Crime Scene

7.0 Overall Score

Written by on May 13, 2010 in

Ever watch CSI and think, “That would make a cool video game?”  Investigating a scene, talking to witnesses, evaluating evidence, and putting the pieces together to solve a crime sound interesting?  Well, if you don’t want to put the time in to go to school and learn all the tricks of the trade, Crime Scene for the DS, by SouthPeak Games, lets you explore your inner David Caruso.  The big question is, after playing Crime Scene, will you still think forensics would make a cool video game.

In Crime Scene you are a rookie detective Matt Simmons. You are assigned the task of solving a double murder of one of your fallen comrades and his wife.  To solve the murder you must investigate the crime scene and use several different tools to collect evidence to be analyzed later.  Evidence includes collecting blood, dusting/lifting fingerprints, collecting bullet fragments for ballistics,  and taking photos.  You’ll also question witnesses and use their testimony to aid you in solving the case.  The collecting of evidence typically isn’t too difficult.  You just run your stylus over the screen until you get to a “suspicious spot” and use the appropriate tool to collect the evidence.  These are done through a series of mini-games.  Some mini-games are tougher then others.  Scratch with the stylus to lay down tape over a fingerprint and then slide the tape off to put into an envelop is an example of this.  It’s far more simple than what you do afterwards with the evidence you’ve collected.  Using tweezers to remove bullets however was not as simple.  It won’t take long to get the hang of it but more inexperienced players could get frustrated. Nonetheless, these mini-games help immerse immerse the player into the experience.

Once you’ve collected all your evidence, you’re taken to headquarters to analyze it.  Analyzing evidence are all done through another series of mini-games.  These mini games include running ballistic on the bullets, using the microscope to analyze blood samples, fingerprint analysis, and weapon identification.  The blood analysis mini-game is one of the easier mini games as it tasks players with shooting anything that doesn’t look like a blood cell while the bullet ballistics game is one of the more difficult mini-games.  This mini-game is easier to explain then it is to do.  You’re tasked with matching too pictures.  Matching the pictures would give you a positive id on a bullet and the gun it was fired from.  Sounds easy but when you’re looking at 16 sets of pics that all look very similar, you may put your DS into sleep mode to take a break from the frustration.

Throughout the game you are judged in the game by a meter.  If you collect the evidence or analyze the data correctly without making mistakes your rating increases.  If you make any mistakes, it decreases. If the meter decreases too much you will be fired and have to start over at your last start point. Fortunately, you can save at any point of the game so it’s best to save often, especially if you’re doing well so you can build yourself a good cushion in case things take a downward turn (which will probably happen when you present your evidence to your boss). Your attention to detail will be put to the test because your supervisor will question you about case once all the evidence has been analyzed. If you answer enough of her questions correctly before your meter expires, you can proceed with the case. Flunk here and you’re doing a lot of work over so definitely save before going to the chief.

Overall, Crime story isn’t as engaging as I would have hoped.  Collecting the evidence and analyzing the data can get repetitive very quickly.  For some, this isn’t an issue but for others, I can see it leading to a mild case of boredom after a while.  The directions given to collect and analyze evidence are not clear the first time one attempts any of the mini-games, leading to a lot of mistakes.  It’s very easy to get fired a lot in the early part of the game until you understand exactly what the game is asking you to do.  Not wanting to spoil the story, I will say that the narrative of Crime Scene is neither good nor bad.  You won’t roll your eyes but you probably won’t remember it upon completion either.  That pretty much also sums up the entire game.  It’s by no means a great game, but it’s not a stinker either.  It’s a functional title but don’t be surprised if you find yourself not really having fun.  But hey, when is solving a double murder suppose to be fun?

A review code was provided to TMG for the purposes of review and evaluation.

The Married Gamers Grade: C

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Author: Quantrell Toval View all posts by

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