the writings of a mind

Title: CSI: Dark Motives
Genre: Adventure
Strap: At least this sort of thing keeps the actors busy.

Perhaps I am becoming soft. Or soft in my head. For some reason, playing the second CSI cash-in adventure, I didnít find myself hating it as much as the first. Thatís /hating/ as much.

Itís the same basic structure: you are once more a rookie, working alongside the TV showís main characters, in five episodic missions. You laboriously trawl over every screen, hoping that each microscopic smudge will cause the cursor to turn the magic green, so you can take the clues to the poor guy in the lab, who gives you results that will hopefully open up the next location. Over and over and over. This is interspersed by agonisingly long conversations with the dullest of minor characters, until you find the one who will have conveniently left threads of their living room carpet in the teeth of the victim, footprints in his intestines, and a spare bucket of his blood in their garage. Or similar.

The original punished you at the end of each mission, telling you how much evidence you missed and what questions you were stupid enough to have left unasked. All that is gone, replaced by a necessity to find every scrap of every tiny fibre in order to complete the level. As annoying as that sounds (and truly is), it does work a lot better. However, the ludicrous system penalising you for asking for help from your partner in crime (scene investigating) remains. Unfortunately, the stories remain as hopelessly wanting. The final level, rather than some super-cool OH MY GOODNESS ITíS THE END OF THE GAME moment, is an investigation into some deaths relating to a komodo dragon. Pitiful.

But why the great big softie nonsense? Itís not the writing Ė it remains as dreadful as before, laugh-out-loud bad. And it isnít easy to play Ė itís clunky and tiresome, requiring tedious screen-sweeping in every scene. Itís that itís managed to capture that plain silliness of the whole genre. That /Diagnosis Murder/ trivialising of homicide into a tea-time puzzle. The stories are rubbish with stupid conclusions and terrible acting, and youíll finish it in a day. Really, itís awful. You shouldnít buy it. But then, you shouldnít watch /Quincy/, but you still do.

 Utterly mediocre TV-tie-in fluff. But hey, at least itís mediocre.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: 369 Interactive
Price: £20
Minimum System: 
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