If you remember last time, I reviewed 4pm. No, not the hour, the game. But if you want my opinion on that, I’m more of a morning person, I don’t like the look of the afternoon. That’s just me.
Anyway, we are going to talk about Murder today. Murder, otherwise known as Homicide, is the act of ending another person’s life. Murder has existed since, well, the beginning of mankind. In fact, it’s existed as a sport in the Roman times, where people would fight to the death in front of huge crowds of people…
Oh wait… whoops, sorry, wrong script…
*Shuffle Shuffle Shuffle*
Aha! There you are!
Ok, so now we are actually talking about Murder, a game made by a man named Peter Moorhead.
Peter here has gotten in some hot water for some of his opinions on Steam refunds. Although, the strange thing is, I don’t think he really said those things.
You see, Jim Sterling, a mildly well known Youtube video game critic, has accused Peter of being against the Steam refund policy because it would be detrimental to indie developers. Although Peter was quick to strike back, claiming that Jim had misquoted him, to which Jim had provided a link to his blog on Tumblr for the whole story.
Me, being the Curious George that I am, went to go see his statements for myself. Only to find out that the page no longer exists.
Alrighty then, so I instead tried to find his tweet interactions with Jim, maybe then I could see what was going on. But it would seem that the second link also doesn’t exist.
Hmm… strange I thought. So I looked for Peter Moorhead’s official Twitter page, and this is what I found:
This was kind of a red flag for me. I don’t know if he was getting harassed on Twitter a lot, because let’s face it, it’s the internet, or if he was back tracking on his statements. The truth of the matter is I have no idea if Jim Sterling’s words are accurate or not, so I’m not going to comment about it.
However, the idea of Steam refunds hurting smaller devs is a debate that was going on for a while now. Ever since Steam introduced the refund system. Some devs, mostly made up of devs who make really short games, have claimed that the refund system ruins the sales of their game because once people have beaten the game, they could just refund it. And Murder is a short game, which would make sense if Peter had said this. This does sound like a valid point.
Although, well known PC gaming critic and Steam curator, TotalBiscuit, has shown that their charts for proving this theory were misleading in his video, “Devs speak out on Steam Refunds.” Him and many other devs claimed that, “It’s too early to tell the long term effects of the Steam refund system.”
Alright so enough blibby blabbery! You came here for my opinion on the game. And here you go.
#1 What is homicide? I mean, Murder?
Murder, as mentioned before, is a short, narrative driven game. Much like 4pm, but instead it’s a point and click style game. Point and click games were pretty popular on the PC platform for a long time, but since I’m new to it, I don’t know that much about it.
But from what I do know, P&C games are centered around adventure and interactivity with the environment. Murder does this in 2 ways: Critical hotspots (One’s that are required to progress) and Optional hotspots (Optional, duh.) The optional hotspots don’t appear unless you move the courser over them first, so you are meant to really look for them. Pretty standard stuff.
Murder is also unique in the sense that it has a pixalated art style. Reminding you of things like the 16 bit era of gaming. It’s all very polished and looks surprisingly very good.
That all being said, I think this game runs into the same problem that 4pm did. It’s short length.
A lot of what I said about 4pm also applies here. Mainly the point of me saying that the story of these kinds of games always feel rushed and lacking in depth. And once again, I also believe that if these games were made in episodic format, then they would be both much better received and more profitable.
Remember the Steam store page for 4pm? Well, here’s the one for Murder:
Surprisingly it’s mixed as opposed to Mostly Negative, but even still, I think it could’ve been better.
It’s tough to think of an overall review cause I’ll pretty much just be repeating myself from my 4pm review. So instead, I’ll just explain the story as I understand it. Spoiler warning and such and such.
#2 Robot killers and badge takers.
Here, we take the role of Motomeru Minori, lieutenant of the super sci-fi police force thingy. Yeah, that’s what they’re called.
After awakening from a nightmare of being MURDERED, she later wakes up to the sight of the titular MURDER! Now she must catch the MURDERER and bring him into MURDER prison so he will MURDER no longer! Did I mention MURDER was involved?
But wait, hold your panties grandma! Cause this MURDER was likely caused by a MURDER crazy robot. Ooh, not bad right? Sounds good so far.
This robot has separated from the rest, he will no longer take shit from the humans anymore. Humans have corrupted their own moral code, humans are no longer fit for purpose alongside the A.I. dominated future.
Minori, given no choice, puts down the madman, or mad droid, robot?
Sure the problem is solved now, but what if this is only the beginning of an inevitable revolution. The humans vs. the robots, man vs. machine, the creation vs. the creators. A massive war that could potentially wipe out the entirety of human life as we know it, leaving the remaining survivors to cope with the wrenched remains of a world crippled by war. Has man finally went too far? Was this all destine to happen? Will our ambition lead to our ultimate annihilation? Was it true tha-
WAIT, WHAT!!!??? THAT’S IT!!! ARE YOU FUCKING JOKING!?!? WE JUST BARELY STARTED!!!
WHAT KINDA BULLFUCKING SHIT IS THIS!!! WHO’S TROLLING ME?!?! IS IT YOU BILL!!? I BET IT WAS YOU, YOU SLIMEY LITTLE SHIT!!! COME HERE!!!-
Nope, nope, it’s ok! I’m fine here! I just smoked a ton of weed and punched Bill in the face. I’m feeling ok now. He kinda talks funny now, really made me feel better… What was I talking about again?.. Oh, oh! Yeah that’s right!
So yeah, that ending is no joke, the game seriously just ends right there. Mainly, my question is why?
I mean, what a wasted opportunity right? So much set up, so much potential just utterly obliterated in one fell swoop!
Sure the story is far from original, obviously taking stuff from Blade Runner, Brave New World, Terminator, 2001: A space odyssey, Star trek, hell, even Beverly Hills Cop mainly from the line “I oughta have your badge for this, Minori!”
Speaking of the voice acting, the guy who said that line, no joke, I was convinced he was completely shitfaced the entire time he was recording his parts. Listening to him slur his language reminded me of someone who’s so wasted they can’t even walk properly.
He was the only standout for that reason, everyone else while not bad, weren’t mind-blowingly amazing.
What do I even say about the characters? My only response is: What characters? We barely had time to put our shoes on, how could you expect character development?
#3 Is MURDER bad?
Of course murder is bad! What the hell is wrong with you?! Of course killing people is bad, you fucking psycho! Geez… What?.. Oh god dammit, I get those two confused so much!
Honestly, for as bullshit as that ending is, I loved what was there. I love the pixel art, I love the world it was setting up. While the story is not that original, I love the idea of AI being like humans and stuff. But sadly, this game ended before it even began.
But despite all that, I wouldn’t refund this game. No, I wouldn’t. I feel like it was reasonable for the asking price. I don’t feel like I got cheated. It wasn’t at all what I expected and it could’ve been far better, I still feel like I got my money’s worth.
To any game devs who make short games, let me give you some advice: If you’re game is good or at least has something noteworthy about it. No matter the length, if it’s good, people will tend not to want a refund. If this game was 20$, I would be hugely upset, believe me, but it’s not. I feel like it was good for what it was.
This has been Praxsi, message me on twitter and tweet me on facebook. I’ll be sure to provide all kinds of funny little tidbits about my days and shit. Anyway, see yall later! 😀
(Hey Bill, hey no! Come back! I’m sorry!.. Come on, I swear I won’t hurt you, come on!.. B-Bill, get over here! Give me a hug!.. GIVE ME A FUCKING HUG DAMMIT!!!)