CSI: NY: The Game is
a mini-game suite with more colons in the title than it does
animations (That is, colons: 2, animations: 0). It’s essentially a
collection of episodes that would fit in well with the show itself,
but to see each new development you have to beat one or two
mini-games first – some of which are fine, some of which are fine
but make no sense, and some are just dumb.
SOLVE CRIMES IN THE BIG APPLE -
Finally, CSI fans can experience
the environment, characters and
mysteries of CSI: NY. Piece
together clues and uncover
hidden evidence in the biggest
city in America. Explore five
brand-new, bizarre crimes and
bring suspects to justice.
PLAY AS THE STARS - For the
first time, take on the role of
CSI stars as you play the
characters of Detective Mac
Taylor and Stella Bonasera.
MORE ACCESSIBLE GAMEPLAY - A
new, moody graphic novel art
style and enhanced,
user-friendly interface will
assure accessibility and hours
of replay for all types of
gamers. Improved gameplay
includes new mechanics for
conversations, computer use,
blood work and much more.
CONTROL INTERROGATIONS – For the
first time, players can control
interrogations and use evidence
to reveal a suspect's lies. Take
part in dramatic interrogations
and create atmospheric
reenactments while exploring
grisly crime scenes inspired by
DEEPER WITH NEW MINI GAMES -
Includes an incredible variety
of new mini-games, such as: code
breaking, facial reconstruction,
triangulating shooter locations,
searching and more!
You have five
episodes to play through as either Detective Mac Taylor or Stella
Bonasera – each following essentially the same system. You are
presented with a scene: the crime scene, the victim’s house, the
suspect’s house, etc, and you must play a game of “where’s Wally”
with random objects hidden in the scenery. They call this
“collecting evidence” but that explanation is veiled more thinly
than Courtney Love hitting the clubs.
You collect such
ridiculous things as hair brushes, combs, and staplers – for no
apparent reason. Sometimes clicking on one of these objects creates
a new mini-game, to crack a safe for example, but again they make
exactly no sense. When was the last time you played Sudoku to hack a
computer? Or matched objects from the same category to open a secret
box? Taken by themselves, the games are not bad, but in context they
field trips are trips to the lab, but they work within the same
framework. “Compare this guy’s x-rays to a normal x-ray.” Aiden Burn
might say to you. So you play a game of “spot the differences”
clicking on the X-Rays where they differ. For no apparent reason
this gives you your next clue and off you run to the next scene.
Each scene is presented with a static 2D cartoon image. This almost
gives it a unique style – but I can’t see how it relates to the CSI
shows, which uses CGI-heavy special effects to bludgeon the science
into a digestible format. As the story progresses a cartoon image of
your detective and other characters from the show will interact
filling you in on the details of the case. Often this takes the form
of an interview, which is just another mini-game you will come
across regularly, where you click on words in their text to ask them
about things, or drop items from your inventory on their face (“What
do know about this cold fish?” *slap*) Supposedly if you ask them
the wrong things you lose credibility and can fail the interview…
but I’m not sure how that would be possible in practice.
These mini-games have almost not penalty for failure. It’s hard to
say if this is a bad thing or a good thing. From a game design
perspective, this is woeful, but the sort of player that might enjoy
this game just likes puzzles, and completing them are reward enough.
They don’t need to have an over-arching carrot or stick that drives
most gamers. For an example of the “almost” no failure penalty take
the common situation where you can’t work out what random object in
the scenery you’re supposed to be looking for. If you start to click
randomly, and too often, the game penalises you by making the mouse
disappear for about a second, preventing you from further clicking.
One second isn’t much of a penalty, but I guess it’s just a gentle
reminder that you’re not supposed to do it that way.
CSI:NY: The Game has
one redeeming factor and that is the stories. They are of high
enough quality to be pulled from the show itself. They’re quite
interesting, and even with the mini-games to beat, finishing an
episode only takes about an hour and a half.
Clearly this game has been designed for the casual gamer who is also
a fan of CSI:NY. If you were expecting some form of detective work,
or adventure – forget about it. If you love the show and get a kick
out of mini-games you might enjoy this… but at 50 bucks, you’d be
wise to wait until it drops to one-fifth that price.