|Platform||360, PS3, PC|
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Ronan O’Connor is a detective in the creepy little town of Salem, Massachusetts—home, of course, to the notorious Salem Witch Trials (where one of Sarah Jessica Parker’s very distant cousins was accused of witchcraft against one of my very distant cousins—real talk!). And, like many detectives, this hard-boiled sleuth’s on a murder case. The only problem is…he’s dead. And that murder he’s trying to solve? It’s his own. Thankfully, death has imbued him with a few otherworldly powers, such as possession and the ability to walk, Link-style, right through walls.
Sometimes, you’ll be watching an E3 demo, excited about the innovations you’re seeing…and then a focus-group invention inserts itself into the proceedings, and you hang your head. Murdered: Soul Suspect was one such demo.
The game looks solid, playing like a more focused version of L.A. Noire or Heavy Rain. Creative director Yosuke Shiokawa admits to playing those titles but says his game is a more personal journey, with fewer distractions. After all, he says, you’re working for yourself, not some detective agency. And while the investigative portions of the game look spectacular—you’ll uncover clues via your powers and psychically “reenact” the crime scene—there’s just one little fly in the ointment.
Demons. I don’t know what demons have to do with solving a murder mystery, but according to the folks at developer Airtight Games, they’ll be a major part of the experience, and you’ll be fighting them “a lot.” Yes, because you know what L.A. Noire‘s investigative segments needed? More Beelzebub. (No wonder Cole Phelps was so schizophrenic—demonic possession!)
I kid, but this feeling is unanimous among the EGM Crew. We all feel like the concept is incredibly intriguing and would love to get engrossed with an old-fashioned murder mystery—we just don’t want unnecessary combat elements to potentially spoil the experience.