Murdered: Soul Suspect at E3

Tony and I walked past the Murdered: Soul Suspect guided demo theater. There was a short line so we jumped in. After a few minutes we were led into a small room and stood quietly waiting to see the game. After the trailer played we were treated to a guided tour of the game. We found ourselves mixed on the game. While it seemed like a cool premise, much of what we saw felt out of place and awkward.

The idea is that you are a ghost trying to solve your own murder. Alright, we were on board with that. But then the mechanics of your “detecting” started getting in the way. For the most part it seemed you advanced the game by picking words that floated over an object to describe the crime scene you are standing in. We weren’t shown what happens if you fail one of these moments, but they seemed pretty easy to pass.

We were also shown how the hero can possess a person to listen in to what they are saying, or even look at the world through their eyes. This only seemed to help when it came time to put a series of bubbles that were jumbled into order of how things happened. Again, this mechanic seemed awkward and overly simple. But it helped us advance forward in the demo.

Once we had moved into the building that the main character was murdered in we found out that your character can walk through walls. We didn’t know how this would impact level design because it seemed the only limit to a map was the outer walls of the building. You couldn’t cross those because it seems they consecrate the ground around buildings in Salem, Massachusetts (the location of the game).

We were then introduced to the enemies in the game. Red glowing demons that tried to consume the hero’s soul. It seems the only way to kill these things is to possess them and rip them apart from the inside. It was unclear to what end this effects the demons. We were not told if this “death” was permanent.

After being shown that there is a side quest mechanic that seemed simplified for demo purposes we were back on the case of our own murder. We were treated to more of the same. Inspecting parts of the room and picking floating words in order. After a bit we put all the things we had discovered into order and saw the events of our murder from a hidden witnesses point of view.

There are some interesting concepts going on beneath the hood here, and I am glad someone is trying a new style of game, but I hope some hands on time will resolve my reservation for Murdered: Soul Suspect.

About Donald Conrad

Donald Conrad is an avid father and a dedicated gamer -- or maybe that's the other way around. He loves his games, and he loves his family, and he's pretty sure he loves sleep, even if he doesn't remember what it was like. Follow his life confusion on Twitter @ConManEd