PC games: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

We’ve seen game tie-ins from movies, so why not from a TV show? The program, CSI, set in Las Vegas, features a group of hip forensics investigators tackling crimes. Now, an adventure game will help you get a piece of the action.

In CSI: Crime Scene Investigation your role is rookie investigator. You join the overloaded team during the night shift and get straight on a case.

The first, ‘Inn and Out’, serves as a walk-through of the game, giving a tutorial on how to collect clues using various tools and then complete your case. This orientation is a useful and simple way to get a handle on the game’s features, but it becomes a little boring after a while, when all you want to do is get on with finding the killer. Get past this one, however, and you can go at your own pace through the following games.

In each case (there are five) you’re paired with a member of the CSI team — and if you’re a fan of the show, you’ll be familiar with the characters: head of the department Gil Grissom, captain of the homicide division Jim Brass, and technicians like lab guy Greg Sanders, amongst others in the cast. The characters are voiced by the actors, which will be a bonus for fans.

To investigate a case you need to gather evidence, and the tools of the trade are at your disposal. Use Luminol to check for traces of blood or a UV light to get a better view of potential evidence, for example. Piece together the evidence, which you can examine in more detail at the CSI lab either with the help of Greg Sanders or using the department computer, with clues from the interrogation of witnesses. This is accomplished through lists of questions you can ask, so don’t get carried away thinking you can go into a bad cop/good cop routine with your partner.

Once you’ve gathered enough evidence for means, motive and opportunity, you can turn the case over to Jim Brass. Then you’ll face an assessment from Grissom (remember, as a rookie you’re trying to impress). Your rating will be based on how much evidence you collected and whether you had to ask for help from your partner (points are deducted for hints). You can replay the game to find more clues and better your performance rating.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, with its simple learning curve, will be appealing to fans of the show as well as crime/thriller enthusiasts. Adventure game enthusiasts may, however, find the pacing too slow and the clue gathering (running your mouse over the scene to find hotspots) and progress of the game a little unchallenging.

Developer: 369 Interactive
Publisher: Ubi Soft
URL: www.ubi.com/US/Games/csi

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