PAX East 2014 | Hands on With Square Enix's Murdered: Soul Suspect

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Square Enix’s next-gen release, MURDERED: Soul Suspect, so when I got the chance to demo it at PAX East this year, I was really excited!  Let’s just get right into it, shall we?

In MURDERED: Soul Suspect, you play as the ghost of Detective Ronan O’Connor, who is murdered at the start of the game. Forcefully pushed through a glass window and then shot in the street by a hooded figure, Ronan’s soul rises from his corpse and watches the mystery murderer easily walk off into the night.

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From this point on, Ronan witnesses cops, neighbors, and strangers surround the scene, leaving you the opportunity to investigate everything. Detective O’Connor has these awesome abilities to enter human bodies and do things such as peek at what they’re writing, eavesdrop, and read their minds which help you gather clues. Don’t forget too that as a ghost, you can walk through walls and such. It’s incredibly convenient, but there are some spots that won’t allow you to do so.

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After I investigated the first crime scene, I was instructed to enter the apartment complex and investigate another crime scene inside. What I found from this point on was truly horrifying, unexpected, and it actually made me jump quite a bit. Once inside, I was introduced to demons; Let me tell you, these demons are no joke. They make this terrifying shrill that rings in your ears and if you’re spotted, they will come after you. The only way to kill them is to sneak up and attack them from behind.

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The great thing about MURDERED: Soul Suspect is that you have the ability to go into a listening/search mode where you can see through walls and spot your demons before they spot you. In your quest to stay out of sight from these creatures, if you’re spotted or heard and they start coming after you, there are smoky pockets in which you can actually hide from them. After a while they will give up and you can either make your way to attack them or escape.

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Aside from the interesting story line, the game is beautiful; hands down, this is one of the prettiest next-gen games I have seen. The detail in the character’s faces, bodies, and clothing is so spot on. The detail in the demons is perfect, the environments are very well done. It is a game that really takes advantage of the image capabilities of next-gen consoles.

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The downside to MURDERED is that it takes a while. When I say that, I’m talking about the investigation process.  When you possess a person, there are at least three to four actions you can take (eavesdrop, read mind, etc.). If you choose to do each action for every single person you possess, it can really add up. It can be a long process and have to be honest with you, I lost my patience after a while.

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Also, In the beginning of the demo, I was watching a cut-scene that felt like it lasted 10 minutes.  I understand that there are parts of the story that need to be told, but I would much rather play though those parts than watch them. There is a lot of dialogue which can sometimes bore the player. This isn’t a reason to rule out the game, by any means, but it is something to take into consideration.

Aside from the game’s tendency to drag on in places, I have high hopes for MURDERED: Soul Suspect, especially since I haven’t seen much of what it has to offer. I am definitely looking forward to uncovering more of the story, finding out more about Detective Ronan, and solving the mystery of the hooded murderer.

MURDERED: Soul Suspect will be available for PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 on June 3, 2014.

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