I kind of have to wonder if Airtight Games, the Seattle-based devs behind "Murdered: Soul Suspect," are feeling a bit cranky that R.I.P.D. -- the Robert Schwentke flop about Ryan Reynolds and the Dude being ghost cops -- not only beat them the premise, but also spawned a videogame of the same name.
Taking solace in the fact that neither versions of R.I.P.D. well particularly well-received, Airtight has released a new Gamescom trailer for "Murdered," which, gosh, is a title that gets right to the point.
If you haven't caught any of "Murdered"'s previous trailers, the basic rundown is that you'll play as Ronan O'Connor, the spookiest, Irish-est, and most fashionable cop to ever be gunned down in the street of Salem, Massachusetts and reappear as a spectral phantasm to investigate his own murder.
I apologize for being glib, but one of the things I like about "Murdered" so far is how po-faced it remains in the face of such a bizarre premise. I hope he gets to strangle a ghost with his wallet chain.
As trailers tend to go, "Murdered"'s most recent outing doesn't do much to illuminate what players will actually do once they step into O'Connor's ghostly brogues. Thanks to a 25-minute walkthrough video, though, we know that we'll be gathering clues, eavesdropping on witnesses, reading minds, and generally cavorting about like a poltergesit Cole Phelps.
Oh, and possessing demons and then exploding them from the inside.
There's also the added twist that O'Connor doesn't have much of a grasp on how the afterlife works: he can pass through walls, but he's not allowed to enter and exit buildings freely. Leveraging O'Connors more supernatural abilities will be crucial to both combat and investigation, according to Airtight.
O'Connor's fedora notwithstanding, there's no reason to think "Murdered" can't take up "L.A. Noire"'s campy, punch-drunk mantle. My biggest concerns at this relatively early point -- "Murdered" isn't due until next year -- is that haphazard combat or an over-generous "Ghost Vision" could detract from the game's more investigative aspects.
"Murdered: Soul Suspect" will be published by Square Enix next year for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter