Name: CSI Hard Evidence
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, Wii (Reviewed on Xbox 360)
As I have said before, the point-and-click genre is back in full force. The best example of this is the episodic Sam and Max series made by Telltale games. Also developed by Telltale games in association with Ubisoft is the CSI game, available now for the PC, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. While it is the most graphically impressive version of the game (and that really isn't saying much), it is obvious that the Xbox 360 title wasn’t the main edition and the optimization isn’t quite there, turning what would be a fun adventure into an annoying and repetitive title. The “point-and-click” genre isn’t kind to games with only a joystick to control them, and it takes longer then necessary to complete simple tasks.
The player assumes the role of a new initiate to the Crime Scene Investigation group with characters based off of the hit television series CSI (the original, not the awful spin-offs). It may sound odd, but even though their television counterparts voice most of the characters, they still sound weird and different. This game is the proof that that not all actors can do convincing voice-overs. The dialogue doesn’t sound natural and impedes what is supposed to be the games main point – the plot.
If you have ever watched the show CSI you know what to expect. There are five missions, all of which can be finished in a just over an hour each, each with different stories ranging from someone burning a cab driver alive to finding the killer of a rock star. Gameplay is little more then trial and error, deciding which tool to use to take a cast of a footprint or to remove a hair from a piece of cloth.
There is no punishment for an incorrect guess, so when the game prompts you to make a choice you can arbitrarily pick solutions over and over until getting the correct answer. While the way to correct this problem might not be going as far as Zack & Wiki (wrong answers require a repeat of the level), there should be some form of difficulty.
In the off chance that you did manage to miss something you can ask a team member for a hint, which comes in the form of the person blatantly telling you what to do. Not only does this bring up the issue of “this is serious business, if they know something they should tell me because someone was freaking MURDERED,” but the threat they give of it “costing you in your evaluation” is empty. The evaluation doesn’t do anything and there aren’t even achievement points to be awarded for a good score.
CSI Hard Evidence is a game that can only be recommended to fans of the show - and just barely. The stories told in the five chapters are no better then ones that could be seen on television and the gameplay is basically "hit the A button until the plot progresses," so you may be better served just watching some episodes of the show. Unless you are willing to put all of these problems aside (or really want some quick achievement points) I would say to skip the game entirely and watch the David Caruso one-liners video on Youtube again instead.