Murdered: Soul Suspect
By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Supernatural mystery suffers design issues, weak writing.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Various plot threads touch on notions of justice, love, guilt, and responsibility. The story also has strong themes of spirituality, though it doesn't focus on or promote any one religion.
Positive Role Models
The protagonist is a reformed-criminal-turned-detective who gets killed in the game's opening moments. He spends the rest of the game as a ghost in limbo. Despite his past, he seems like a good man and a loving husband and is eager to help other ghosts he encounters deal with their own problems.
Ease of Play
Most investigations aren't very difficult to work through if you take the time to thoroughly scour the environment for clues. But solving mysteries on your first try by selecting relevant evidence can be tricky due to vaguely worded clues and questions. Plus, the lack of an in-game map makes finding your way around the town of Salem kind of frustrating.
Violence & Scariness
The protagonist can occasionally grab demons -- floating wraiths -- and reduce them to ash by sneaking up behind them and pulling their essences from their bodies. Non-interactive flashbacks show (or discuss) people's deaths and murders, including those of a man getting shot, a college student accidentally left in a mausoleum to die, a crazed mother who drops her child from a balcony, and a girl who's dragged, tied to a chair, and drowned. There's no gore, but players will see crimson stains and pools of blood.
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Spoken dialogue includes the words "f--k" and "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Advertising for other Square Enix games is visible within the environment and includes a poster on a police station wall for Just Cause 2 and several computers running Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The game's hero keeps a lit cigarette in the corner of his mouth throughout the game. An investigation concerning a drinking-and-driving accident includes flashbacks that depict drunken characters.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Murdered: Soul Suspect is a mystery investigation adventure that puts players in the shoes of a recently deceased police officer trying to solve his own murder. Play revolves around finding clues scattered around the environment and interpreting them. Violence has a role but is used primarily to further the murder-mystery narrative; it takes the form of cut scenes and flashbacks and is almost always non-interactive. Parents should note, though, that dialogue contains strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"). Also, one of the game's investigations revolves around a deadly incident involving drinking and driving, and the game's hero is almost never seen without a cigarette in his mouth.
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Murdered: Soul Suspect
Based on 2 parent reviews
Not worth the m rating very few f-bombs and similar amount of swearing to a pg-13 movie
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Really nothing a 13 year old can't handle, unless they're easily scared.
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What’s It About?
MURDERED: SOUL SUSPECT puts players in the shoes of Ronan O'Connor, a reformed criminal now serving as a detective for the Salem police force. He's murdered in the game's opening moments, thrown from a fourth-floor apartment window by a masked killer. Waking as a ghost, he's stuck in limbo until he completes unfinished business from his life -- namely, finding the person who killed him. Thus begins an otherworldly investigation that leads Ronan around the streets of Salem, where he learns that he has some pretty interesting powers, such as the ability to pass through solid objects, possess the living, and see the ghostly remnants of objects from troubled events of years gone by. He also meets plenty of other people stuck in limbo and decides to put his investigative powers to use by helping them solve the mysteries of their deaths, sending them floating up into a bright light when they're successful.
Is It Any Good?
Murdered: Soul Suspect is bursting with promise that's never realized. The notion of playing as a dead detective working his own unsolved murder is tantalizing. And it's refreshing to see a game meant for older players that eschews constant fighting for something more cerebral -- namely, searching for clues and putting them together to solve mysteries. Add a few cool ghostly powers to help the character along -- for example, possessing people of interest to read their thoughts, influence them, or look through their eyes to see what they see is undeniably cool -- and you have a recipe for what should be a great game. Sadly, it never quite comes together.
The story relies on pretty much every gumshoe trope imaginable and delivers each through bland dialogue and surprisingly dull and repetitive thoughts that run through the heads of most of the people Ronan can possess -- a problem for a game that relies so heavily on storytelling. Making things worse are a host of design issues, such as the lack of an in-game map (which makes finding your way around Salem much harder than it needs to be). There also are half-baked, wholly unnecessary combat scenes with Ronan sneaking up on demons that feed on ghosts' souls to "execute" them. Happily, these fighting sequences are infrequent. There are some interesting kernels here that warrant a look for grown-up gamers searching for something a bit different, but even then Murdered: Soul Suspect isn't worth the full price.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violent nature of the game's flashbacks. Although they aren't interactive, the content discussed in cut scenes and flashbacks is gruesome. What kind of impact could this content have on players?
What do you think happens when people die? The game features ghosts as they would appear in real life. Does this game present them in a way you'd imagine?
Families also can talk about being a detective. What sorts of qualities and traits might make someone good at solving crimes? Do you think a person with a criminal past might be better at figuring out how criminals think?
- Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release date: June 4, 2014
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: June 4, 2022
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