Murdered: Soul Suspect Review - Go Into The Light Already

Paul Goodman | 3 Jun 2014 00:01
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Another aggravating aspect of Soul Suspect is what it tries to pass off as action. There'll be several areas where you'll have to guide Ronan past a handful of imposing demons out for Ronan's tasty soul. These sequences often turn into a cat and mouse game where you jump between spectral hiding spots in a bid to stay in one piece while demons scour the area methodically. But the tension of every encounter with these glowing orange menaces dissipates quickly when you realize you can banish demons by getting close and pressing a in a simple button prompt. What should feel like a tense, teeth-gritting side-trip into otherworldly horror ends up coming across more as an annoying chore, and you can't help but feel like the demons are there just to pad out the game for a few extra minutes. Plus, much like with the investigations, the game doesn't always too a good job of highlighting hiding spots unless you angle your view just right, adding an extra layer of exasperation to the whole ordeal.

Aside from pursuing the main story line, there's a multitude of other things you can do in Soul Suspect that'll appeal to completionists. There are dozens of collectibles hidden in most locations that you can gather up to unlock a spooky ghost story or historical plaques that reveal tidbits of Salem's infamous history. There are also a handful of other ghosts that you can assist with moving onto the next world, like helping a man learn if he killed his friends while drunk driving or assisting a jealous woman figure out if her ex-boyfriend was cheating on her before she died. Funnily enough, there's a ton of "memory fragments" and journal entries that Ronan's wife apparently left all over town, detailing the romantic life and backstory of our spectral protagonist. Heck, you can even possess a cat to reach out-of-the-way areas, with a "Press Triangle to Meow" option that's funny for all about five seconds. But with nothing really rewarding other than the feeling that "Hey, this tale about bodies in water boilers is actually pretty spooky!" the extra side content just feels like extra busy work whenever you want to take a moment away from the main story.

At first glance, Murdered: Soul Suspect feels like it almost had it all - an engaging story, challenging puzzles, tough action and a good amount of side quests to round everything out. But that all quickly becomes as transparent as Salem's undead population when you realize Soul Suspect's attempts to stand apart are lackluster at best. It's not the worst adventure title out there, but it's really, really hard to recommend it to anyone.

Bottom Line: Murdered: Soul Suspect has some neat concepts, but it is not a success. A few elements of its supernatural murder mystery may hold your interest, but it ultimately feels hollow because it lacks any real challenge or entertainment in solving that mystery.

Recommendation: Murdered: Soul Suspect isn't the worst adventure game out there, but there are much better titles in the genre to pick from.

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