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.
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