Published on October 30th, 2023 | by Scott De Lacy
Scene Investigators PC Review
Scene Investigators is a deductive reasoning game for fans of the “true crime” genre. Step into re-created crime scenes, observe closely for pieces of evidence, analyze possible motives behind the crimes, and uncover what truly happened. Steam
This is an incredible premise, being able to look through reconstructed crime scenes and identify aspects of the crime, perhaps even gain an insight into jobs that detectives do each day.
The graphics are splendid. There is a lot of detail in shading, lighting, shadows, textures and backgrounds. This makes sense as the background can also form part of the games required detail that the player will observe.
The object detail is nuanced and realistic, especially with the forms and hand writing details. By far this is the most impressive aspect of the game.
The main audio is the background music, which unfortunately is loud, irksome and distracting. Although it is not wholly disagreeable in isolation, it has to be disabled in order to concentrate on the game.
Scene Investigators had promised so much about this game in the release trailer, but simply fails to deliver an enjoyable experience. After two-hours of game play, with elevated levels of frustration, the player meanders around a crime scene looking for answers to “exam questions” that seem to be disconnected from the crime itself, or any evidence that relates to points of proof to lead to prosecution.
What is not clear, is the players true role? Are they learning to be a detective? In which case the identity of the victim should already be known and not otherwise require the player/investigator to sift through household objects to identify them. Not that you can identify a ‘chalk-outline’ to satisfy a burden of proof.
Aside from the fact chalk-outline bodies is not a real practice, and perhaps poetic license for game and training scenario permits this, the presence of blood spatter and other evidence is at odds with the fact that no body, even a fake dummy to keep the premise is not used. In real-life training situations, such training aids would be used.
From a training perspective, the game fails to teach the player active detection skills, methodology or any approach; but instead, reinforces mindless clicking, noting of names, and randomised entries in the exam questions. There is no validation of the answers provided in the exam, just a total score. This prevents any feedback for the player to self-identify if they have correctly identified the required information, it also breaks down the premise of the game and results in the player simply alternating the inputs until the desired goal is achieved.
That is the main failing of the game. It achieves nothing, it does not positively reinforce the player, it also seemingly offers no achievement or objective to obtain. If the game does not tell a story, does not educate the player in real methodology, does not reward the player in any way, then there is no point in playing it.
It is such a shame, because this was a brilliant concept and had the potential to be great. We will no doubt see this game in the free-games category on steam soon enough.
“Less enjoyable and more frustrating than the real thing.”
Summary: Less enjoyable and more frustrating than the real thing.