Murdered: Soul Suspect

A curious and offbeat detective adventure that makes up in personality what it lacks in depth and technical polish.

Spotlight

Airtight on Murdered: Soul Suspect, its next-gen port and Die Hard

"We're not going down the rabbit hole of all the new features that the platforms use."

VideoHere's a fresh look at Murdered: Soul Suspect

So that's what Axl Rose has been up to.

Key events

Xbox Live Games With Gold for November announced

Xbox Live Games With Gold for November announced

Super Dungeon Bros! Murdered: Soul Suspect! Monkey Island! Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon!

Microsoft's announced November's Games with Gold titles.

On Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold members can download Super Dungeon Bros for free throughout November.

Murdered: Soul Suspect is free to download from 16th November to 15th December.

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Face-Off: Murdered: Soul Suspect

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Murdered: Soul Suspect

Digital Foundry investigates the 60-30fps divide in Airtight Games' supernatural action-adventure.

Murdered: Soul Suspect is the latest title that shows a remarkable frame-rate difference between the PS4 and Xbox One, with Airtight Games' release harking back to the 60/30fps divide seen most dramatically in Square-Enix stable-mate, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition. In this case of this release, it's an interesting technical decision that has significant consequences for the experience on Sony's console - both good and bad - and raises an interesting question. Does a mammoth increase in raw frame-rate significantly improve the gameplay experience for this type of game, and are the drawbacks with its specific implementation enough to make Xbox One's capped 30fps the better choice?

As an adventure game with mild action and stealth elements that expand upon the core exploration and crime-scene investigation features, low-latency controls aren't required to really enjoy Murdered: Soul Suspect. However, while running at 60fps still benefits gameplay by providing silky-smooth motion that lower frame-rates simply cannot match, there's definitely a sense that the raw performance throughput of the PS4 game comes at the expense of overall polish. The DirectX 11 Xbox One and PC versions both feel pretty solid, while the faster PS4 title exhibits more noticeable gameplay and rendering bugs, making things feel a little rough around the edges - despite the obvious love and attention that has gone into crafting the atmospheric environments and interesting premise.

Things start off promisingly enough with both console versions implementing a native 1080p presentation, and this is backed up by a light layer of post-process anti-aliasing that subtracts a small amount of shimmer from edges without eroding too much sharpness from the overall image. Some texture blur is present, and while this robs the artwork of its most intricate details, the overall impact is milder and less intrusive than many of the post-process solutions we've seen in the past.

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Murdered: Soul Suspect is out this Friday. It's a sort of supernatural adventure game that proves there is a fate worse than death, and it involves spending eternity wearing a stupid hat and a very tight waistcoat.

Murdered: Soul Suspect review

I'm over halfway through Murdered: Soul Suspect when I realise something: I've not shot or punched anyone during the whole time I've been playing. Nor, it turns out, will I shoot or punch anyone for the remainder of the game. It's a testament to the game's peculiar strengths that it manages to feel like an action game while cleverly distracting you from the fact you're not actually getting much action.

The reason is pretty simple. Ghosts can't pick up guns and their fists tend to float right through whatever they try to hit, and since you're a ghost - the ghost of detective Ronan O'Connor, killed while investigating a serial murderer known as The Bell Killer - this can't help but restrict your options when it comes to violence.

You rely instead on brains, as you try to solve the mystery of your own murder so that you can find peace and be reunited with your dead wife in the comforting glow of The Other Side. This you do by using your ghost powers - and, yes, one of the characters explains them to you using that very term - to poke around crime scenes and read the minds of other characters.

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Murdered: Soul Suspect release date announced

Murdered: Soul Suspect launches in Europe on 6th June 2014, Square Enix has announced.

The spooky detective thriller comes out in North America on 3rd June.

Those release dates are for all versions of the game: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

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Murdered: Soul Suspect headed to Xbox One

UPDATE: And PS4. All versions to launch in June.

UPDATE 16.01PM: After Microsoft's earlier reveal of Murdered: Soul Suspect on Xbox One, publisher Square Enix has confirmed a PlayStation 4 version of the game is also in the works.

VideoHere's a fresh look at Murdered: Soul Suspect

So that's what Axl Rose has been up to.

Murdered: Soul Suspect, Airtight's Square-published adventure games, is many things - it's a little bit artless, features some bizarre characterisation, a lead character that looks like Axl Rose and slightly wonky mechanics. But it is also different, and that's enough to make it markedly more interesting than a host of other games. Riffing off of the slightly under-appreciated Ghost Trick, it plunges you into the spooky boots of a recently deceased cop, and tasks you with solving your own murder. It's basically LA Noire with no clipping.

VideoHere's your first proper look at Murdered: Soul Suspect

Airtight Games' beyond the grave mystery looks… interesting.

So, here's the good news: Square has announced a new game that's not a shooter and that's not a sequel. Even better - and somewhat bizarrely - it's a full-blooded riff on Shu Takumi's brilliant DS puzzler Ghost Trick, as well as a noirish adventure game that has a much more intimate understanding of the genre than L.A. Noire ever did.

First Murdered: Soul Suspect trailer released, out early 2014

Square Enix has released the first trailer for Murdered: Soul Suspect, its mysterious new game.

There's not much to it. It's a CGI movie with some moody voice over and a chap (the player?) falling out of a window.

It has also confirmed that it will be released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in early 2014.

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