You take the role of a prosecuting attorney in this legal thriller. Using film of real actors, you must question the witnesses and gather the pre-trial evidence. Then you must take what you have learned into trial and question the witnesses again, this time on the stand and in front of a jury.
The game is entirely from a first person perspective. Your character is never seen. You ask the witnesses questions which plays a pre-recorded video segment, then allowing you to ask a follow-up question, and so forth. Depending on the questions you ask and how you ask them, the witnesses attitude and the way they treat you will change.
After the trial is over the jury returns with the verdict. Will it be Murder in the first degree (pre-meditated), Murder in the second degree (Spontaneous), Manslaughter (Accidental), or Not Guilty? The decision is made by your trial and people skills.
Electronic Press Kit (1995) (A 1995 EPK about In the First Degree from Brøderbund Software on the Internet Archive. The press kit includes an elongated trailer followed by an extended "Making of" segment, which draws from interviews with a number of those involved with the production of the game, including the Director, Peter Adair, the Writer, Dominic Stansburry, and a number of the actors, among others.)
In The 1st Degree Walkthrough (Posted on The Spoiler Centre by an unknown author, this file provides each and every step to solving In the First Degree.)