CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Dark Motives

aka: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Oscuras Intenciones, CSI: Kryminalne Zagadki Las Vegas - Mroczne Motywy, Les Experts: Meurtres à Las Vegas
Moby ID: 12891
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Description official descriptions

Once again, become a detective and solve 5 new crime cases with the members of the Crime Scene Investigation team in CSI 2: Dark Motives. This game, like the one before it, features likenesses and voices from the cast of the television series.

In this suspense-filled mystery/detective game, interrogate witnesses, search crime scenes for clues, find evidence and then analyze it with the latest forensic tools. Several difficulty levels let you customize the game to your playing style and experience. Bonuses for the player include pre-production sketches, a trivia section and "behind the scenes" footage.

Spellings

  • 犯罪现场调查:黑暗动机 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

139 People (86 developers, 53 thanks) · View all

Voice Talent
Producers
Lead Designer
Designer
Art Director
Conceptual And Storyboard Artist
3D Character Models And Textures
Additional Character Artists
Animator
Lead 3D Environments
3D Environments
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 68% (based on 35 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 3 reviews)

Brilliant again, but second to its predecessor

The Good
The new five crimes are awaiting to test your skills and your wit, as you play as yet another CSI rookie. You are accompanied by the actors (from the series, both visually and audible) which will be there to assist you on your case and to see if you meet their criteria for being a good detective. The graphic and gameplay is on the level of its originator, slightly enhanced due to time difference. Music is a bit more noticeable and gives a wide support to the background of the cases you'll be investigating. It may seem at first that this game is short because it only spans five different cases, but it's quite the contrary, it took me 10+ hours of constant gameplay, investigating clues, interrogating suspects, and thinking through my own strategies. Dunno why, but both CSI games so far are so addictive you just can't stay away from them until the very end. I tried to tell myself "one case per day, ol' chap, one case per day", but to no avail. It held me close until the very end. The script is very well done and is as suspenseful as its predecessor.

The Bad
A bit on the downside, your partners seem to be dumber than ever, and the fact you lose evaluation points on getting some non-helping squeamish hint from them is kinda lame. I mean, they don't even help you. Looks to me more like you outsmart them by a longshot and they can only pretend to be pros. Also, the game tried to achieve something the first one did great, which is to connect final case somehow with the older ones... and did more or less fine, but nothing so good like the original CSI surprised us with.

The Bottom Line
Another one on three compact discs with interesting and overly thrilling cases will keep every investigator on the toes and guessing for suspects. These games sure are a reason why I gave the series a second chance. No doubt, an excellent port of the series, and a proof of video game beating the tv, again. Can't wait for CSI: Miami with their regular cast to be released.

Windows · by MAT (240205) · 2012

CSI strikes on DS... but don't expect a great game!

The Good
I love the CSI games. Where a lot of professionals see an average or a mediocre game, I always find myself enjoying it... until the famous annoying banner that the HUD is strikes a nerve. So, finding that CSI was released on DS, I knew that I needed to have one copy. Why? I'm in a period you can call "writing soluces" and I didn't want to install again CSI: Dark Motives on my computer. Another reason was my curiosity about changes between the two versions. But when I saw the price, I was asking myself if I needed to spend 40 euros for a game I already had on another gaming system. Well, guess what? I couldn't resist.

So, CSI: Dark Motives comes back, three years after its PC release, on DS. It isn't a surprise as CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murders is released at the same time on PS2 and that Hard Evidence, the latest game, on XBox 360 and Wii. Clearly, Ubisoft had the intention to expand the series on consoles, with more or less success.

You already understood that Dark Motives didn't change a bit of the storyline or cases from the PC version: still a rookie working in Grissom's team, with five cases to solve with the help of Brass, Sanders and Robbins and under the supervision of Stokes, Sidle, Willows, Brown and Gris himself. What? Why Sanders isn't working on the field with you when he is a CSI in the series? Remember, the original game was released in 2004 and he wasn't a CSI working on the field at that time. So, for the DS game, he is still a lab technician even if you can watch him now doing investigations. Finally, if you've played the PC version, like me, you risk to have a feeling of deja-vu and you'll think that you'll beat the game in hours. Wrong. But first, I'll review the good points.

Despite coming back to a frustrating system and a limited freedom after tasting it with 3 Dimensions of Murder and Hard Evidence, gameplay is practically the same as on PC. You still need to point (without clicking) on the interesting areas, with the stylus, and choose the right tool for collecting or detecting it. And you still need to give them to Greg in order to analyze it or to digitalising it for the microscope or the traces computer. If you're used to play CSI, you already know that the DNA computer isn't really a new feature (contrary to the PC version where DNA computer was making its appearance). Nothing new here. Only that your case is displayed on the top screen with some explanations about the controls. Well, it's the DS, so, you can understand that the game is only trying to get the best from the console.

Graphics didn't change since the PC version, it's still the 369 Interactive graphic engine and well, it's enough for the DS. And for the soundtrack, it was a great pleasure to listen again to the menu music. In-game tracks are also good, I mean, it's sticking to CSI spirit.

And guess what? The HUD banner on DS isn't as annoying as on PC. Yep, for once, I think that it's more playable and more comfortable.



The Bad
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the worst about Dark Motives DS. And it's not a small list!

First of all, if gameplay didn't really change, I'm cursing the genius who thought that using the stylus for moving the screen in order to investigate the rest of the location was the only way to do it. As a result, on the first case, I've pointed to Catherine, making her ask if I needed a hint. Well, hating to ask to my partner a question because it would be decreasing my final points and preventing me to reach the Expert rank, I didn't really like the idea to make an error because of a gameplay problem. Also, the speed of the moving is too fast. You'll make some turns on yourself and trying to get to a spot for the third or fourth time is getting on my nerves.

The DS small screen is also an obstacle to spotting evidences. . And I guarantee that doing so or zooming on areas with evidences is nearly impossible without one of help options activated.

Also, you had no voice acting for the characters. Oh, I can understand, we're on DS, it's not my computer. But, I can't help but I feel so lonely without having voice acting, it was one of the strong points of the CSI game.

Having play the game on PC and being someone who's rarely stuck, I must admit that I was on fury to find that I couldn't pass the first case rapidly because of the difficulty to collect a print on a envelope with the ninhydrin whereas on PC, it was "fingers on the nose". A lot of DS players are asking help in that matter and people who finished the game can only say the location and words of courage. Well, guess what? In each case, you'll find a similar problem: when it's not the series number on the wheelchair in the second case, it's the blood on the wall in the third case or the wound on the deceased woman in fourth case. As for the fifth case, it's the garbage in the funeral house that caused me problems. So, you're always one way or another stuck and trying and trying again to take the evidence until you can scream "Victory!". And I'm still regretting the fact that I'm not playing on my computer.

And last but not least, you'll be an expert without bonus. Is it because it's the DS or is it a choice? As you know, when you're not asking any hint to Grissom, Cath, Warrick, Nicky or Sara and if you find all the evidences, you'll reach the expert rank. In the PC world, that would mean bonus available. Not in the DS world. What a pity!

The Bottom Line
I'm disappointed by the lack of visibility for evidences, forcing the players to play with a minimal difficulty, by the lack of music (but I admit that Hard Evidence is influencing me), by no real improvement (but it's practical for writing a walkthrough for PC and DS) and by the gameplay, not disastrous but very special and not balanced. If I wasn't objective and without forgetting that some people didn't play it on PC, the game would have earned a 3/10. However, I still think that if you hadn't played CSI on PC, you can give a try to this version, which can lead you to try it on PC and perhaps leading you to try the other games.

Nintendo DS · by vicrabb (7272) · 2018

Excellent! Keep 'em coming!

The Good
I agree with MAT that this game, like the one before it, is utterly addictive. You'll want to keep playing until you solve it .. hours on end .. until each case, and finally the whole game, is finished. It's interesting to note that if you leave the game for a certain length of time in the middle of a case, you'll need to start that case over. Good thing too because after a 2 week break I had forgotten everything about it!

Being able to "work" as a part of the CSI team is great. Even though the drawn version of each character is similar to the real life person, the artists could have done a better job graphically representing them. But that's okay because hearing their voices is enough, even though the lip-sync still needs much improvement. The cases are varied and interesting and you get a different CSI member as your partner with each one.

The video cut-scenes and overall graphic environments are good as well as the music, which adds the proper amount of ambiance to the action. And, like in the television show, you get to see all the gory details in the morgue and at the crime scenes.

In Dark Motives there are a few more tools to use, and you are able to examine evidence more thoroughly after it's in your possession. (I don't remember being able to do that in the first CSI.) So, if you missed a hair or fiber at the place you found the evidence, you'll still be able to find it later. The computer in the lab has more programs for searching and comparing evidence too. You are able to examine things inside the microscope more closely as well.

The company blurbs mention a "difficulty" setting, but that feature is not the same as in most other games. Here, you'll select how much information and/or interaction you want with the evidence (mostly lab analysis). I chose to have the most, and even then the evidence was more difficult to find for me in this game. Maybe it was the cases themselves, but it seemed that the "hot spots" were harder to locate. You must scan every pixel for the action cursor and try using all of the tools to uncover everything.

If you need help, you can ask your current CSI partner. The answers you get are vague .. just enough to lead you to the spot that needs further study. They make you do all the work, so in the end you feel like you are really contributing towards fighting crime. True, it is aggravating when you can't figure out exactly what you haven't done, but I found the hints gave me enough to go on. Frustration aside, I enjoyed every minute of the investigations.

The Bad
The game takes a somewhat long time to install from the 3 CD-ROMs, but afterwards you only need Disc 1 in the drive (as verification) when you begin play.

After completing a case you are given randomly generated questions regarding facts, such as the color of a notebook or the room number where a suspect lived. Well, those questions will tax the memory center of your brain, but aren't essential for solving the case. In my opinion, they were a way to lengthen game play and an unnecessary addition.

Also, the "bonuses" after each case (artist sketches and interviews with real people) might be interesting to some, but not to me in the least. I think I actually looked at only one of them.

The Bottom Line
I love the TV series and I adore this game series! If you've never watched the television shows, I would suggest you do because you'll gain incite on what CSI is all about. Then when you begin playing you'll have a better idea of what is expected of you. As a rookie member of the team, you'll be helping them find and analyze evidence until you have found enough to send a criminal to trial.

Dark Motives doesn't need to be played after the CSI 1 because it doesn't continue the first story in any way. It stands on its own as an excellent game, and, in my opinion, much better than the first.

Windows · by Jeanne (75973) · 2007

Trivia

Cancelled Macintosh version

A Macintosh port of CSI: Dark Motives was in the works and announced by Aspyr Media, but was cancelled. The cancellation appears to have been caused due to problems obtaining the PC source code.

References

  • During case 5, it is discovered that the name Jeffrey Deschamps was used as foundation member for a fake company. Deschamps was a murder victim in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Domic Petrenko, a witness involved in case 5, was seen as animal attendant in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jeanne.

Nintendo DS added by vicrabb.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, lobo rojo, UV, Patrick Bregger.

Game added April 17, 2004. Last modified January 22, 2024.