CSI: Deadly Intent




Genre:   Adventure

Developer:   Telltale games

Publisher:    UbiSoft

Released:  October 2009

PC Requirements:   Windows 2000 / XP / Vista, 2.0 GHz processor or better, 512MB RAM, 64MB 3D-accelerated video card, 1.5GB hard drive space, DVD-ROM drive


Additional Screenshots





by flotsam


I confess that after CSI: NY, I doubted I would ever play another of these franchise games. However I was assured this was a step up, so off I went to Vegas, if not without a completely open mind, then at least with a modicum of optimism.

In short, a step up it was indeed; not so far up as to give me a nosebleed, or even a touch of dizziness, but far enough that I couldnít see Manhattan.

I couldnít really see Vegas either, except for some glitzy flyover cutscenes reminiscent of the TV show from which this springs. But I did get some gruesome murder and bloody mayhem, and a trusty PDA chock full of those bits and pieces every good crime scene investigator needs. No sticky fluid, no partial print, no powder residue was going to escape me.

Crimes are typically at the centre of events, and even more typically itís all about the investigation. Search the scenes, collect trace evidence, and interview witnesses. Useful things get added to your crime file and evidence dossier as you go. Travel to the lab to look for DNA or fingerprint matches, reassemble broken objects, analyse sound or video images or more intimately examine documents and objects. Get enough good evidence and you might be able to drag in a suspect for questioning, or get a warrant to search premises. Get even more, and you can seek an arrest warrant. All going well, you will trip the suspect up in a lie by confronting him or her with key evidence, and itís up the river for 10 to 20.

Deadly Intent isnít a hard game, even if you set the hints to their lowest setting. There is a limited amount to do in each scene, and a message will tell you when you have found everything you need to find. Hotspot icons are essentially limited to talking to people and using your toolkit. You will get directional arrows indicating you can move around the scene or zoom in on an area for a closer look. Conversations are managed by topic icons; simply click and you get a response to the question asked.

When examining an item, say a chair, you might squirt with chemicals to look for blood traces, or dust to look for fingerprints. Back in the lab, you might be able to match a fingerprint with others that have been found, or search the database for other possible hits. Ditto with the blood or other DNA material. Each piece of lab equipment operates differently, and the process required to get a match or reveal a chemical will be different, but helpfully explained by a tutorial the first time you use the equipment (assuming you leave tutorials turned on). If you get a match on, say, a fingerprint, that particular fingerprint will be indicated with a green checkmark in your evidence folder; a pop-up description will tell you what it is.

When you use a piece of lab equipment, only the evidence that is able to be analysed or examined by that equipment will be available to you. You do collect a lot of stuff, so this helps limit the unnecessary or impossible tests. You get pop-up messages when some piece of information or evidence is added to the PDA, and you might also get emails and phone calls. Messages might also tell you warrants are available.

Various locations will always be available to you, but others will only become accessible as you work your way through your investigation. Itís first person point and click through five chapters, each taking a couple of hours to complete.

The scenes and character modelling are a little basic, and a little blocky, but perfectly adequate. I thought it was well written and the voice acting is rather good. I understand characters from the show are used in the game.

CSI: Deadly Intent is competently put together, and it led me gently along. It was more than painting by numbers, but I didnít think it tested me in any real way. Perfunctory is the best word to describe my overall experience. If you are a fan of the series, and like a modest bit of detectioning, you may well be pleased with the result.

Grade: B-

December, 2009

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