CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

aka: CSI 1, CSI: Kryminalne Zagadki Las Vegas, CSI: Место преступления, Les Experts: Une Aventure Palpitante au Coeur Du Crime, 侦缉档案:犯罪现场调查
Moby ID: 8805
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

This game is named for and based upon the CBS television series CSI. Solve five intriguing crime cases as a member of the Las Vegas police force and work in the same settings and atmosphere as the show. Interactive parts are voiced by the actors and actresses from the series.

High-tech equipment and tools are at your disposal and must be used in combination with your wits, intuition and common sense. During your investigation you will question witnesses and suspects, find evidence and clues and discover motives to make an arrest.

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140 People (98 developers, 42 thanks) · View all

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 62% (based on 39 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 32 ratings with 5 reviews)

Well done script, captures major interest.

The Good
I really wasn't expecting too much of this game, more to the fact I found TV show rather boring and not much interesting. So what I really expected top is that perhaps I'll enjoy a little detective work more or less. What I really didn't expect is that it turns out to be such a masterpiece with really devious plot and extremely interesting cases. Needless to say, perhaps, this game alone captured my interest enough to start watching the series. You meet all the crew from the case, as each of them accompanies you through one of the five cases. What starts as a simple murder investigation turns out into much more intricate and intriguing puzzles to solve. The music isn't playing too often but fits perfectly with the CSI alike setting, reminding of great detective/crime shows like Silk Stalkings or Tropical Heat. A game haven't captured my interest ever since my sleepless nights over FF8 and TBW, only this game isn't long enough to dwell more than a single night over it, no matter it spans on three compact discs. The voice cast is same as in the series, which plays a plus for me as I really like Marg Helgenberger (hey, personal taste, I know, but I think she's awesome). The game isn't just trying to show if perfect crime may go unpunished, but also that gathering clues, no matter how truthful they may seam, may lead to imprisoning an innocent person. I know, that was not what they were trying to do, but it turned out really good, and interesting in a poetic kinda way. And what's best, you don't need no cd if you select the full install.

The Bad
This is really one of rare games that I don't find a single speck to rub it on, it is so brilliant in its simplicity and so much interesting to undergo.

The Bottom Line
CSI features:

  • five interesting cases to solve, varying in type and style
  • great script entertwining all the cases, and giving you twists and turns you'd last expect
  • voice-acting by the case from the original series
  • easy going puzzles that mostly require a hawkeye, and when the going gets tough, the tough gets going by a little help of your partners
  • the use of all the itzy-bitzy artifacts to find even the smallest fragment of a clue, and interrogating the suspects
  • searching for clues instead of the truth, you don't get to see the court or prosecution of any kind, you're just in here for the clues... though they may sometimes be misleading
  • Windows · by MAT (240793) · 2012

    CSI invades our computer: for the better or the worst

    The Good
    Not being a real fan of CSI at the time I bought the game (and I'm still not a huge fan), I didn't know that this one would turn me into a fanatic of the videogame series. As stated in my profile, I'm a FPS fan. Not an adventure one. But sometimes, it's good to try others things than "I'm shooting at a bad guy who threatens my world or at a demon or at aliens or at a spy who wants to destroy my beautiful turret" (yep, the last one is a reference to Team Fortress 2).

    So, when I first wrote my French review for the game in 2004, I needed to be positive about the game. CSI is a concept that you love or you dislike. And I was feeling that a lot of people was fed up with Grissom's team or was concluding that a game coming from a TV show or a movie is always a mediocre game. Well, CSI isn't... if you're not an adventure hardcore gamer. But I will explain it later.

    Story is simple and will be always the same for the next games in the series. You're a rookie in the Las Vegas Graveyard Shift and you'll have the great pleasure to work with Grissom's team. At that time, Greg Sanders, the funny lab technician, wasn't a CSI on the field. So, he's sitting in his lab, waiting for your evidences. Brass is the one who can get you questioning, search or arrest warrants. Robbins is in his morgue for analyzing corpses and for giving you some clues. In other words, nobody from the show was neglected. They're all in the game.

    If the plot is weak, cases aren't. From a strangled stripper to a murdered police officer without forgetting a poor rich girl found in a barrel behind her father's casino and a guy whose desk was burned, you'll be not bored. And the last case makes references to previous ones... I love when games make references to another videogame or to previous storylines.

    You can also make your own difficulty setting by choosing if you want an arrow pointing to an interesting area or if you want already the good tool for collecting or detecting evidences.

    One of the strong points of the game is the fact that the actors themselves are giving their voice to their characters. It makes the game more immersive for a CSI fan. But for a non-CSI fan, it's also a bonus because the actors know their characters better than anyone else.

    Graphics are correct. Well, it's not an ugly game but it's not the most beautiful. The engine used for the game is inferior to what was done in 2003. Full 3D was already existing. But CSI didn't use this way of modeling. I mean, you have more the feeling of an half-2D half-3D game.

    Soundtrack is also a success. Music isn't ongoing but it was enough for immersing the player into the CSI world. For me, Case 3 has the best soundtrack of the game.

    CSI is also an intuitive game: the HUD is very easy to understand. Even if you're not totally free in the lab, you can make your own research for the prints (fingers or tires), chatting on the internet, listening to audio tapes or finding some clues behind a bank sheet for example. You can also use the microscope for comparison between hair, fibers or anything else. But every evidence must be processed by Greg first.

    Last point concerns the bonuses at the end of the game. Make 100% in each case and you'll be rewarded by an Expert rank and a bonus: storyboard, CSI cast pictures, etc..

    The Bad
    CSI is the first game from the CSI videogame series and it's normal to find some hazardous choices or some "youth" errors. And that's why I found CSI a little frustrating. And if I must play it now, I think that I'll be very frustrated by the gameplay, the graphics or others things. You'll understand why in my bottom line.

    First thing very annoying is the HUD. After a few games, that blue banner at the bottom of your screen is boring. Not all evidences can appear on it and you must scroll for reaching what you want.

    If the game wasn't so difficult to reach the 100%, perhaps the first negative point wouldn't have been one... Because the real problem of CSI is the fact that if you miss a question, you can't reach that perfect score, even if you had every evidence and didn't ask help to your co-workers. So you understand that seeing everytime that HUD is getting on my nerves and that restarting the case for having your reward is also frustrating. CSI don't let you save your game when you want, you can't go back to a previous one because it's been erased by the next save. And knowing that every save is done when you're entering a location, if you had missed a question, you're doomed to restart the case.

    Graphics, even if they are correct, can be a disappointment to graphics purists. And I can understand this point of view, particularly if you're playing it after Hard Evidence, the last opus. But you must have somewhere in your mind that the game was released in 2003.

    Last but not least, adventure hardcore gamers will be disappointed by the fact that you don't have so much freedom in the game. You're practically leaded by the game if you don't change settings and even like that, CSI is a linear game. With only 5 short cases, the lifetime is short. Well, it will be a long game if you want at all cost the bonuses. And you'll be falling rapidly from pleasure to frustration.

    The Bottom Line
    So, CSI is clearly an adventure point&click game. Released in 2003, it's the founder of the CSI videogames series. If CSI can satisfy occasional adventure gamers like me or fans of the TV show, hardcore gamers will avoid it at all cost. You don't have a real freedom because of some difficulty settings, by the fact that everything must go to Greg first and the big negative point is the difficulty to reach 100% because of a missed question or a missed evidence, leading you to restart a case because of the absence of the possibility to save the game.

    In 2008, if you don't want to fall completely into frustration, don't go first for the newest game before playing CSI if you're decided to play the first release. If you must choose between CSI and Hard Evidence, go for Hard Evidence. Hard Evidence have a comfortable gameplay and with full 3D.

    But if you're a CSI fan, well, play it without hesitating. You will not be disappointed by the stories behind cases.

    Windows · by vicrabb (7272) · 2008

    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.

    Windows · by Jeanne (75945) · 2005

    [ View all 5 player reviews ]

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    Case #10-Dragon and Dropping Rhonda Myers Nov 22, 2007

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    Contributors to this Entry

    Game added by Jeanne.

    Additional contributors: Tony Van, Unicorn Lynx, Frederic Hutow, UV, Stratege, Zeppin.

    Game added April 5, 2003. Last modified March 2, 2024.