Murdered: Soul Suspect – Review
Follow Genre: Mystery, Stealth
Developer: Airtight Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PC, 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4

Murdered: Soul Suspect – Review

Site Score
Good: Interesting story, Something different than we're used to
Bad: Too short, clunky controls, no punishment system
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Life after death is something that occupies a lot of human beings. Like in most movies, ghosts are lingering spirits that still have unfinished business to resolve, before actually moving on. Square Enix’s new title portrays the situations where one has to solve his own murder case, without the help of Whoopi Goldberg, that is. (Wink wink, nudge nudge)


Introductory remarks

Murdered: Soul Suspect has been under fire by a lot of sites, and as you can see it’s not precisely the game of the year. However in advance, I should mention that the concept of the game is a fairly original one, compared to a lot of other mainstream games that are currently available or in development. Whilst some of the choices (mainly gameplay, which will be discussed below) were not the best ones, or optimized, the game still deserves a fairly ‘OK’ score. We have grown accustomed to games that give us a lot of power to achieve our goals. This makes us judge certain games too harshly that do the complete opposite.


Murdered: Soul Suspect situates itself in Salem, a city with a lot of history surrounding it. The city that once burned many women, who were accused of witchcraft, seems to be dealing with a new kind of evil, namely the Bell killer. The Bell killer is a sadistic serial killer, who kills his victims in ritualistic ways. Sadly, he is so elusive the police cannot seem to gain any indication on who this madman may be.

The protagonist of the story is inspector Ronan O’Connor, a man that was no saint during his younger years. Trying to even the scales, Ronan tries to wear his badge with pride to make up for the things he has done in his past. Being the hothead that he is, he finds himself a trail that leads him straight to the Bell killer. When deciding to go in without any back up, he also signed his own death warrant. After a short struggle, he is soon tossed out the window to find himself experiencing an outer body experience. When the killer comes back to finish the job, this experience proves to be rather permanent. He soon notices that he cannot move on, before his ‘unfinished business’ gets resolved and thus he will need to solve his own murder case, to reunite with his already deceased wife.

To achieve your goal, you’ll come across a young girl named Joy, who is luckily able to see you. Whilst the partnership might prove to be shaky, it seems all you have is each other.

Overall the game proves to have a rather compelling and interesting storyline, without having to go through any boring moments. The main characters prove to be interesting and they develop and open up during the course of the game. The plot never gets overcomplicated, but it proves to have a lot of twists and turns before you reach the end of the game.



Having played the xbox 360 version it’s easy to say that the graphical quality is fairly outstanding. The character models are detailed and the environments have a fair amount of detail, which makes the city more alive. Sadly, the side characters happen to have a lack of emotion, which makes the game lose its edge a little bit.

Overall the environments are filled with clutter and small objects, to create a more realistic environment. The downside is that the Xbox 360 has problems taking it all in. When running around too fast in the city, the game will lag and you will see the frames drop by a massive amount. Even during certain cutscenes this will cause the subtitle sync to be off.

Murdered: Soul Suspect does its best to offer us a decent amount of NPC characters that live in the town. Most of these characters will stay on the same place throughout the game, which is not bad per se, but it will take the lively atmosphere away to a certain extent. The fun part is that you’ll see some ‘life’ pretty much everywhere in the city, but the game does not make any distinction between smaller streets and town squares or other normally busy places. This means that busy places often have the same amount of NPC characters sitting or walking about, which messes up the otherwise decent sense of realism.


For a game that relies heavily on its story, the atmosphere is not to be underestimated and thus the music and convincing voice acting is important as well. Luckily, both the music and voice acting are top notch. The characters in the game, each have convincing voices to match, without having to suffer through over-acting and what not.

The music, has a fairly subtle tone and emphasizes thrilling moments when expected. Both items combined, makes for a successful cocktail.



Murdered: Soul Suspect is a fairly basic mystery/puzzle game at heart, in a brand new jacket that suits the new generation of consoles. You’ll occupy yourself with searching clues most of the time, as well as running around the city, going from location to location.

The games consists out of going from crime scene to crime scene (or just areas you will need to investigate). On these scenes you’ll have to gather a fixed amount of clues to draw your conclusion on where to find something, or what happened here, to move on to the next scene. Of course, since you’re a ghost, you’ll have certain powers that heighten  your senses. You’ll be able to gain access to memories of those that have visited the scene, posses those who are still on the scene or move through walls to reach certain places that were not clearly visible before.

When you have gathered (most of) the clues, you’ll be able to draw your conclusion. To draw your conclusion, you’ll have to put a few leads together, to see what truly happened. The game will give you a better clear score, if you’re able to put two and two together, at your first try but the game will give you unlimited chances to draw your conclusion. For those who wish to enjoy the story, this might be fun, but you’ll never feel as if a wrong choice will end up badly for you. Sadly, this will also take the difficulty down a lot.

Your special abilities consist our of possession, poltergeist, teleporting and revealing certain items. Possession grants you the ability to place yourself inside the mind of an NPC character and this will grant you the ability to influence their thoughts, read their thoughts or simply take a look through their eyes. The reason you will need to posses people is the fact that you’ll sometimes need an actual physical body to pass certain obstacles, or to gain more leads. A certain scenario even requires you to possess a cat, which grants you the special ability to meow. When spending a few minutes meowing, you’ll probably wonder why Ronan does not have this ability himself. Poltergeist grants you the power to make machines around you go crazy, to create diversions during escort quests or just for shits and giggles. Teleporting and revealing items are two abilities that pretty much just do as you’d expect from them.


Seeing you’re not the only spirit that is trying to cross over to the afterlife, you’ll come across other spirits in need, which you can help if you wish to. These side-quests are often, one investigation in the area surrounding them, in which you’ll gather clues just like in the other parts of the game.

Of course, not only good spirits will be roaming around the streets of Salem, also demons and lost souls who would love nothing more than devour your soul as sustenance. The lost souls spawn as hands that come out of the floor, and these can just be avoided by running around them. The demons are a tad more tricky to avoid or destroy. The areas with demons in them will have hiding spots, that give you safety (to a certain extent) and also ghastly crows that you can use to distract the demons. You’ll have to sneak up on the demons to perform an execute or run like the wind to avoid them.

The city of Salem is not that big, but you’ll be able to explore the city to a certain extent. You’ll be able to run through objects, people and walls. These, however, have a fair set of limitations. For starters, you’re not able to run around items that belong to the spirit world, seeing they are made out of the same substance as you. Secondly, you will not be able to run through the outer walls of a building, seeing most buildings in Salem have been desecrated, and thus you’ll need someone to open the door for you. After that, it’s smooth sailing.


Sadly, all of this gets ruined by the game’s controls. The controls are quite irresponsive as well as the lack of precision will cause a decent amount of frustrating moments. To highlight certain items, you’ll spend more time twisting and turning the camera, to finally be able to select the object you wish to investigate. To execute demons you’ll have to go through the same tedious process, which will often get you busted and make you run for your life, or waste a lot of time for nothing. (Or even cause you to die.)


Murdered: Soul Suspect offers an intriguing storyline, that will keep you occupied for several hours. Sadly it’s only ‘several hours’ and thus for its current price tag it might prove a bit too pricey, seeing you can easily finish it during the course of one day. However, the game proves to have a great story, great characters and just the right atmosphere to get the suspense going. Even with the clunky controls and low difficulty, the game shows us that mystery games are not dead. Also, you get to be a ghost detective. Screw you Casper.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Murdered: Soul Suspect - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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