CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Hard Evidence
Description official descriptions
Hard Evidence is the fifth game in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series, but the first time released simultaneously for the PC and Xbox 360.
As in previous games, there are 5 cases to be solved with Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows and the other Las Vegas crime lab squad members. Questioning suspects and witnesses, collecting evidence and piecing together the puzzle of the cases are all part of the gameplay.
Additional forensic and investigation tools have been added including a large impound area where vehicles and boats can be searched for evidence. Players will also find more interaction with the lab equipment as well as improved in-game hints.
- CSI: Отягчающие обстоятельства - Russian spelling
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 55% (based on 44 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 31 ratings with 1 reviews)
As the title suggests it, I'm not getting tired to play a rookie since 2003, since the first CSI. So, here we are, in January 2008, after exams period. I've bought Painkiller Overdose, FEAR Perseus Mandate and CSI: Hard Evidence. And guess what? I've played CSI first. Yep, FPS would wait (Perseus Mandate is still waiting...) for once.
So, I'm coming back to the role of a rookie in the CSI Graveyard Shift. I'm not getting tired to play it. But I've a feeling that soon, I will. Why? Because I think that players will want to be a confirmed CSI or to control at least a member of the team.
Back to Hard Evidence. Storyline didn't change a bit (the rookie who must reach an expert rank by solving 5 cases). In fact, a lot of things didn't change. But Hard Evidence is a pleasant game. Much more than the previous games. I don't know for the X-Box 360 or the Wii game but the PC one is very comfortable to play. Yes, CSI is invading consoles. But I can't judge if it is for the best or the worst.
What I love the most in this game is the disappearance of the annoying banner HUD who can't contain every evidence on a screen. Now, you have a PDA. With this, you can see every evidence, though you'll need to scroll down for seeing what you want. But as the visual of the evidence is much bigger, you don't feel the usual frustration coming from the scroll.
The PDA is also used for going from a location to another. On the left, you'll have all the places linked to your current case. On the right, you'll have all the places linked to your job: Brass's Office, Lab, Morgue, Interrogation Room and a Garage. You're not dreaming, a new location has been added: you can now search for evidences in a car.
And another annoying thing has disappeared. If you played the previous game, you already know that you need to go first to Brass for speaking to a suspect already in custody. After a while, you're frustrated about the fact that you can't go directly to the interrogation room. In Hard Evidence, this part of the gameplay has been removed. Finally. Now, you simply click on the interrogation room, choose which suspect already in custody you want to speak to and you can progress in your investigation. There are only two limits to the system: you can't use this new gameplay if you're already on Brass's office or if you're in the interrogation room.
Your detection and collect tools are now in a real case. In the previous game, 3 Dimensions of Murder, it was presented in a "flower" of tools. Now, they are in full 3D. It's great, isn't it?
The last important change to the gameplay is the simplified analysis of evidences: for example, only DNA traces will appear when logging into the DNA analysis computer. Some will be disappointed by this choice but coming from "all evidences are proposed in a banner who can't contain all the evidences on one screen", I can guarantee that it's more comfortable to play Hard Evidence like that than with the old gameplay.
You still have your casefile with the suspects, the victims, the trinity of evidences... But a new feature has been added: a map of the crime scene, with where you found your clues.
Another change has been made for the music: it's ongoing and new soundtracks are appearing. I love the one playing in the third case, when you're in the High Roller Bar.
Graphics are fine, you can recognize the characters from the show. I've also found that this game seems more colored than the others. I don't know why I've associated the previous games with darker colours but it seems that Hard Evidence is more pleasant for that part.
Hard Evidence is also associated to the return of bonuses, absent from 3 Dimensions of Murder PC. And who says bonuses says challenges for having them. The usual "finish the case" and "all evidences found" are still there but a new challenge was created: Search 5 insects per cases for Grissom. Another challenge is making the annoying thoroughness areas from 3 Dimensions of Murder more enjoyable. Remember, they are areas without evidence.
And finally, there is a new feature: Sidle or Brass can call you on your mobile in the middle of an investigation when they have things for you.
But Hard Evidence is a CSI game and you've already suspected it when I was saying that story didn't change a bit. Indeed, it's still 5 long cases with same graphics as in 3 Dimensions of Murder. It's correct but inferior to some engines (I think about my main genre which is FPS and games like FEAR, Half-Life or Painkiller).
As usual, you can't save the game, it's an automatic save when you're entering locations. Oh, it's not as annoying as before but I'm feeling like a prisoner when I can't save the game as I want. It's probably annoying me because I'm coming from another world in videogames (FPS) where quick saves are practically always present.
What I really didn't like in this game is also the presence of Visa ads. Yep, Visa is present on the five cases, generally on crime scene or playing a role in it. If the others trademarks are more discreet, Visa is present everywhere. And it's not like I'm against advertising in the video games, I mean, using some real trademarks can make stronger some realistic games but always using it... it's too much. One from time to time, yes, but using a game like an advertising channel, no.
And who says CSI game says also that if you're an hardcore fan of that kind of game, for you, CSI will be too easy, with limited actions and with no real humor or quest. And if you don't like CSI, you will not like the game.
The Bottom Line
If you don't know what kind of game is CSI, it's a point&click adventure games in First Person perspective.
But I'm very generous with the game. In fact, I'm giving it a high rating. Why? Hard Evidence gameplay made me very happy, considering that I've played all CSI games on PC. For people like me who play "adventure" games occasionally, Hard Evidence is worth the try. For CSI fans, it's THE CSI game (until a new opus). For hardcore adventure gamers or graphics purists, they can give a chance to the game but I doubt that they'll be 100% satisfied by Hard Evidence.
Windows · by vicrabb (7272) · 2008
If you manage to solve all five cases with a "Master" rating from Grissom, you unlock a special award: a simple blackjack simulation.
CSI: Hard Evidence contains massive product placement. HP: all notebooks and most TV screens in the game are HP models and clearly feature the HP logo. * Dyson: one piece of evidence is a Dyson Root 6 vacuum cleaner, which has to be scrutinized closely on the examination table and turned on to witness it in action. * Chrysler: the car under scrutiny in the CSI garage in case 4 is a spotless Chrysler Town & Country. The inspection includes an automated cutscene fly-through of the interior, with the backsides of all seats sporting big, bright Chrysler logos. * Visa*: the Visa logo is prevalent through the entire game, most notably during a jigsaw sequence in which players have to reassemble a broken glass pane from a store counter marked with a big Visa sticker. As part of one investigation, players have to track account data of a credit card. Brass relates the results, stating: "Good folks over there at Visa!"
Related Sites +
CSI: Hard Evidence
Ubisoft product page
TLC's Hard Evidence Walkthrough
posted on Gameboomers.com
Work the Mean Streats of Sin City
An Apple Games article about the Mac version of Hard Evidence (November, 2008).
X360A achievement guide
X360A's achievement guide for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Hard Evidence
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Jeanne.
Game added October 6, 2007. Last modified February 6, 2024.