Xbox One Review: Murdered: Soul Suspect

Can you solve your own murder?

Murdered: Soul Suspect follows the story of Ronan O’ Connor, a cop who is killed in the streets of Salem as he tries to hunt down a serial killer known as the Bell Killer, who kills his victims in ways that are reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials. After being killed, Ronan roams the streets of Salem finding clues to his killer and comes across other ghosts with problems, as well as a young medium who can see him and guide him to solving the mystery.
Ronan can walk through the majority of walls and doors, as long as he is in the building. Although some areas are inaccessible for some reason, there’s also the danger of running into demons who will chase you through the area till you find a good hiding place or they “kill you” which seems silly when you’re already dead. Prepare to search high and low for the 200+ collectables scattered through Salem and it’s locations including church, the police station, the apartment where you were murdered, a mental hospital, a museum and an abandoned house.

Ronan also has some ghostly powers including being able to possess people, influence them into thinking of specific things, poltergeisting items to distract people as well as teleporting short distances. The story itself is the strongest part of the game, while the gameplay itself is a bit sloppy…handling Ronan can be a bit clunky at times and the whole stealth-combat with demons just feels tacked on and unnecessary.
It doesn’t help that the game is also quite short. I completed it in 8 hours, but that’s with going back and forth for the collectables, if I didn’t do that and the side quests it’d be even shorter and there’s no real reason to come back for a second time unless you missed any of the collectables/side quests anyway. I was playing on the Xbox One and it didn’t look next-gen at all, it looked really average and the cutscenes had a weird flickering at the bottom of the screen, at least in the version I was playing.

Voice-acting isn’t too bad, but Ronan sometimes comes across as arrogant and his medium, Joy is bratty teenager who will grate on you. The music is good though and matches the atmosphere of some of the spookier locations, including the graveyard.

The Verdict

Overall, Murdered: Soul Suspect has some great ideas and a memorable story…but the gameplay just doesn’t match up to its potential. Stealth-killing demons feels pointless and clunky, while the powers you gain aren’t used as much as they should be. The mystery of the Bell Killer and the Witch Trials of Salem are both interesting concepts, but after playing it once there’s no reason to return to Salem and that’s a shame, especially considering the game only lasts around 8 hours…