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'Murdered: Soul Suspect' is a remarkably unique take on the murder-mystery genre

'Murdered: Soul Suspect' PAX East Screenshots-slide0
Photo courtesy of Square Enix, used with permission.

Thousands of murders go unsolved each year in the United States alone. Each and every case is unique with some conundrum keeping the police from bringing the perpetrator to justice. In Murdered: Soul Suspect solving one murder could prove just as difficult. Why is that? Because you are the one who has been killed.

Solving your own murder isn't easy.
Photo courtesy of Square Enix, used with permission.

Alone in an apartment we find ourselves fighting for our life with a helmeted assailant. You are a thug turned cop attempting to make righteous your life of crime. Long ago your wife was taken from you, so now you fight for only yourself, almost wanting to die at times. This thug is going to grant your past wish.

Pushed through a third story window you slam to the ground. It all seems like it was just a memory and taking a look around for a while you attempt to go back inside the building. But something isn't right, it's just not working. A woman pounds open the door sending you down onto the concrete. Bewildered at what just happened you try talking to the lady but she doesn't appear to hear you. Looking around you notice that your own dead body is lying behind you.

"No, no, no, no," you exclaim as you realize that you are dead and try to get back into your body as we finally gain some element of control. Aligning various body parts with the way they were is a bit strange and when it's finally done we see the assailant come near. You jump up in your body to try and stop him but you just phase right through. You beg and plead for him not to do this, not that he can hear you, but you're forced to watch as he unloads his entire clip into your torso, forever cutting you off from the life you used to have.

They always say there is a light at the end of the tunnel, in this case, your deceased wife tells you that you can not yet pass on. We must go back, something is keeping us from moving on. We begrudgingly do so and this is where we begin trying to solve our own murder.

The process is remarkably similar to L.A. Noire: you examine the clues around you before making guesses at the right answer, attempting to make the right connections. If you are wrong a counter goes down and when it hits zero you are penalized (we're not sure what happens as we were a bit rushed during our hands-on demo).

What makes Soul Suspect unique though, is the fact that you're a ghost so you get the appropriate powers that come with it. Walking through objects and possessing people to read, and in certain cases slightly influencing, their thoughts and experiencing the world through them. However, it's not all fun and games being a ghost considering you're dead. Interacting with physical objects is no longer your forte after all.

While we didn't get to experience all that the hands-on had to offer, we still come away feeling like Murdered is taking a tried and proven formula and altering it to create a fun, exciting, unique experience that fans of the murder-mystery genre will thoroughly enjoy.

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