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'Murdered: Soul Suspect,' reaction/review on first hour of game play

Game's protagonist inspects his own dead body
Game's protagonist inspects his own dead body
Square Enix

Murdered: Soul Suspect

Rating:
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Please keep in mind that this only covers the first hour or so of game play. A full review on the entire game will be published in the near future.

‘Murdered: Soul Suspect’ was just released earlier this month (June 3, 2014) by Square Enix. It’s a detective/suspenseful/adventure game played in third-point-of-view and is currently available for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC.

This thriller begins in the once peaceful town of Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is being plagued by a serial killer known as the Bell Killer, terrorizing the citizens. The police hardly have anything to go by as the body count piles higher and higher.

The player assumes the role of Detective Ronan O’Connor, who is hot on the trail of the Bell Killer. He’s dead. More specifically, the player plays the ghost of Detective Ronan O’Connor. The very beginning of the game begins with Ronan’s death, ironically enough. When our hero confronted the serial killer, he was killed himself. Unable to move on to the afterlife, Ronan must solve the mystery of his own murder in order to cross over and be at peace with his departed wife, Julia.

So far, the concept is interesting enough. There haven't been many games that you get to play as a ghost. The game also drops you right in the fray, giving you a brief look into Ronan’s past and then… he’s dead. It’s like a ‘life flashes before your eyes’ montage, which is a very speedy and creative way of giving the player the proper background story to this tragic character.

This game combines combing areas to find clues and utilize those said clues to connect the dots. For gamers who are a sucker for the detective mysteries, this might be right up your ally. It’s not without its action portions, though. You also have to deal with demons. These are one of the few things that can kill Ronan; as in permanently and eternally. The player must exercise caution when approaching demons. They can be killed, but only from behind.

‘Murdered’ is not without its flaws. So far, the only thing that is noticeable are the glitches and stingy preciseness of the player’s movement. The glitches are quite noticeable: recurring objects that should absolutely NOT be there, dialogue that doesn’t always fit the situation, and perhaps a few texture issues. The player also must be at the precise spot or they can’t interact with important objects. Some of the objects are very hard to spot, which might be aggravating for impatient players. In some sense, it’s one of those ‘look at everything and touch everything’ games.

So far, the game still shows some promise, but it's slightly wavering. The story shows potential for some good plot twists and the realm of the dead provides more questions that the player will be itching to solve.

A more thorough review will be published on the entire game in the coming days.