CSI: Fatal Conspiracy Review (Wii)

Game Review: CSI: Fatal Conspiracy
Release:  October 26, 2010
Genre: Crime, Mystery
Developer: Ubisoft
Available Platforms: Wii, PS3, 360, PC
Players:  1
MSRP: $29.99
ESRB Rating: M (Blood, Drug Reference, Mild Sexual Themes, and Violence)
CSI is one of the most popular TV shows out there right now, so it is natural that people would want to make a video game of it to cash in on the franchise.  What we have here is the 10th game to covet the CSI title.  This one happens to take place in the Las Vegas version of the show which is where much of the game takes place.  In Fatal Conspiracy you are given five murders that need to be solved.   Each solved murder will give you evidence that will lead you to figure out how to bring down the head of a drug cartel who goes by the name “Queen of the Hive”.

The basic objective of the game is to go through crime scenes and to find evidence to be able to convict somebody of murder.  At its heart, the game is a point and click adventure where you will be asked to comb over the crime scene and collect evidence.  For me this basically meant scanning the entire area with the cursor until it told me there was something to look at.  When you find evidence you are given a choice as to what you need to do with it, such as getting a fingerprint, taking a picture, getting a mold or spraying blood spatter with something.  Once the evidence is collected you take it back to the crime lab and put some of it through their fancy equipment to help bring out more clues.  This could include going over fingerprints, DNA, chemicals and various other items which will require you, at times, to play some matching games.   As you collect clues you will be able to interview potential suspects and use evidence you have collected against them.  If the evidence is sufficient you will be able to get warrants which will often times lead to arrests and the completion of a chapter. To add to the “realism” of the game all the major characters from the TV show are in the game, including Laurence Fishburne.  You are able to interact with them and they will give you clues as to what to do next.

The game will take about 4 – 7 hrs depending on how good at these type of games you are.  I didn’t find the game too challenging.  Though I did find at times I didn’t really know what to do next. This wasn’t too much of an issue because the game was very good at giving you hints.  Much of the game management system happens through the use of a cell phone which is where I spent most of my time trying to figure out what to do next.  In the cell phone you have access to all the evidence, the case file and the locations you can go to.

Some of my favorite parts of the game were the puzzles that took place in the crime lab.  As mentioned earlier they often involved some type of matching game.  Another part of the game that I enjoyed was when I was able to go over a crime scene and find all the designated pieces of evidence quickly and easily without any assistance from the game.  It gave me a sense of real accomplishment that I rarely found in the game.

This takes me to the parts of the game that didn’t quite click with me with the first being the overall presentation of the game.  The graphics are very sub par even for the Wii and very reminiscent of the PS2 era.  The voice acting was not much better.  Most of the time the voice actors spoke in a very monotone voices and I could tell they really didn’t put their hearts into the role.  For the most part gameplay was solid but I felt like most of what I did was moving my cursor over every part of the screen until I happened to come across a piece of evidence.  It didn’t make me feel good.  All it did was make me think, “thank God, I am one step closer to being done with this game.”   On top of that I would sometimes make a connection to something in the environment.  I figured out a location I needed to go to in a crime scene but the object was not highlightable until I found a required piece of evidence to lead me there…though it was obvious it is where I needed to go.

I had only experienced two real bugs in the game.  One was where I was interviewing a suspect and the screen would go black.  This only lasted for a few seconds at a time and probably only happened a handful of times.  This wasn’t a gamebreaking glitch.  It was only a tad bit annoying.  The other glitch I found was gamebreaking.  The game let me ask questions about some evidence I hadn’t collected yet.  When I eventually did collect it, and it came time to ask those questions to make the game progress I was no longer able to ask the question and the game wouldn’t progress.  It would keep prompting me to ask the questions even though I wasn’t able to and I eventually had to reset the level.

I need to be completely honest with you readers out there.  I was really excited to get this game for review.  Though not for the reasons you might expect.  I was ready to absolutely destroy this game with my review.  Throughout my completion of the game I found that the game set out to do exactly what it intended.  Yes, it may have had some bugs and the graphics and voice acting weren’t the best I have ever seen.  What it did have was a descent point and click mystery and a decent tie in to the TV show of the same name.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a very good game; but if you are a fan of CSI or point and click adventures, I think you will be somewhat entertained.   If those two things are not your cup of tea I don’t think you should spend your time or money on this game.

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