A man falling down a window reflects on moments from his life which once felt like an unbreakable dream hardened by reality of struggles he had adorned, he forgets that his breath was as fragile as those glass pieces that would hit the ground along with his body.
The moment he recovers from flashbacks of his past, he watches his killer disappear from the window and when he rises to open the apartment door to nab this masked assailant before he runs away, he realizes that his so called life is now rope walking on a thin thread of his fading breath.
Shocked to see his motionless body this man realizes he has to get back to where he belonged to call for help, it’s too late to return as the hooded killer was staring right in front of him standing with his gun pointed towards his chest he pumps bullets right through him in cold blood to end this guy’s life.
Murdered Soul Suspect opens with a plot akin to any popular Hollywood murder mystery and this one is riding on a ghost story of game’s main protagonist Ronan O’Connor who is depicted as a rogue detective with a chequered past. He comes to terms to realize that he is no longer alive and the white light that lead him to his wife waiting across the bridge warns him to resolve unattended business of his mortal life before he gets consumed by dark forces and only then he can cross over the bridge to return to her.
The plot is set for an interesting story to carry on from here when Ronan understands he has to solve his own murder to set himself free from this ‘In-between’ world following spirit of a girl Abigail Williams who cautions Ronan to be careful about demonic spirits lurking around waiting to consume them and draw them into a dark vortex from where their souls can never return.
You start hunting for clues around you, with your spirit powers allowing you to possess people around you allowing abilities like reading their mind and influence them, peek through their eyes for clues you are searching, pass through walls. While investigating your own murder you encounter other ghosts whom you can help to solve mysteries of their own death which serve as interesting side missions, also slightly strange for a tough guy like Ronan to be soft at heart and so willing to help out these spirits.
Talking about Ronan’s foes in this game you would encounter demons who need to be tackled with stealth and they are the only formidable enemies in the game you need to be careful of. There are shadow apparitions which allow you to hide from them and you cannot risk hiding under an apparition for long so keep teleporting through these shadowy shapes to defeat dark souls lurking around, So if there is a possibility that you may get bored by the puzzle based investigative storyline, demon hunting would come to your rescue in providing a welcome break by putting your detective skills to rest for a while.
You also gain powers to interact with real world objects to scare mortals out of their wits, hunt for collectibles throughout the game. Jason Graves composes a fitting score for this game which builds up spooky atmosphere for a dark and brooding story, City of Salem wears a look of a sleepy old town that does not exactly give you an open environment feeling and sometimes your surrounding looks slightly congested with inter dimensional vintage objects structures blended into modern landscape.
Graphics look fine on Xbox 360 however transition from cut scenes to game play was glitchy also you can imagine how passing through walls is counted as a major bug in other games, it is a regular affair on this one and you never know when you would hit a buggy patch while going through your soul searching act.
Ronan’s path to salvation is a bumpy one as he walks through the world of paranormal he manages to keep you intrigued and engaged in the hunt for his killer who also is doubted to be a serial killer on the run known as the “Bell Killer”, this is one spooky ride you would not regret taking.
Murdered Souls Suspect scores on novelty of the plot with balance of stealth and adventure. Square Enix and Airtight Games have delivered a fresh concept matched with not so great but definitely good game play. Apart from minor technical issues and poor frame rate in some scenes this game plays well and I give this one 3.5 boxes out of 5.
You can grab a copy of this game from Games The Shop website for a 25% discount under their ongoing end of season sale (Xbox 360 Version)