Murdered: Soul Suspect is one of the greatest games I have ever played for a total of about 5 minutes. Opening scene of the tatoos becoming part of Ronan, your deceased detective, had me spell bound. I wanted to play the game because of how well the creators of it, Airtight Games, created a sense of excitement and mystery to the game. For about five minutes Murdered: Soul Suspect was game of the year. Sadly, after the opening minutest the game stumbles and destroys itself.
The problems with murder isn’t the story. The story is really good good and if the game would have had the mechanics to do it justice all gamers would be have raved about the game. Murdered: Soul Suspect is going to become the classic example of a video game getting in the way of itself from being a truely great game.
The gaming concept in Murdered: Soul Suspect is not a horrible idea. Having the main character murdered having to discover the idenity of the killer is creative and could have been a extremly good murder mystery game. The murder mystery is left behind because of the idiotic game mechanics.
The mechanics of the game are so poor that you will find yourself often lost in the middle of a empty field looking for a clue that you are standing right in front of. The problem isn’t that you can’t see the clue, the problem is because your character isn’t standing exactly where Ronan needs to be standing to activate it. Each pop up is so precise that you end up upset because of the wait you experience for a stupid pop-up.
The town itself is always really cool for about five minutes and then a complete waste. In the different alleys and streets of the city you will run into random peices of history of Salem. You will turn down all in modern day and be blocked by a boat from the late 1800s. The issue isn’t that a boat is there, the issue is that you, as a ghost, have no ability to walkthrough the ghost boat.
In reality, your ability to be a ghost is pretty lame. Your greatest talent is the ability to pop between ghost silhouettes. Yes you read that right, the best aspect of your character is his ability to pop in and out of silhouettes. In the realm of video game heroes a bility to hide in a silhouette doesn’t rank as one of the greatest character abilities of all time.
If you are lucky and ok with the ability to be a ghost that doesn’t do much, you may still get beat up by the lack of ability you have inside the murder story. A good murder mystery game is always fun and good and can be slow without bothering most players. The problem with the mystery aspect of Murdered: Soul Suspect is that it doesn’t challenge you as gamer. Each investigation is simlified so much that it feels like it should be a part of Unsolved Mysteries: The Seasme Street Edition. Nothing the in the game pushes you to have to really think to solve the problem.
In the end, Murdered: Soul Suspect starts off amazingly well but falters because of its inablity to get out of its own way and great a game worth playing.