CSI: Miami Review
By Mitsuo Takemoto |
As you'd expect CSI Miami sees you heading south for the humid climes of Florida and working with the cheery Horatio Caine and his merry band of morbid crime crackers. The game features voiceovers courtesy of the TV program's cast and the program's writer Max Allan Collins also contributed, producing a story which is as sanguine and interesting as the series on the idiot box.Make no bones about it though if you find the TV program a little over the top when it comes to gory morgue action then this game also delivers more than a few unsavoury morsels. That said it is the very graphic nature of the program which has helped endear it to many, so it is logical that the game follows suit. In any case it's probably a good idea to set your food aside while playing this one.The basic gameplay equation is very similar to the original CSI release. There are a number of cases you have to solve and you get to work with the key cast members from the series as you do your best to uncover the grisly truth. If you have played the previous iterations you might find this approach a little too well worn and formulaic, but it still works okay nonetheless.The narrative is for the most part well written and compelling and there are five tales for you to take part in, each with a collection of dubious characters, compelling motives and a few red herrings tossed in to keep the mixture fresh. You won't always know who the real killer is, even though some of the cases lead you so obviously in one direction that it doesn't take much intuition to work out that the killer is somewhere else. The twists in the plot aren't always as surprising as perhaps the developers of the game might have liked.The key cast all do a pretty decent job of keeping their digital alter ego's honest and believable. That said Speedle and your lab lovely Valera sometimes are a little ham fisted when it comes to delivering their lines. The minor players can also be laughable at times as their lines are delivered with all of the sincerity of the thespians cast on Days Of Our Lives.At least CSI Miami isn't too hard on the eyes. All of the key characters have been created in 3D with some flair. At the same time, the lip synching at times isn't great and there isn't exactly a ton of animation. However fans of the series will feel a degree of familiarity.This game is definitely for a certain crowd. Any CSI game isn't likely to appeal to hardcore RTS or shoot em up fans, as this is really a game with the casual gamer in mind. So perhaps the slightly lower production values and the relative simplicity of the gameplay might not be too much of an issue. Just don't expect more than say fifteen hours of gameplay to complete all of the tasks, less if you have already played a few adventure games.A lot of the 'detective work' really only amounts to scrolling the cursor over the screen until it is highlighted by a hot spot and then cycling through the many detection tools until you get the right one and can collect evidence. The actual details may vary, but this process is one which you'll get very used to. You will be searching for fingerprints, blood trails or other residues, but the process is exactly the same no matter what you find. You simply find a hot spot, using trial and error find the tool which is appropriate, move on to next item of potential evidence and repeat.