzles you're met with creatures called demons. You can either find a way to sneak past them and hide in the residue of old ghosts to try and avoid being detected or face them and execute them, once you got used to the best way to utilise sneaking up to them to execute them facing them becomes a breeze.

The main ability that helps Ronan is being able to possess humans and animals, he can manipulate both to do his bidding but only to a certain extent, possessing them will often help him be detected by demons, using this ability came in extra handy for getting around obstacles such as what seemed to be openings in the floor to fell trying to drag him down, using a humans body avoids them grabbing him and pulling him to what seems to be the depths of hell. Playing as an animal is the most interesting part of the game for me, I initially thought I would only be using the cat once but with small spaces needing to be explored and fit through the cat had a big purpose throughout the whole game.

Gameplay feels clunky and awkward at times, getting the camera angles wrong led me to die a lot (can I say die if he is already dead) The two hardest parts of the game for me were inside what was supposed to be The Bell Killer's hideout, finding the best way to hide and maneuver around the demons to destroy them was awkward as I never had anywhere to hide I would have to use my teleport ability to sneak up behind them without the other demon seeing and destroy them, trust me it sounds easier said than done. Then there was the ghost train which caused the most issues for me, I was adamant on not looking up on how to get past it and eventually focused the camera at the right angle to teleport at the right time.

I think I played for around 6 hours I'm not sure, because I died a lot the game felt longer than it actually was, there is a platinum trophy to get in the game, I never bothered, I just wanted to play the game for the storyline more than anything. Personally I loved the game, at times the choices you're given when solving a mystery are a bit silly as they are so obvious but this could be down to either the developers humour or just laziness, who knows? I like the Deus Ex Human Revolution easter egg they snuck in there at the police station, it's missable if you're not paying attention but trust me it's there! I really enjoyed playing as Ronan who weirdly can still smoke as a ghost, yes the game had a lot more potential and there could have been a sequel but I'm ok with leaving as it is, I will more than likely get it on PS4 and replay either on my PS4 or PS5.


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