Murderous Pursuits is a stealthy murder mystery game from Blazing Griffin, releasing later this month on Steam. I had the good fortune of being invited to its closed beta session this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised. This game is a spiritual successor to Blazing Griffin’s previous title, the 2016 remake of The Ship. Before having the chance to see for myself, I read several accounts that they had simply remade that title once more. I can now assure you that is not the case, and those people obviously haven’t played either game.
Though the art style and overall objective (kill or be killed) are similar, the experience could not be more different. In the Ship, the only goal was to find your quarry, whose name and appearance were both known to you, and kill them before your hunter found you. You could murder literally everyone if you wanted, there was nothing stopping you. Murderous Pursuits curtails those impulses toward bloodlust.
Where The Ship was an all-out bloodbath. Murderous Pursuits is a waiting game. You may only kill your quarry and stun your hunter, everyone else is off-limits and attempting to annihilate them will just make the narrator upset with you (he straight up loathed me). You are required to stop periodically in designated spots to remain undetected, as are your quarry and your hunter. If they continue to blend in, you have to rely on radar and a lucky guess to spot them. There is a lot more strategy involved in MP, and perceivably a larger learning curve though I went into The Ship: Remasted having watched others play the original version so I had a better understanding of game mechanics.
While I was initially frustrated by not being able to murder indiscriminately, once I became accustomed to my limitations and the slower pace, I actually preferred Murderous Pursuits over The Ship. There’s a higher degree of strategy and tension when you’re in a room with two people, one of whom is your quarry and you suddenly have to decide which one to target before both can escape your grasp.
I was sad to see the beta end, just as I was getting not completely awful, but I’ll definitely be playing more when Murderous Pursuits launches on Steam two weeks from today (26 April)!