the writings of a mind

Title: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Genre: Adventure
Strap: We’re waiting for the Diagnosis Murder game, but this will pass the time.

The success or failure of so many of America’s biggest drama series seems to depend upon which terrestrial channel picks it up first. X-Files, Buffy, 24 – all picked up by the Beeb, and all enormous hits. Homicide, NYPD Blue, Supranos – all shown by Channel 4, and all medium successes. Charmed, Dark Angel, CSI – all on Channel 5, and all remarkably obscure. Currently, CSI: Miami (the sister show of the original) is the most popular programme in the United States, and yet none of the hype or excitement has managed to traverse the ocean waves. Which doesn’t exactly bode well for sales of this here little game.

This established, it rather removes any chances of your being excited at the news of the appearance of the original cast. Or that you are the new rookie on the team, partnering up with major characters to investigate a series of, well, as providence would have it, crime scenes. There are five of these misdemeanours to be picked apart, each through the time-dishonoured method of running your cursor over the screen until it indicates something to be clicked upon. You’ve got a number of investigative tools under your belt (or perhaps clipped to your belt), which will reveal new evidence or information when impressed upon the correct lump of pixels. So if you spot a suspiciously smudged surface, you’re going to want to dust for prints. Seeing sticky stains should have you reaching for your swabs. And never anything more complicated than that.

After solving each case, you receive an appraisal that judges you based on the percentage of evidence you discovered, and the number of clues you required. These so-called ‘clues’ are the result of asking your partner a question – essentially punishing you for behaving like a sensible cop. And evidence is discovered through the tiresome forensic mouse-searching of every single screen for the shadow that you’re supposed to click on.

The whole collection of not-good-enough-for-the-tv-show stories are easily finished in four hours, which is hideously short, and at no point is it even vaguely challenging or complex. But yet there’s still that strange allure of getting to do a Quincy that kept me playing until the end. However, it was impossible to shake the memory that getting to play cop was all done far better by Police Quest 3 back in 1990, which is really rather embarrassing.

 Game Police Line – Do Not Cross


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Price: £20