Making some interesting use of FMV segments, and promising to play out a bit differently each time, Muses has promise but requires patience
I’ve actually taken my time thinking this one over, as it feels like a game I should be more enamored with but I just can’t seem to feel anything more than lukewarm about, at best. While from character to character the script and delivery are inconsistent, the best feature of Murderous Muses is its use of FMV as just a core part of a bigger overall experience. Rather than feel like a semi-interactive long-form movie, Muses uses the segments in relation to your essentially solving the puzzle of where and how to place specific pictures. If that doesn’t sound like a clear description of what you’re meant to do in the game, that’s intentional, as it’s consistent with the feeling I had as I spent far too much time meandering around an art museum trying to place the proper paintings in the proper places without there being any real direction provided. The game is definitely a test of patience if you try to come to terms with what it is trying to do on your own, and for me it felt like it simply wasted quite a bit of my time when the focus of play didn’t arrive until quite a bit later when I finally saw the video segments that were finally a bit more helpful. The experience just feels a bit unpolished, and not terribly respectful of the players time, even when they become more in tune with the general expectations for how to play it. Like I said, it being unique and using FMV in a new way would seem to put it firmly in my wheelhouse but the sloppy overall execution took the wind out of my sails overall.
Justin Nation, Score: