Murdered: Soul Suspect Preview
The preview demo build that I got to play was on the Playstation 4 and started right at the beginning of the game. The game starts with you, detective Ronan O’Connor in Salem, Massachusetts and he gets thrown out of the top window of an apartment building by a hooded mysterious figure. As Ronan’s life flashes before his eyes and his past is told through his many tattoos, explaining why/when he got them during each moment of his life. The opening cut scene is packed full of information, you really start to realise this game is very heavily story driven. We learn Ronan O’Connor used to be a thug, gone straight due to Ronan’s fiancé’s brother being in the police force, and not agreeing Ronan’s thuggish way of life, he won’t allow Ronan to marry his sister unless he packs it all in, and he then offers Ronan a real job opportunity within the police force.
After being thrown through the window, Ronan soon gets up off the ground trying to shrug it all off. He is very determined and isn’t willing to give up on this case and slowly makes his way to the door of the building that he got thrown out of. A old woman with hair rollers opens the door just before you try enter and hits you in the face. Ronan is shocked to realise his body is laying on the floor behind him where he had hit the ground. This is where you first take control of Ronan and try to get back into your own body by lining up your soul with your dead body.
Your body may be seen not breathing, but the mysterious person who threw you out of the window decides to come down to make sure you are dead by shooting you with your own gun. Seven bullet holes through your chest and are also visible in Ronan’s ghost form in orange. Which is also featured in the many promotional materials of the game.
Now that Ronan is dead, you can investigate the mystery around his death as a ghost. Ronan spots a spirit of a creepy little girl down an alley and decides to follow. By the look of her clothing it seems that she may have died during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693. You are then greeted to a short tutorial where you start learning your ghost abilities, such as walking through walls which appear to have an outlined human figure on them. You continue through the alley way before chatting with the spirit girl near a ghost park featuring swing, slide and merry go round. She tells you that if you figure out your gift, maybe you won’t get trapped here.
After you make your way back to your crime scene, you will get a cut scene of your colleagues and brother in-law talking around your dead body. During this cut scene quite a few people among myself experienced an audio bug in the preview build after a slight freeze, in which the lip sync didn’t match up with the audio. There is no need to worry as this bug should be easily fixed before its release. This is also when you get your first investigation of the game. You need to find your killers trail. You can add clues to your investigation by inspecting around the crime scene in question. You are able to possess other people like police officers, witnesses and even a news reporter.
During possession you are given the options of Influence, Eavesdrop (listen in on conversations), Peek (look through their eyes) and Dispossess. Influencing people allows you to show your clue to the person you are currently processing. There are 3 police shields at the bottom of the screen, rating you on how well you influence, each shield representing a re-try. During the preview build it didn’t seem to matter if I failed all 3 attempts, I could continue presenting clues to the processed. Hopefully there is a harder difficulty available preventing you for doing so in the full release and also an incentive such as an achievement/trophy for keep re-tries to a minimum. It is worth mentioning that you are not forced to find all clues in the area if you have the ones needed to complete the current investigation.
After you are done with the first investigation, one of the police officers opens the front door of the apartment building for you to enter as another ghost exits. Inside the apartment building I started to feel passing through walls was quite disorienting, losing some sense of direction as you appear on the other side, almost like you were using a no clip cheat. This isn’t the only other ability that feels like cheating as you are also able to see through walls.
You will meet other ghosts throughout the game where you can help them pass on to the afterlife. These act like side-quests, so you aren’t forced to complete them before moving on with the main story. There was many of these in the preview build alone, so these should keep you busy throughout the game along with the main campaign story.
As you make your way upstairs of the apartment building you will meet soul sucking demons. These demons are ghosts who never did manage to pass on to the afterlife. We really wouldn’t want that to happen to Ronan now too would we? You need to avoid these demons by hiding within smoked ghost outline spots, like the ones you see on the walls that you can walk through, you can also teleport between them.
To defeat the demons you need to get behind them and take them out by pressing a simple QTE button prompt. These encounters were really easy in the preview build, but it’s difficult to say how challenging these will become later on in the game.
You finally get to the apartment of the window that you were thrown out of. In this area you discover the person who killed you was after a girl that just so happens to be a direct witness to your murder, who managed to escape outside the window after your confrontation.
You will find a lead within the apartment of where she may have gone, so you go out of the window in pursuit of the truth. This is where the demo sadly ended and I really can’t wait to play more as there is loads more left unexplained. I especially wanted to see what happened once you finally tracked down the killer. Does Ronan get his body back or doe he put an end to his unfinished, allowing him to move on to the afterlife?
We can discover the mystery together around Ronan O’Connor death in Murdered: Soul Suspect when it releases 3rd June in North America, (which also happens to be my birthday, so thanks for the birthday gift Airtight Games and Square Enix) and then 6th June in Europe for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 36o and Xbox One.