CSI: Hard Evidence is the latest game based on the cit TV show. This one places you as a rookie investigator for the CSI Las Vegas team. You’ll interact with all of the show’s characters such as Gil Grissom, Nick Stokes, Captain Brass, and Sara Sidle. The game feature five original cases. You will investigate and gather evidence at the crime scenes, analyze that evidence in the crime lab, obtain search warrants, and interrogate potential suspects.
The game is essentially a point-and-click type of adventure that is really better suited to a mouse or traditional joystick and doesn’t take best advantage of the Wii’s unique capabilities. Use the Wii controller to move around the screen. When you pass over an object that can be checked out, your cursor will change to your evidence too kit indicating that this is a potential piece of evidence. Your kit is filled with numerous collection and detection tool such as gloves, tweezers, adhesive tape, fingerprint powder, luminol, etc…You’ll need to find the right tool to gather or detect evidence. This usually involves lifting fingerprints, picking up pieces of material, or gathering DNA samples.
Once back at the lab you can analyze the samples by utilizing various computers such as DNA analyzer, chemical analyzer, trace analysis computer, and assembly table. As you begin to put together your evidence and conduct interviews, you will then go to see Captain Brass in order to get search warrants or have a suspect brought in for interrogation. You can ask other members of the team for hints if you get stuck but be warned, asking for hints will lower your final evaluation score.
The first case encountered involves the murder of a cab driver that was burned alive in his cab. The cabbie was a noted homophobe and gay basher and the suspects include lesbian lovers and a free-spirited drifter. Yes, the game is definitely rated mature, as you’ll soon find yourself uncovering an analyzing a used condom! Once your case is completed, Grissom will give you an evaluation of your work and possibly award you with a bonus.
The game looks quite good. The character likenesses are strong and the environments are very detailed. The tradeoff here is the frequent and long loading times. Every time you move from place to place the disc has to load for several seconds--and you have to move around a lot! You must be very thorough in your investigation. Look at everything, no matter how mundane it may seem. This not only helps you uncover all the evidence, but also earns thoroughness points, which can help you earn a bonus. Be sure to grab any bugs you see crawling about as we all know how much Grissom likes to collect them.
The voice acting is good although there is sometimes a lag in syncing up to the graphics. Other than that, there really isn’t much to speak of as far as sound. It’s not an action game so there aren’t many sounds outside of dialog and very little in the way of music.
It’s not a game that will lend itself to much in the way of replay. Once you solve the case it’s solved. While only one player can play the game, I played it with a group of friends, each taking turns controlling the action while the rest tried to help by making suggestions so it can be a fun party game. CSI: Hard Evidence harkens back to the days of classic point-and-click PC adventures and a nice break from the typical button mashing games. It’s a fun game although limited by the long load times.