previews\ Aug 24, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Law & Order II: Double or Nothing - PC - Preview

A landmark title from Legacy Interactive, Law & Order: Dead on the Money offered fans of the famed TV series a chance to work with their favorite detectives in solving a Wall Street murder.  A time limit factor was implemented in order to create the reality of a crime scene (finding the clues before the bad guy eludes the country).  However, it did more harm than good by keeping gamers from fully experiencing the roll.  Legacy Interactive has learned from their mistake and will not add a time limit for their newest game, LAW & ORDER: Double or Nothing.


You visit a crime scene in Midtown Manhattan.  Esteemed scientist, Dr. Ramos, has been brutally murdered while in his car.  With no apparent witnesses in sight and only a small amount of evidence at hand, you must answer the question of the ages, “who dun’ it?”   Interview witnesses, gather evidence, order lab tests, and uncover the hidden truths in securing the case.  You must bring the killer to justice.


The game will feature the original cast including Jerry Orbach, L. Epatha Merkerson, and Elisabeth Rohm.  Following its predecessor, the game has two parts:  Investigating and Prosecuting.  The final verdict depends on the work you have done in the courtroom as well as the crime scene.  Arresting an innocent suspect won’t just cost your badge, but the game.


Before the game begins, you can choose two out of four strengths available:  Interview, Evidence Collection, Teamwork, and Case Organization.  Each carries its own distinct purpose to the game and, in the end, may depend on how you solve the case.


The game interface is simple, with options to travel to various locations, open the case file, and gaining info and leads through a cel-phone.  Visit the crime scene for interviews and evidence, drop by the psychologist for a witness profile, swing by the medical center to inspect the corpse, or order research and surveillance from the comforts of the 27th Precinct.


One thing that players will definitely appreciate is that you can revisit a witness or suspect after interviewing them for more questioning.  This is extremely important if you ask the wrong questions or don’t get the right answers you were looking for.  It’s just another one of the many newbie-friendly aspects that everyone can make use of.


For those familiar with LAW & ORDER I, the number of spaces that are available in the case file have increased.  However, it’s important to maintain an organized file, less you look like a pack rat.  Puzzles are an important part of the game to solve because pieces of evidence become available upon completion.  To find hidden murder weapons, you must make use of a junkyard crane to lift scrap metal away.


In the courtroom, it’s all about organizing the lawyers in their questioning, cross-examining, evidence presenting, and final comments.  But don’t expect defense to give up without a fight, as they may have a few tricks up their sleeves.


Graphically, though still in development, the cinematics and in-game animations give a realistic feel that adventure gamers have come to expect.  Celebrity voice-overs also make for a memorable experience as you truly believe that you are apart of the cast.


In all, LAW & ORDER:  Double or Nothing is a promising title that inter-mixes the older game premise with tester feedback.  Legacy Interactive does a good job in listening to customer opinions and the game will benefit because of it.  Double or Nothing is scheduled to release later in September.





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