Monday, December 06, 2010

CSI: Fatal Conspiracy

Apparently released at the end of October I spotted the demo on the Playstation Store and thought to try it. It's amazing... that someone can think to release such a pile of poo in this day and age.

My first "uh-oh" moment was seeing the Laurence Fishburne character in the opening sequence and then entering the demo of Case 4 with Catherine Willows. These are high-res Playstation 2 models aren't they. Ah wait this is also out for the Wii - yeah you've just upped the Wii models haven't you?

Well at least they've got the actuals actors voicing things too - except it sounds like someone's dropped them into a recording booth, thrust the script at them and said "We've only got the booth for a day, just read what it says" zero emotion.

Into a cut-scene and you can't skip any of it - damn it we paid to use these likenesses and voices and you'll damn well sit there and appreciate them.

But hey if the game's good who cares about graphics. Shame the game's not that good.

Welcome to CSI: Myst. You're presented with a static view with the Willows character standing up and crouching down to take photos. Move the cursor to pan left and right and occasionally a different cursor icon will pop up allowing you to interact or move to a different position. Find evidence and you can use your kit to examine it there and then by selecting the right tool for the job - except what's the right tool?

An example - we want the fingerprints and DNA of the victim's room-mate; she'd come down to the scene and I'd questioned her earlier; returning she'd left the coffee cup she'd be using. Hovering over it brings up the evidence cursor. I select the fingerprint tool to lift prints - nope I'm told that's not going to help I should be using the DNA lifter. Okay done that can I look for a fingerprint now? Nope it's no longer 'evidence'.

Moving into the scene of the crime careful sweeping of the cursor snags a minute red fibre that Willows states looks similar to the jumpsuits worn at this place. All done we head back to the lab and analyse the data.

First stop though is the car in which the death took place. I can open the passenger door and look inside; I open the driver's door and can't go any further - um I got this far when it was in-situ; the only difference this time is no dead body in the seat. But I can't move around to the other side of the car?

Oo a bag with a white powder in it "Looks like there's some residue" states Willows. I take out my spray gun that is filed under "Residue" and spray it on the bag "that's won't help" Oh you mean residue in the bag, which isn't residue more like a full bag of powder.

Forget this I'll head back to the lab.

Now this isn't too bad except that you have to Myst your way forward into the correct room and then Myst over to the right bench and then select the equipment. Fingerprint check, pick out identifying patterns then go through the results for a match - not bad. DNA testing, match the blobs. Chemical analysis, match the spectrum lines. Materials analysis, with the red fibres, what the hell?

The tutorial tells me that I pick some evidence (the fibre) select a magnification and then adjust the focus. Well the magnification button is obvious and I guess that's the focus slider; except the latter does nothing. I fiddle with it, reset it and still nothing. I click on help and it tells me to set the "right magnification" then "move the sample" then "set the focus" ah see that middle bit might have helped.

I set the magnification, cursor over the sample and nothing - I can't move it; it's unmovable. I add another sample for side-by side comparison. Still can't do anything; so I can't progress on the case because the equipment doesn't work.

At which point I get an email from my supervisor you know she who is standing right next to me stating that she's sure I'll be wanting to check out the car. I've checked out the car, you know I have you as you were there with me at the time.

I quit the game. Consider this to be wrapped in plague warnings.

[Update here's the scene for the demo

This is a static scene other than Willows bobbing up and down, and you can move around it only along fixed paths.

This is from Assasin's Creed 2
Every single person down there is moving, every single building you can see can be visited, from any direction you wish. Subtle difference?]