SummaryFresh restart for the series?
The GoodCSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder is the first CSI developed by Telltale Games. I don't know why Ubisoft didn't let 369 Interactive pursue it and I'm so lazy that I don't want to make some research.
But is this change be a turning point in the saga?
Well, yes and no.
First thing is the appearance of full 3D. Now, practically everything is in 3D: places, lab, characters, etc.. It was about time... Players needed some fresh changes and this one is really a great one. Graphics are correct, you can recognize the characters.
There are no more final questions asked by Grissom. There are no more crypted messages to decrypt as seen in Miami. No more in-depth analysis for a proof to be an expert at the end (well, no more comparison between two DNA for example even when you had identified the owner).
But what's really important, it's the feeling of freedom: you can analyse everything! Greg is on the field now, so you can do what you want in the lab. You can access to the usual traces analysis computer, DNA one and the microscope. Now, you can add the assembly table (introduced in Miami) and the chemical analysis computer. Yep, for me, it was frustrating to give evidences to a lab technician! I've played the three previous games (with Miami). 3 Dimensions of Murder was really enjoyed, you can't imagine it even if I didn't have the same emotion I had with the first case of Dark Motives.
And guess what? DNA is coloured. Now, it's easier to compare two DNA's. And it's a good thing. My eyes were hurting with the previous games because you needed to examine every column. Now, you take one part and you compare.
Another surprising thing is the green color. Goodbye blue HUD, hi green HUD! I don't know if it's a good thing but it's pleasant.
As you can see, CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder begins to look like a turning point. But...
The BadStoryline didn't change a bit: you're still a rookie, teamed with Grissom and Co for solving cases and reaching the Expert rank. You have 5 cases, as usual. They're long, as usual.
The annoying HUD banner is still there. And it's frustrating. As usual, you must scroll for reaching what you want. As usual, none of the evidence is pre-selected when you're using a computer. So, be prepared to do some errors because you don't know if this fiber can be analysed on the chemical computer or if it must be scrutinized under the microscope.
Graphics are correct but are inferior to what was done in 2006. They seem to be so void, so sterilized, well, something isn't right but I can't really express it in English.
Sound and music are the same as previously, sometimes, you have a blank...before music starting playing. Well, it's annoying because you felt like the music isn't synchronized with the action.
And the thoroughness areas without things to discover... Frustrating to hear every 10 sec your partner saying : "Area seems clean, but good to be thorough". I mean, it would have been a good idea to put them if they had a real interest.
Last but not least, there is no bonuses in the game. Why reach the ultimate rank if you're not rewarded? Why PS2 players have a sixth case in the game as a bonus, even if the game is released in 2007? I mean, for playing that famous 6th case, or you have a playstation 2 and you buy the game or you buy Hard Evidence, the new game (because 6th case is in it the second one). In the end, you must spend your money if you're a PC player for having the pleasure to play this 6th one.
And as usual, hardcore adventure gamers will avoid this game at all cost, for the same reason: too linear, too "lead-the-player", no real freedom at the end.
The Bottom LineCSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder stays an adventure point&click game, like its eldest and it's still a first-person perspective.
That game brings some new things without great revolution, is refreshing the series and staying in the same spirit. CSI fans will be happy but if you love being in total control, forget CSI (or play it with the maximal difficulty).
So, in this end, yes, 3 Dim. of Murder is worthy to be considered like a new start. But it's a shy one.