For the past week or so, each time I had the intention to sit down and write this review, my limbs would feel a magnetic pull towards my Xbox 360 controller, instead.
I would auto-pilotly power up my Xbox 360 and TV before realising what I’m doing.
Indeed, why would any sane person want to write a review when they can be playing a game?
So, I’m probably nuts.
In any case, I find CSI: Deadly Intent a lot of fun, bearing in mind that I’ve never watched a single episode of the TV series, nor have I played any of the previous CSI games.
I’m a CSI virgin, to put it crudely.
You’re probably not one, if you’re bothering to read this. So forgive me if I wax lyrical over how fun it is to collect evidence, analyse them at the lab and
terrorise question witnesses and suspects.
Granted, the graphics is a bit retarded — blocky humans with unnaturally lolling eyeballs. But in games like this, it’s always the content that counts. They can give me stick figures and I’d be happy.
Okay, maybe not. It might be a little hard to detect fingerprints on stick figures.
In CSI: Deadly Intent, you get five delicious cases written by CSI writers, cool technologies for processing evidence, and celebrities to look at (Laurence Fishburne, Lauren Lee Smith), albeit blocky versions of them. Winning formula!
You get to feel like a real detective, although on a simplified scale. Like, if you cursor-over something important, it will turn “active” so you know that’s an important piece of evidence for solving the mystery. Obviously you won’t get that kind of convenient hand-holding in real life.
But the game is still challenging enough. You’ll need to know what to do with each piece of discovery. Brush for fingerprints? Collect a sample for processing? Make a mould of an imprint? Compare under a microscope?
Once you have some evidence, it’s straight to the lab. What would you do there? Analyse DNA? Compare fingerprints? Process audio clips?
After that, it’s piecing things together to decide on your next course of action. Interrogate people? Examine a corpse at the morgue? You’ll shuffle back and forth between crime scenes, the morgue, the lab and the interrogation room throughout the case.
The first game is almost like a tutorial because it’s pretty easy and straightforward, but each case after that gets progressively trickier and takes a longer time to solve.
Because the game is pretty linear, you won’t be able to progress the plot if you miss out an important piece of evidence or discovery. But you get hints in the game and you can specify how much you want to be hand-held.
I’m quite impressed with the plot twists. Not that I expected any less since there must be a reason the CSI series has been such a success. But it’s a real joy to unravel something that leads to a new shocking discovery.
The game will probably make many people feel really smart for being able to solve tough cases. There will be some people who think they can be detectives after playing this game because they fail to realise that it’s a lot easier to solve mysteries in games than in real life.
But I think the game does give a good insight on what it feels like to be a crime investigator.
I’m playing the Xbox 360 version but I think playing on the PC will be a lot easier. This is the kind of game where you have to move your cursor on every inch of the screen to find an elusive piece of evidence. A controller lacks precision for that kind of task so it gets annoying.
Sometimes, the area of activation is, like, one pixel. Can you imagine how hard it is to land a console cursor on one specific pixel?
The good news, though, is that it’s ridiculously easy to get Xbox LIVE achievement points on this game, so I have no regrets, really.
I think the DS version (titled CSI: Deadly Intent – The Hidden Cases) has different stories because it’s rated Teen while the other three are rated Mature. I shall have to try it!
After playing this game, I’ve decided that I want to watch the TV series. Oh no. More time sinks!