Have you ever wondered what life would be as a Crime Scene Investigator? If so, you are in luck, because today we review CSI: Dark Motives. This is the second game based on the popular TV-series CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.
In this game you are an intern at CSI who is being assigned to five divergent cases ranging from a sabotaged stunt-bike to a horrible murder. You will be assisted on each case by one of the top CSI agents. You can ask for hints about evidence and suspects, but this will cost you at your final evaluation. Of course you have all the necessary tools at your disposal. You also have three places you can go if you need help with your case. At the Lab you will find Greg, he will examine all your evidence for you and help you set up searches in the computer, prepare samples for the microscope and the computer. Besides Greg, there is detective Brass, who will look up addresses, arrange warrants and bring in suspects for interrogation. Last but certainly not least is the Morgue. When you are dealing with cases that involve bodies, the bodies can be brought here and carefully examined.
The graphics in this game are absolutely beautiful. The artworks and details on locations are absolutely stunning. There is certainly improvement on graphics over the first CSI game. The cut-scenes are all computer rendered, but this doesn?t make them any less enjoyable.
If you have ever watched the TV show, you will certainly recognize the voices from the actors. All conversations sound really natural and realistic. The background music is nicely done; you won?t get bored due to the lack of the music, but it?s not disturbing either.
After you completed a case, you will go to the one and only Gil Grissom?s office and will have to answer 5 observational questions. These questions can be really hard to answer if you don?t pay enough attention to the details in this game, so study all your evidence carefully. These questions can help you in your final evaluation and weigh against the hints you have asked during the case.
If you have played the first game, you will be familiar with the controls and interface in this game as well. If you haven?t, there?s no need to panic because the controls and interface are very easy to learn. On top of that, there?s a tutorial mode in the first case that will help you through all the steps in that case.
In the Options menu you can choose your difficulty by activating or deactivating several support modes. You can have ?hot-spots? so your pointer will turn green if you are hovering over a location that is important to the case. Not having this will make the game even more difficult than it already is, so this is for the hardcore CSI?s out there.
When you begin a case, you will face a fairly long loading bar, which is well worth it, because you won?t have to wait at all once you?re in the case (assuming you don?t quit the game).
In the version we have reviewed (1.0) there are still some bugs such as repeating lines and some sound glitches. The largest bug I have encountered is also acknowledged by Ubi; after playing for some hours the game will remove the text on buttons and will cause severe problems in menus. The solution Ubi gives is to restart the game or even reboot your computer. This can be very annoying if you?re deep inside a case and has caused me to stop playing at some point. Ubi is working on this problem and hopefully a patch will come out soon to fix this.
This second game is certainly an improvement over the first game; the difficulty has improved, the graphics have improved and the cases have become more challenging. However there is one small loss: all the cases in this game can be easily finished with a Master ranking in just one try. In the first game you would have to do a case two or three times to get all the evidence, which was more challenging and more fun. Another point of attention is the lack of cases. There are only 5 cases in both games. If there were 10 cases, the game would be so much more challenging and fun. Let?s hope they will fix these small bugs and negative points in the third game CSI: Miami.
Overall this game is a very good game that really challenges your eyes as well as your mind. If you are a fan of the series or point-and-click games, this game can certainly be added to your video games library.