I have always had a soft spot for Square Enix. I generally like their output and have enjoyed their games in the past, and was pleasantly surprised to see that they are the publisher behind my latest bargain purchase – Murdered: Soul Suspect.
The game was released in 2014 from Airtight Games and, ironically, this was the death knell for them as a company but there was no investigation from beyond the grave for this crime.
Murdered: Soul Suspect takes the premise of a recently deaded detective having to search and solve his own murder by ghosting around and doing spooky, ghostlike things (such as possession, poltergeist activity and influencing people from the inside) combining these new abilities with his hard-nosed detective skills (finding things, thinking, reading…) is a refreshing take. Although it does hark me back to a game that appeared a few years prior to this one that has always stuck in my head: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, a little 2D puzzle platformer that also utilised the beyond-the-grave-skills investigation technique.
The range of things you can do is quite limited, but on the flip side, that leads to you quickly becoming familiar with what you can do and how best to proceed in each instance. You do get a little bit of open world exploration, albeit only of the town of Salem with specific locations of interest where you will carry out more in-depth investigating and clue finding.
It is a little bit clunky at times and it does feel slightly weird to be walking through walls, mainly because that is more commonly associated with the game being broken, so it is a nice and interesting mechanic to use here. There are some threats to your ghostly being in the shape of demons who will hunt you down if you get too close and there are plenty of puzzles to stretch your ethereal grey matter and, of course, the ubiquitous side-missions to help and assist those other recently-deceased ghosts who haven’t got a clue what happened and why/where they are.
All in all, this is a really decent little game that entertained me for a good few hours and the main characters didn’t annoy the hell outta me, so, bonus!