Murdered Soul Suspect: PS4 Review
Released by Square Enix
Famed for its witches and spooky goings on - and now in the latest game from Square Enix, famed for your death.
You play Detective Ronan O'Connor, whose day goes to very bad when he's thrown out of a window by the Bell Killer, a serial killer haunting the streets of Salem. On the cusp of surviving the fall, the killer shoots O'Connor point blank seven times, thus finishing him off.
Stuck between worlds and with unfinished business, O'Connor (who has a permanently ghostly cigarette attached to his lips) has to work out who did it, why and stop them, by investigating clues around Salem. Initially guided by a ghost called Abigail who gives you the chance to explore your abilities (walking through some walls, possession etc), the quest takes on a darker turn when various demons start appearing around Salem with the intent of sucking your soul dry.
Part of the mission of Murdered Soul Suspect is to avoid these, or to creep up behind them and exorcise them (a chillingly spooky experience all round) - avoiding them is done by leaping from one ghostly spirit trail to the next as they get closer; it's a freaky trip that's actually unsettling to watch and takes a wee bit of time to master.
A lot of the game though is spent examining crime scenes, possessing people at the scene to read their minds, get clues and further insights et al. It's this part which feels a little underdeveloped as you're relatively constrained with what you can and can't do at the scene - answers are needed to move on and in some ways, it feels like you're going through the motions to get there.
Possession can be relatively fun though - as you get to take on all manner of things to achieve your aims - but it's frustrating that you can walk through some doors, and not others. There's a lot of stealth needed in parts of the game and you require patience without always feeling like you're getting the reward at the end of it.
Graphically, the game is nicely put together, with the ghostly feeling evocatively done, and there are enough creepy moments to catch you out if you have the lights down and the sound up. Characters of the undead litter the world around you and give you side missions to be part of, such as trying to find where someone was killed etc, but it's the main narrative that will propel you along.
Murdered Soul Suspect has a great concept and is smarter title in terms of what it tries to achieve and how it brings it to life. In parts, it feels like this is slightly undercooked and could do with a bit more, but as a gaming alternative to the detective genre, it's a welcome - if not fully inspirational - addition.