Version played: PS4*
Available platform: PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, XBOX ONE, PC
Released On: June 3rd, 2014
Developer: Airtight Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Genres: Action-Adventure, Investigation
ESRB: M – Mature
Distribution: Disc, Download
*Review copy was bought by the author*
I finally got my hands on Square Enix’s Murdered Soul Suspect and it offers a fresh new approach to gaming with investigations. This game will get you thinking from beginning to end, with the occasional “WTF!”
You play as Ronan O’Connor, a Salem PD detective with a bad history. You begin your journey while chasing the notorious Bell Killer when suddenly, he pushes you out of a window. He then proceeds to go to where you fell and shoots you dead. When becoming a ghost, you are visited by your deceased wife Julia but she informs you that it is not your time to crossover. Your mission, as a ghost, is to find your killer and bring him to justice, with some help of course.
Using your newly acquired abilities, you must find clues, track down people and whatever you can to solve your murder.The story itself is a delight to see and play. It doesn’t get too complex and mixes well to the gameplay. The characters are compelling and they don’t over do it.
Actor portrayal is great but nothing outstanding. Voice actors include Jason Brooks (The Mentalist), Travis Willingham (infamous second son) and Cassidy Lehrman (Entourage).
Graphics are very much old generation and you can almost assume that this game, which I played on PS4, is probably a port. When Ronan walks throught objects, there is often lagging. There is frame rate dropping and texture popping also because of that. Nothing is game breaking but is very noticeable. It’s still visually pleasing but definitely not next gen. When you get close to something you can interact with, the item starts to shake so you know it can be interacted with. Well, due to some graphical malfunction, some static objects do it too sometime and can get frustrating when grinding away. It’s not predominate.
Another instance where I got issues was where I was hiding from a demon. When he came close to me, the prompt that is suppose to tell me to banish demon, it says “text field”. There was also a lot of times when one character is putting his hand on another but it goes right thru.
Like I stated before, this game is old gen and the controls as somewhat of the same problem. Controlling our protagonist feels at times clunky but it still works great. The learning curve is quite easy because the button layout is quite simplistic. Even when I played on my Vita via remote play, it still felt good. Everything is intuitive right away.
The gameplay, for me, is what saves the game. You get a full serving of side missions and the general investigations process is very fun to use. You collect artifacts around the world to uncover stories about people, Salem and other ghostly events. The main story aspect could be done in about 4 hours, so the real fun is doing the side investigations and collecting artifacts.
When it comes to the demons, the hide and seek aspect to it is really amazing and gets stressful when they spot you. Destroying them is also quite satisfying. Due keep in mind that the demons are the only form of action in the game. This game is meant to me an investigation game. Using R1, you can see Demons thru walls and see where you can hide from them. If you get spotted, you hide and wait it off, but don’t fall asleep at the wheel, they look at hiding spots and if you stick too long in one of them, they will see you. Also, you cannot run from them, I tried.
The investigation part of the game is done in multiple ways. The main way is by finding clues around a designated area which are usually on the ground. Clues are used to influence people or to help solve an investigation. Some of the clues are useless in the “find answer” prompt on purpose so to confuse you while finding the right answer. At first you only have one selection to give but by the end you need three. Using logic, they are of a medium difficulty to solve.
Ronan has the possibility to create small poltergeist events to distract people or to reveal clues that are hidden. It works great when it available, but it’s only used in three small areas. It would have been nice to have a bigger availability innate world because the concept is a nice idea.
Soul Suspect plays like an open world game but when doing chapter missions, it goes separate areas. A quick note, if you are going for the platinum, make sure you follow instructions in a guide. There are some artifacts that are missable and after the before last chapter, some areas become unreturnable. When starting the final chapter, they is no going back and the game doesn’t offer chapter selection. There is a consolation prize in all of this, the game keeps track of the artifacts you collected. So if you missed some items, and you know which is missing, you can start a new game, overwriting the old one and get to chapters you missed stuff. It works because I tested it.
The game offers a badge system on each investigation. You start off with three badges and each time you get a wrong answer, you get a badge removed. If you complete an investigation without losing any, you get a gold badge on that one. Now here is the kicker, they don’t do anything in the game. Not the ending, not the for trophies or achievements, no even a small pat on the back or small customizable item. Nothing at all. It is still a nice little goal to work for.
The game is easily an underrated game among other reviewers, but it’s great fun for the time of its duration. The game offers new interesting gaming aspect that really makes it stand out from the rest. Yes, graphically and some of the controlling do bring the game down but still, picking up clues, talking to mediums and completing side cases feels great and really helps the game stay a float. If Murdered Soul Suspect sounds like you game, try it and might like this hidden hem like I did.