Jud’s Game Rating:
Graphics: *** Player participation (PP) **** Satisfaction Factor (SF) ****
Frustration Factor (FF) **
I will not spoil the game for you by giving you a blow by blow description of it. Rather I will give you general playing details, plus furnish you with a Link to a Hints/Walkthrough site at the end.
Let me start by saying that CSI: DARK MOTIVES will play on Windows 7, but the clarity of the graphics is just okay on this setting. However the 3D is good, though the lower bodies are a bit unreal, and the lip-sync is much better than the earlier Game.
Once again the location graphics are well depicted, suitably grotty at the derelict asylum, snazzy and flashy at the Casino, and classy or shabby at the relevant apartments. They seem not to be as colourful as those in CSI:MIAMI and CSI: 3 DIMENSIONS OF MURDER, but are closer to those in the original CSI Game. On the whole the Character Dialogue both written and spoken are well suited to their characters, adding to their authenticity, and to the Satisfaction Factor.
If you want better graphics then it is advisable to install this game – and download its specific patch from ubisoft+csi+patch – on a PC using Microsoft Windows XP Pro Service Pack 3, DirectX 9, and most importantly QuickTime 6 – unless the Install Wizard instructions ask you to download a later version of QuickTime. This will ensure that the Game opens to a full screen without any glitches.
If you look at my previous article – Problems and Solutions – you will see the reasons why this QuickTime level is so important. If you run the game on a computer of this level then you will experience no problems with the game – it will open and play properly. However, Windows 7 can reset the settings for this game – go in through Troubleshooting, and follow the prompts under resetting older versions. For more details of this process, check the above Problems and Solutions blog. This may work – it did for me – but if not, other solutions are on that blog for you to try.
The computer parameters for this game are listed on the Game box as usual.
Like CSI: MIAMI and CSI: 3 DIMENSIONS OF MURDER, CSI: DARK MOTIVES requires the disc in the computer in order to play – despite being fully installed.
The Tutorial is less intrusive than the original CSI Game, and takes you through all you need to know. It can also be disabled in Options before you click on PLAY. Under Options, you discover Tabs for Game Settings, Audio & Video, and Performance. These are always worth exploring before you open the game and begin playing. It allows you to select the settings you want to use. Make sure that you click the Audio & Video Tab then click on DIRECTX in Graphics Quality to get a clearer graphic display – for a softer effect set it on Open GL.
There are green arrow hotspots to show where evidence can be found, but no halo on the tools as you Detect and Collect – well they have a fuzzy grey edge to them, but I am not sure if that constitutes a halo or not, or if all the tools have this. It’s extremely unobtrusive and therefore not a lot of help. You can also Right Click to Fast Forward through dialogue if you are a return player, and if the dialogue drags too much.
As usual you drag and drop evidence over Greg Sanders, the Evidence Analysis Technician, and he either puts it into the relevant computer equipment – a pop-up appears when done to say Evidence Sent to Computer/Microscope – or gives you the results for it himself. You also need to ask Al Robbins at the Morgue for information about poisons or chemicals in the blood samples of the victims. Jim Brass is available for most data searches, addresses, warrants, etc, but some of the documents are searched on the Lab computer.
- However you cannot use the Right click to back out of screens on the Crime Lab computer and equipment – you have to click on the exit/back-out box indicated.
- The Locations Tab reveals CRIME SCENE and miscellaneous additional locations as the Case progresses; MORGUE (Al Robbins); CRIME DESK (Jim Brass); and CRIME LABORATORY (Greg Sanders).
- The Crime Lab equipment consists of a COMPUTER- Fingerprints, ShoePrints, Tyre Treads, DNA, SearchLinks/Special (includes codes and chemical) with listings for new and old evidence; an IMAGE ENHANCEMENT/MICROSCOPE – comparing bullets, fragments of materials of all kinds etc; but no ASSEMBLY TABLE.
- Under the Evidence Tab are: TRACE, DOCUMENTS and ITEMS. These are self-explanatory, but it is important to realise that you can gather trace evidence, using Tools, from already collected documents and items. To assemble/unite/ repair fragments of evidence, you open the evidence window of one piece by double clicking on it in Evidence, then drag and drop the next fragment onto it. They automatically join together allowing you to gather further trace from them.
- Tools available in this Game are: DETECTION – Ninhydrin paper surfaces, FingerPrint Powder smooth surfaces, Magnetic Powder rough surfaces, Brush remove dirt, UV (UltraViolet) light, Magnifying Scope, and Luminol. COLLECTION – Glove, Tweezers, Swab, Mikrosil, Electrostat Dust Print Lifter, Casting Frame and Plaster, Adhesive Lifter, and Adhesive Specimen Mount. As with the original CSI Game, after you spray Ninhydrin for prints on paper items the computer automatically collects it for you.
- CHECK, CHECK, AND THRICE CHECK! It is necessary to check ALL samples of DNA, finger prints, shoe and tyre prints against those that the computer selects for you – even if you find the Match second sample in. Test them all, then go back and pick up the Match then click on Compare. Otherwise you may have to redo ALL of them later when you are well and truly stuck! It will save you from having to toss the computer into the garden Koi pond! (I wasn’t game to play it through skipping this complete-sample-checking this time.)
- Like in CSI:MIAMI the search engine graphics in the Computer for the DNA and documentsare great – eg the search window while scanning shows a scrolling DNA chain for DNA , or scrolling random text for documents. A nice touch.
- I like this Microscope format – the magnification is set automatically, and when you search for samples to compare with evidence you get 5 choices, and you can also check evidence to evidence for a match when found.
- The Observational Challenge of 5 questions per Case at the end of each Case is fun. Or annoying if you haven’t been paying attention! It’s surprising what you do remember from a location or piece of dialogue or evidence – also what you absolutely draw a blank on.
Once again the M RATED storylines/narratives for these games are interesting, with believeable characters, a variety of locations, and enough intrigue to keep you playing. The player can relate to some of the characters and positively dislike others, which is as it should be. As the narratives are a little longer than those in the original Game in the CSI Series, they are therefore slightly more complex, providing a little more gameplay – increasing the SF slightly.
Case 1: DAREDEVIL DISASTER
The crime scene portrays the aftermath of a motorbike accident at a rehearsal for a Stunt/Reality Show – World’s Wildest Stunts. The rider is in hospital with mutliple injuries, and the bike is a battered heap. Not only has the crime scene been tampered with, but also the bike has suspicious damage.
Case 2: PRINTS AND PAUPER
The body of a homeless man is in the Morgue. But Al Robbins does not like the discrepancies in its condition – though wearing his tattered garments, he was recently clean and his last meal was an expensive dish of white truffles. So you have to get the crime scene location from Brass in order to begin your search.
Case 3: DIGGIN’ IT
A skeleton is dug up by machinery at a Casino construction site. Nearby is a Native American Paiute stone tool. Is this a sacred burial site, or is this a more recent skeleton? Needless to say the Casino and Construction Company boss wants it sorted out quickly, as every hour of downtime costs him a fortune.
Case 4: MISS DIRECTION
A young actress is killed at a Technical rehearsal for the show at a Casino Theatre. She is apparently shot by her fellow actress with a blank from a stage prop gun, while the ‘squib’ – an explosive device – explodes on her chest to fake the gunshot.
Case 5: DRAGON AND DROPPING
An Indonesian Komodo Dragon has been reported missing from a travelling show called Cirque des Lezards. The promoter of the show says it is worth $35,000 on the black market, and is inclined to point the finger at a missing itinerant worker. when a human toe is found in the Komodo’s empty cage the Case becomes more serious and decidedly more grizzly.
In keeping with the pattern partly established by the original CSI Game, there is a passing mention of the Case 1 World’s Wildest Stunts; and a character from Case 2 also features in this final Case 5.
The FF is higher for this Game. In Case 3 the Psychic is really annoying – she drawls her far too wordy and mostly irrelevant dialogue in a fake accent – part of her character of course, and well done – but ANNOYING! Fast Forwarding through her dialogue is recommended for return players.
There is some very obscure evidence which causes much back-and-forth play until it is found. This is where the rechecking process is vital. Although I don’t want to give it all away I suggest that in Case 4 you check the bullet fragment for additional evidence using the magnifying scope tool; use Mikrosil in the bullet wound to gain another step; and don’t miss the kitchen drawer.
There is also a glitch in the last Case of this Game – a piece of collected evidence does not appear in the Evidence Bar, and a Fingerprint appears on the screen towards the end of the Game, and floats over the screen till the end. But neither of these affect the game or are needed. So don’t worry. If you have played this Game using Microsoft XP and this glitch doesn’t occur please let me know. I thought that the Patch took care of it, but maybe it’s on my screen because I am playing it on a Windows 7 Reset program.
For Walkthroughs of this Game go to UHS Hints at: www.uhs-hints.com/
(C) Copyright Jud House 16/05/2011
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