Sifting through a pile of puke with a pair of tweezers and then analysing the hair found therein by means of microscopy is not, under normal circumstances, the stuff of an enthralling game. But when you're emulating TV's favourite forensic whodunit, what other choice have you got?
CSI: Miami is a show where a bunch of struggling actors solve crimes across South Florida with a mixture of old-fashioned detective work and newfangled forensics. Which initially leads to some interesting gaming. There's no action, and instead you visit locations to talk to suspects and gather evidence. Notice a suspicious looking substance on the corpse's trousers? Take a swab. Looking for fingerprints? Spray some Ninhydrin around the place.
With your evidence safely zip-locked it's off to the morgue or labs for analysis, and once you've got what you need and the 'evidence trinity' of suspect, victim and location is complete, you swoop in for the arrest. Full marks for doing something different, but it doesn't hang together as an enthralling game experience.
Interrogations are simply a matter of exhausting the supplied question options, and every shred of evidence has to be correctly inspected using the appropriate piece of equipment to find the next clue. It's like a survival horror game stripped of everything bar the cut-scenes and puzzles. Locations are bland and static -click on something to look at it, click on someone to talk to them. The whole thing's about as free-roaming as a man in a straightjacket locked in a padded cell, and about as fast moving as a glacier.
Download CSI: Miami
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
CSI has made quite a name for itself as a solid TV series taking crime scene investigators through different murder mysteries. Solving murders using various high tech and low tech methods, many watch faithfully each week as evidence is extracted from the most unlikely sources. Transferring that success to a video game however has historically been a difficult challenge as many developers end up relying on the license to sell the game instead of the gameplay. Unfortunately, CSI also fall into this category and although CSI does stay true to the TV series, a number of elements holds the game back from its true potential.
CSI does produce an authentic CSI experience including the actual characters and their voices from the TV series. The story lines are also well designed and unfold in a manner that keeps you pushing forward until the case is solved. In addition, the interface used to move through crime scenes is amazingly intuitive, and although there are numerous tools to use and evidence to collect, it's easy to work with and it keeps the game moving along nicely.
The problem is the game moves at an unreal rate and is extremely easy to get through. Most will easily finish the game with little difficulty as the linear style of the game makes the puzzles simple and require little thought to figure out. Even if you do get stuck, simply trying the various collection tools at your disposal will lead you to the next piece of evidence rather quickly.
The graphics could have been much better as well and definitely won't impress as it's missing detail and is far from anything eye-popping. Keep in mind this type of game isn't dependent on graphic quality but eye candy always helps keep a game interesting.
Even though the game may be completed quicker then most, its price of $30 helps to overcome its main drawback. Still, only fans of the TV series will probably feel their money was well spent as hardcore gamers will feel like it was finished before it was started.