CSI: Dark Motives
CSI: Dark Motives is an adventure game without the adventure, a game that is built around the concept of solving a puzzle but does most of the thinking for you. The game is a stinker, but the concept really shines so I refuse to give up on the franchise just yet.
CSI: Dark Motives throws you into the Las Vegas Crime Scene Investigation unit as a recruit and gives you the opportunity to try and solve five different crimes. Taken alone, the plots for each crime are pretty good, each offering up there own series of twists and turns and requiring a lot of thinking to get to the whodunit part of the game. The problem is your lead to the inevitable finale by the hand.
Each crime starts by describing the basics of what happened and then plopping you in a static location. The interface is absolutely horrendous. You're basic frozen in the middle of a 360 degree picture that you can swivel around with your mouse. The mouse changes colors when there is something you can zoom in on. This system is also how you 'discover'? evidence. If you are so inclined, you can literally slide your pointer around the screen until you see it change colors, and then try using every tool on the object until it hands up the evidence you need to forward the plot ' no critical thinking is needed.
Subject interviews are handled just as poorly. You click on a person and then click on the questions. It doesn't matter what questions you ask or in what order and you will need to eventually ask all of them. Finding clues and interviewing people inevitably gives you new locations to go to where you repeat the above steps, eventually solving the crime.
CSI: Dark Motives has somehow turned a subject ripe with gaming potential into something that is pure process and no fun, forcing you to spend all of your time doing the most mundane parts of your favorite adventure games with little or no reward.