Friday, February 05, 2010

Video game number thirty six: CSI: Deadly Intent

Game review number thirty six in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "C.S.I: Deadly Intent".

If I had to review this in a sentence, I'd say this: "C.S.I Deadly Intent is about as fun as I imagine working in an actual crime lab might be."

Who knew they could take a good show, turn it into a video game and then make it feel like homework? This game features 5 cases, starring the actors from the TV show and YOU as a junior detective that they lead through solving the case. I only solved one case (I thought quitting sooner would be lame)...but I think I've played all there is to play here.

The first case stars Nick Stokes, who acts as a guide taking you through your first homicide investigation. You can visit the morgue, or go see Jim Brass to get warrants. This is actually the sequel to the first C.S.I game, so Grissom isn't in it....but I ran into Morpheus in the fingerprint lab once. All of the other characters are in the game, but they appear in later cases that I didn't play.

Anyway, you and Stokes find a dead body at a motel, and proceed to interview people and collect evidence. The interviews are ok, except you can't do anything but press "A". It's not like you have a selection wheel of questions to ask them, you have a list of questions to ask, and all you can do is press "play". I suppose this makes some people feel like they're not watching a cut-scene, but I thought it was lacking.

Looking for evidence is tedious, and you can spend a long time scouring the room (probably like a real CSI). There's no button to speed it up into a montage either, you have to hand comb every inch of the crime scene yourself. My first crime scene involved searching for pieces of glass, taking samples of blood stains and looking for "trace". For some reason, you have to revisit the same scene multiple times just to find all the clues that weren't there the first time around.

When you have been searching for a LONG time, you'll get an email tip from Catherine Willows, who tells you "Hey...try looking here, or doing this". Those tips jump-started me and I was able to get back to the lab.

Once in the lab, you take the samples you collect in the field and you run them through equipment, playing little mini-games to match fingerprints or DNA. These games suck ass, and you have to play them every time you get a sample.'s more like work than a game.

Eventually, you get your warrants, arrest suspects and interrogate them. This is probably the only part of the game where efficiency matters. If you tell a suspect that they are lying, and don't have the evidence to back it up...your grade on the case goes down. I think there's an achievement for getting 100% efficiency, but I messed up quite a few times and mine was around 80. It was frustrating to know who the killer was and not be able to skip to the confession in the story. Now I know how the CSI folks on the OJ case feel.

I finally solved the case, and got to hear the twist ending, which was sort of rewarding. I think the entire process took me about 3 hours....for about 15 minutes of actual story. If you'd like to play a demo of this game, simply tape an episode of CSI....and then watch it a little bit at a time over 3 hours. When you're not watching, you can do crossword puzzles or play some other game you don't enjoy at all. It'll be just like playing this game...and you'll save 50 bucks.

Overall score: 3/10 It's not a fun game, but it did have an interesting story. The cases seemed to be of the quality you might find on the show...and if they'd made the game more fun, I would have enjoyed seeing all of them.

Here are the achievements I got for beating the first case.


Post a Comment

<< Home