Miami is very similar to Dark Motives. The only major difference appears to
be the cast. This version features the voice talent of the CSI:
Miami television series. New stories
round out the experience but
not much else. The detection and collection tools resemble what was offered
in the previous game. The progression is similar, the setup is similar, the
investigation, the control and the hint system, all similar. The menu screen
is similar but the color is different. To be honest this game feels like
another CSI episode, but not a great one. It doesn’t stray very far from the
mold in any respect, but is that a bad thing?
Well that depends. If you
love the show, you may find an adequate amount of entertainment here. For
others, veteran adventure gamers especially, CSI:
Miami is a mediocre offering, full of bland dialogue, mildly interesting
storylines and decent graphics. There is nothing to write home about, but
there are no hideous blemishes either.
The player takes control
of another rookie investigator. Each case is solved by obtaining evidence at
the scene of a crime and then running evaluation tests back at the CSI crime
lab. This includes computer comparison and microscopic analysis depending
upon the evidence in question. You can also interview suspects and get
helpful hints from whichever CSI cast member you happen to be paired off
with. The game is very linear and since this is the third game in the series
a little deviation from the formula would have gone a long way.
Investigation consists of
finding spots on the screen that appear a tad bit more vivid than other
portions. Once this hotspot is found, you must pick the relevant tool in
order to collect and analyze it. You can read about evidence you’ve collected
and go over the case by clicking on a related icon located on a menu at the
bottom of the screen. Traveling is handled in the same way. There are also
gruesome cut-scenes that detail events of the crime which will be familiar to
fans of the franchise.
As it stands,
CSI: Miami seems specifically crafted
for that casual gamer who enjoys the television show. Having said that it is
hard to kill this game as it doesn’t fail in that regard. Instead, it offers
an easy gameplay experience for those who don’t
have much time to invest in puzzle laden adventure games or the patience to
run and gun through another shooter. The best games provide a realistic and
emotional polish that creates a level of immersion for the player which
dissolves the world around. This game does not have that type of depth.
Very linear. You
will not be able to progress until something is collected or someone is
questioned. There is a hint system that can be tweaked in order to customize
the level of difficulty. The stories this time out were not as interesting as
previous games. Sometimes the narrative slips a bit when a character makes
reference to a piece of evidence that hasn’t been discovered yet.
visuals are serviceable but movement is restricted. Character models appear
decent for the most part but animation seems awkward at times. Lip sync if
off too, a minor complaint. Hey, David Caruso looks like David Caruso.
I thought the
music delivered that dark, CSI atmosphere and was the best part of this game,
although subtle. David Caruso did a good job with his dialogue, but than I’ve
liked Caruso since his fling with NYPD Blue. I even liked that freaky little
independent film he did about the asbestos removers cleaning up a haunted
asylum. Go figure. Anyway, each location in the game has a good share of
sounds and ambient noises to fill the spaces between your ears. Some of the
dialogue however did make me roll my eyes.
Too easy for
veterans, but this game isn’t really for veterans. In which case, the level
of difficulty fits perfectly for that casual gamer who really digs the
television show, but lacks the patience and time to play through a 40 hour
epic like The Longest Journey.
This is a good
franchise but I think the next game will have to add more to the mix in order
to keep people interested, even hardcore fans of the show.
game gets a 6.9 but only for fans as it does a decent job at recreating the
look and feel of the television version. The game is tailored for those
casual gamers and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you find yourself in
that category. However, I’d have to drop that score a bit if you happen to be
a veteran gamer looking for an adventure game full of emotional depth.