Mur­dered: Soul Sus­pect


TekSavvy Insider - - Contents - BY PETER NELIS

De­vel­oper: Air­tight Games Pub­lisher: Square Enix Genre: Ad­ven­ture/Mys­tery For­mat(s): PS4, Xbox One, PS3, X360, Win­dows

On paper, Mur­dered: Soul Sus­pect sounds a lit­tle off the wall; a third per­son ad­ven­ture meets who­dunit mur­der mys­tery fo­cus­ing on a dead cop (Ro­nan O’Con­nor) and a medium (Joy) who’s con­vinced to work along­side him to get to the bot­tom of a string of mur­ders by the Bell Killer.

With her mother miss­ing and feared to be in grave dan­ger, most likely in the clutches of the se­rial killer, Joy serves as Ro­nan’s con­duit to the liv­ing world, and the re­sult is a gen­uinely re­fresh­ing ti­tle that dares to be dif­fer­ent.

The game starts with Ro­nan’s death and a lit­tle ex­po­si­tion to set the scene. We learn that he was a cop, killed while try­ing to ap­pre­hend a sus­pect that turns out to be the Bell Killer, who has been tor­ment­ing the city of Salem with his reign of ter­ror. Be­wil­dered and dis­ori­ented, Ro­nan grad­u­ally starts to fig­ure out his lim­i­ta­tions and pow­ers.

As the in­tro­duc­tory stages draw to a close, play­ers are given the chance to try out some of Ro­nan’s new abil­i­ties, from pass­ing through ob­jects to read­ing minds, while an­other of the game’s cen­tral me­chan­ics is slowly un­rav­elled, as play­ers need to gather ev­i­dence and piece it to­gether to fig­ure out where they need to go next.

Very early on, the game makes a point of in­form­ing play­ers that, de­spite the fact that Ro­nan was a cop while liv­ing, guns are of no use to him on the other side. Per­haps it’s a com­men­tary on the abun­dance of shoot­ers on the mar­ket right now, or maybe it’s just a gen­uine at­tempt to say “hey, look, this is ac­tu­ally some­thing dif­fer­ent”, but ei­ther way it works in­cred­i­bly well. The only com­bat sec­tions of which to speak in­volve sneak­ing up be­hind demons and trig­ger­ing a QTE which, if suc­cess­ful, offs the nasty blighters, but if not, you’d bet­ter run… fast.

The open world sec­tions of Soul Sus­pect serve as the main play­ground for com­ple­tion­ists, with a huge range of col­lectibles avail­able through­out, Many of the key items high­lighted by a glow­ing gold dot, mak­ing them easy to spot with a lit­tle time spent ex­plor­ing; and it’s a world that’s well worth ex­plor­ing, too, NPCs fill the streets from fel­low ghosts in need of help find­ing clo­sure to live souls ripe for pos­ses­sion and mind-read­ing.

When tak­ing each of Soul Sus­pect’s main game­play me­chan­ics in isolation there’s not much here that hasn’t been seen be­fore, but the way they’re pre­sented makes for a se­ri­ously fun, if short lived, burst of en­joy­ment.

Mur­dered de­serves your at­ten­tion, now is as good a time as any to try some­thing new.

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