Recently I was invited to participate in the alpha for Bungie’s new game Destiny. I was able to try out one of the game’s story mission’s, explore a massive slice of the game world as well as a three team raid and the multiplayer. I wanted to share my thought’s with everyone who might be on the fence about the game. First off Destiny is a absolute stunner with gorgeous lighting and incredible vista’s, helping to bring this amazing science fiction world to life. I started off the alpha with the story mission which had me checking out activity in an old array station. The mission was pretty straight forward in it’s design but it did showcase how Destiny goes from open world MMO/RPG to tight responsive first person shooter and doesn’t miss a beat. Once I finished the mission I was set loose into a huge slice of the game’s open world, there was a airplane graveyard, a shipyard filled with massive ships, rusted and falling apart. Destiny does a great job of making it’s world varied and interesting to explore. The game then allowed me to scan for beacons that give the player a side mission to do, most of them being kill X number of enemies or kill a certain enemy or gather X amount of a certain item, these missions are a welcome distraction but they aren’t anything special and they do start to repeat after completing a few of them. I then decided to take part in a CO OP mission with two other players in which we had to destroy a target. The CO OP runs pretty well, with only match that had a minimal amount of lag. The three character classes work well in the CO OP with each player having their own skills and special powers with which to combat the various alien races with. The only issue I had with the CO OP was that at times it feels like you need more players with how things are balanced. I spent some of my time in the alpha at the hub area where the player can buy new armor and weapons as well as customize their ship and join their friend’s. Finally I jumped into a round of the game’s multiplayer and give it a shot. I personally did not like the multiplayer all that much, it has a very Halo feel to it with players having shields and being able to jump into the air and rain hell on other players, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. However I can see the multiplayer getting a pretty big community behind it in the weeks and months after Destiny’s launch. Overall my thought’s of Destiny are overwhelmingly positive, the alpha showcased a lot more than I was expecting it to show, giving me just a small slice of what the game has to offer. With an open beta in the coming months and release soon after, I can say that Destiny is looking like it is gonna live up to all the hype and be one of the biggest games of 2014.
Murdered Soul Suspect tells the tale of Detective Ronan O’Connor. Ronan is a detective in Salem Massachusetts, which during the time the game is set, a mysterious figure, nicknamed the Bell Killer is terrorizing residents within the town. Without going into major spoilers for the game, the hook here is that Ronan is murdered just moments into the game’s opening. Ronan’s death allows the player access to a host of special abilities to discover the truth of your death.
Gameplay – Playing Murdered Soul Suspect feels like LA Noire with a supernatural aspect thrown in for good measure. You explore different areas in the city of Salem, uncovering little bits and pieces of the story. There are side missions and collectibles to find, which unlock more lore about the city and it’s people. The side missions mostly consist of helping The spirits of the deceased to find their closure. The game is for the most part, puzzles and exploration, with simple combat here and there. The combat is easy and doesn’t put up much of a challenege at all. It requires you to sneak up behind an enemy and perform a quick time event. Overall the gameplay is average but some quest are pretty interesting and getting to understand more about the people of Salem makes up for it.
Graphics- Murdered isn’t a looker by any streach of the imagination. The visuals are average at best, doing what they can to get by without being amazing. Facial animation and lip sync is okay, at times it will take the player out of the moment during a emotional scene. The design and look of the world is really nice and kept me exploring every inch of Salem, parts of the city are ghost remnants of old Salem and they give the world a really interesting look and nice vibe. Graphically, Murdered is a game that while not having the most technically amazing graphics, it’s artistic style helps it to stand apart from other games.
Audio- Sound design is one of Murdered Soul Suspects best aspects. The soundtrack is pretty low key for the majority of the game. The main theme is easily one of my favorite pieces of music in recent memory. The way the it slowly brings in a violin is absolutely haunting, adding even more the haunted aspects of Salem and the diverse history of the area.
Negatives- While it may seem like I loved Soul Suspect and I did, the game does have it’s fair share of issues. The way the game is designed and how the story unfolds keeps the game on a very linear path. There are times where the game opens up and allows you to explore and find collectables, the linear nature of the game makes you feel like the game is always holding your hand. The game is also lacking in difficulty, with the combat being extremely simple and posing no challenge to the player. There were times when I would get lost while exploring the world and trying to finish a main or side quest.
Verdict- Murdered Soul Suspect is a game that many people slept on and didn’t think would be any good. While the gameplay is sometimes linear and not very challenging, the story is well acted and kept me interested and made me want to discover who killed Ronan. The issues that the game has may keep some people away and it’s not gonna win awards or generate massive sales, despite all these things I feel as if the game has what it takes to become a cult classic.