O’Connor’s Super Powers ‘Limited’
The creative director for Murdered: Soul Suspect, Yoshuke Shiokawa, recently sat down with Game Planet to talk about the game. The supernatural murder mystery follows Cop Ronan O'Connor as he tries to solve his own murder.
O'Connor investigates the crime as a ghostly presence in the space between our world and the next-The Dusk. However his new existence comes with some limitations; O'Connor can walk through walls but he cannot pick up objects and so must interact with them via other means. Shiokawa talked about how players get around the whole passing-through-solid-objects-thing as well as the challenges presented to the developers when they were deciding what powers O'Connor should have. Shiokawa says that the team started by looking at genre conventions and audience expectations.
"Everything in the game has to be in line with what people's notions of a ghost are about. So we did research on what people think a ghost should be able to do, and we got so many answers that were the same: 'pass through walls', 'peek in the girl's locker room'," he jokes, "We didn't have enough ghostly things – finding those ideas was tough."
However, conventions found in one medium do not always carry over to others. Shiokawa continued, "Even if something is ghostly, it doesn't mean it works in a videogame. And even if it is ghostly and it works, it doesn't mean it's fun."
We already know that O'Connor can possess people. However O'Connor cannot control his host as one would expect. But he can eavesdrop on the thoughts of his host, take a peep at their memories and he can also see what his host sees. Possession is useful against the game's enemies too-demons. O'Connor's primary foes look typically infernal with fire spewing from their mouths. Demons can be dealt with via possession in one of two ways. Firstly, O'Connor can sneak up on a demon, possess it and then kill it. The interview implies that it's unwise to go for a head-on assault. A stealthier, avoidance tactic is also an option in dealing with demons and, by the sounds of it, much preferred. Because O'Connor is invisible to demons whilst possessing someone he can jump on board an NPC and then wait for them to walk past the demon. Shiokawa explained, "We don't want to create action-packed run and gun style combat."
Possession can be used to great effect if one wishes to avoid demons but another one of O'Connor's powers proves just as useful; O'Connor can teleport and therefore travel past demons undetected. In the Game planet interview, Shiokawa wouldn't say what other ghostly talents O'Connor has though he did hint at a hover power and a poltergeist power. But Shiokawa stressed, "The player cannot throw cars or tables – it is limited."
Not only does the game sound intriguing, it looks beautiful as well. You might think this is a next gen title but Shiokawa revealed that this isn't so. He said, "Of course we thought about the possibility [of next-gen versions]. But I really wanted to make a great game and use our resources for that rather than on working out the new pipeline."
Shiokawa was tight lipped about any other game details though he did say "I love JJ Abram's TV shows like Lost, Fringe, Alias. Those shows have a bunch of mystery twists to drive [the] audience, and also small supernatural experiences like a mysterious island or time travel things, or redemption things. I really love that mixture. So I would like to make a strong mystery in a similar structure."
You'll be able to play through the twists and turns of this supernatural whodunit on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 early next year.