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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Windows)

64
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Jeanne (75624)
Written on  :  Apr 03, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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Summary

I was unimpressed

The Good

Since episodes of CSI have begun showing up as re-runs, I've become a real fan of the television show. So, I decided to try out all the games, starting with this first one.

The cases are varied and get a little more complex as you go along. It was interesting that two of the cases connected together, drawing upon previously found evidence and information. Hearing the voices of the real actors and actresses is definitely a plus, and they voice-acted very well.

The interface is so very easy with the absolute necessities and no frills, which I prefer. Your place in the game is automatically saved, which is nice. After you finish, you can go back and redo the cases to improve your scores (which are really an evaluation of your sleuthing performance). And, if you choose the "full installation", you can put the CDs away because they'll never be accessed again.

There isn't much music to speak of. What music there is was in keeping with the theme and played in the background.

The Bad

The graphics are not up to par, in my opinion, even for a game released two years ago. The artists tried their best to duplicate the likenesses of the real-life actors but only managed to pull it off half of the time. The locations were portrayed reasonably well, but needed more detail and exploration opportunities (even if there was no evidence to be found there).

The designers also tried to match the speech with lip movement and got close, but could not match things perfectly.

Interaction with objects and people wasn't consistent. For instance, while dragging evidence to Greg to be analyzed, one object would "light up" but the next would not. And, unlike real life, the lab results were instantaneous.

You're the "rookie" and naturally you'll need help now and then. But, asking your current team mate for help didn't give you enough information to really assist you.

After you know what to look for, actually finding it is another matter altogether. As an example, I knew that I wanted to make a cast of a tire but, even zoomed in correctly, finding the correct spot on that tire required me to click on almost every section of it.

The game's linearity had me skipping back and forth from Brass to the Lab, to the crime scene and other locations so often that it became monotonous.

The "bonus" items at the end of each case are lame. Simple line drawn sketches of characters is all you get for your hard work. I didn't even look at most of them.

I split my gameplay over several evenings, but still found it to be pretty short (say, no more than 8-10 hours of gameplay).

The Bottom Line

This first CSI game was okay, I suppose, but I wouldn't consider it a very good adventure game. Not worth 3 stars in my opinion. Certainly not up to the standards of other adventures released the same year.

Basically, I wanted more. I wanted to be able to -fully- explore a crime scene or location .. not just one room of a house, for instance. A few more lab gizmos would have been nice too. I also expected more interaction with the NPCs (the cast), and would have liked working with more than one of them at a time.