Jud’s Game Rating:
Graphics: *** Player participation (PP) **** Satisfaction Factor (SF) ***
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 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. Do not exceed this version of QuickTime as the game will become unplayable.
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 parameters for this game are listed on the Game box as usual.
The installation will put a shortcut on your Desktop and will run from the Hard Drive of your computer without having to resort to inserting the disc each time you want to play.
- The game has a comprehensive tutorial which is extremely useful for first time players, but which annoyingly cannot be by-passed by those replaying the game. However, it can be sped up by Right clicking which cuts off the current sentence. I will try to avoid covering the Tutorial content where possible and concentrate on the things that it doesn’t tell you – though there may be some inadvertent doubling up.
- The graphics are good when played at this level (XP) – the hair and features are softer and more realistic than some of the later versions. The location graphics are also good, with rooms and exteriors depicted realistically. This contributes immensely to the Satisfaction Factor of the Game.
- Under the Locations tab you will find Crime Scene/Case – which comprises the main crime scene then additional locations where suspects may be found and interviewed, and evidence located and collected – and CSI Offices/Lab which has usually three sub-tabs of Morgue (al Robbins), Detective’s Office (Jim Brass), and Crime Lab (Greg Sanders). These handle Body Analysis, Interrogation and Legal Help, and Evidence Analysis respectively.
The Options page is basic, but is easy to follow, and is best left alone for this game.
The 360* panning facility for exploring the locations is a little too fast and rather uncontrollable which can also be annoying, and induce motion sickness.
- There is no halo around any of the tools to indicate hot-spots within the crime scene and locations, so the player is left in some doubt as to whether they have collected the evidence properly. Attention needs to be paid to the screen when clicking on an item so that you see the acknowledgement popup.
- It is important to check through every scene, and make sure that when you get to the Lab that you give Greg – the Evidence Analysis technician – every single piece of evidence – even if he tells you that he can do nothing with it. This way you do not find yourself inexplicably stuck later in the game. The smallest thing can cause an impasse.
- If you do get stuck go back and double check ALL locations and clues no matter how far back as it is surprising how you can think that you picked something up only to find that the computer didnt recognise the action and so didn’t collect it.
- In the CSI Lab you can use the Computer to Search and Compare, Web Chat, Audio analyse, and check the Internet Directory. But Greg does the DNA and chemical samples, plus some data checks for you. You need to drag the evidence over Greg so that he can tell you where it needs to go, or make the arrangements for further analysis. But you must drag the prints and documents into the computer under Search and Compare; and drag hairs and fibres into the Comparison Microscope.
- The game does have a generous array of tools to use both for Detection (Magnifying Scope, Ninhydrin, Fingerprint Brush, UV Light, Sniffer, Luminol,IR [Infra-Red]Light) and Collection (Swab, Glove, Tweezers, Casting Plaster + Frame,Mikrosil, Adhesive Lifting Tape, Electrostatic Dust/Print Lifter) – some of which disappear from the later CSI games. By pointing to each tool a description of their function appears below.
- There is a good interactive element to this CSI game – you are able to collect evidence at the scene from the body, but not at the morgue. In fact you do not see the body exposed in the morgue scenes. You merely have a dialogue with Al Robbins about his findings, plus he may supply you with evidence he has found on the body.
- To exit the Lab equipment you must click the double arrows at either side of the screen – Right clicking to ‘back out’ of equipment and locations comes in later CSI Games.
You can locate then dust for a print, but the computer collects it automatically; you must use the magnifier prior to collecting tiny items like hairs or paint chips with the tweezers; you can make casts of tyre tracks, and gather blood samples with a swab. If you know there is evidence to collect but the game won’t allow you to pick it up, always try the magnifier over it as it may require you to ‘zoom in’ via that tool before using, for example, the tweezers or dust collecting tool.
But unlike subsequent CSI games, you cannot use the tools on opened, already- collected evidence to search for and collect trace evidence. You must do this prior to collecting it so check each item for hotspots with a tool before using the collection tool.
Evidence tags appear once you have entered the evidence at the Lab – Grey tags for ongoing or pending evidence, and Red Tags for completed evidence.
This game sets up the pattern formula – of 4 individual Cases that culminate and merge in Case 5 – that is used successfully in all subsequent CSI games.
You cannot use the space bar – as you can in later games – to fast forward through the dialogue when replaying the game.
The narratives are good, interesting, and intriguing enough to make you want to solve their mysteries.
Case 1: INN AND OUT
The crime scene is of a dead call-girl tied to a bed in a hotel. It is a short case, and a little confusing, despite the tutorial, as to the order you need to take to find your way through to the end. But common sense and double checking of clues will prevail.
Case 2: LIGHT MY FIRE
This is an arson case, involving a break-in, theft, and fire-bomb. It is a little more complex, so a little longer. Fairly straightforward, though try to remain methodical. Miss something and the game can appear to spit the dummy!
Case 3: GARVEY’S BEAT
This involves a dead cop beside his car. It involves a Professor who takes Criminal Justice classes at the nearby University campus. You get to use Web Chat in the Crime Lab’s computer.
Case 4: MORE THAN A BARREL OF CORPSES
This is set at a Las Vegas Casino that has a Circus Show as part of its entertainment. I won’t tell you where the body is found as that would give it away and has to be searched for – this Case is initiated by a tip-off, which involves the use of the computer audio search.
Case 5: LEDA’S SWAN SONG
Grissom is missing! I won’t say how or why or by whom, but I will say that the locations, characters and various evidence from the previous Cases are brought into play. Once again vigilance as to evidence collection is crucial in this game, to save yourself the frustration of going back and forth while vocalising about the unfairness of the game, and the fact that you got everything, and quite a number of “I already DID that” comments. Double check throughout the Case and you will find the one tiny thing that got missed, then will sail to the end!
For Walkthroughs of this Game go to UHS Hints at: www.uhs-hints.com/
(C) Copyright Jud House 14/04/2011
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