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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.2.8    CPU: G3 @ 500 MHz    RAM: 256 MB    Hard Disk: 500 MB    8x CD-ROM    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
December 15, 2004 | Jonathan Lowrie

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is one of the most popular television franchises on the air today. This procedural drama TV show pits half geek, half cop against the bad guys in a forensic fury to pin the murder on the criminals. The original show in this series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigaton is situated in Las Vegas, and this is where our video game is set as well. Aspyr is responsible for the Macintosh port and their quality shows. Installing this 4 CD game is smooth and intuitive.

You begin the game as a new recruit for the Las Vegas crime lab working under your supervisor Gil Grissom. When you first begin the game, you make a profile to allow you to save and come back at a later time to solve your cases. The first of five scenarios is a murder investigation. This scenario also serves as your tutorial for the game and the interface. Within a few moments you will learn how to move about crime scene locations, collect evidence, analyze trace evidence and run fingerprints through a database. You progress in a linear fashion through the case, collecting evidence, using the different tools available to you. After completion of this scenario, you will have used Luminal for blood evidence, a magnifier for trace evidence, and various means to physically collect evidence and DNA. You also will find out how to ask your CSI mentor for clues, or how to interview suspects, and witnesses.

During each of your cases, a new CSI joins you to supervise your case. The entire cast of the television series is present, including Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows, Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown, Nick Stokes and Greg Sanders, The CSI of each case will guide you along in your search for the truth and evidence. Upon collection of evidence, it's a good idea to bring it to the lab, where Greg Sanders will analyze it. The lab is also where you can examine fibers at the microscope and run fingerprints on the computer database. The computer also allows comparison of prints and other evidence, and if the scenario requires, allows access to chat rooms and other applicable info. In murder cases in which the victim's body has been located, it's possible to get additional information from chief medical examiner Al Robbins at the coroner's office. Dr. Robbins will walk you through the autopsy and the cause of death and any additional evidence that was collected. Jim Brass, captain of the homicide division, will provide search warrants and other assistance, as each case requires.

As the first scenario is a tutorial, it is also rather easy. Most players will have no trouble passing the next three missions without using a single hint. The last case can be frustrating as the game makes evidence hard to access rather than hard to find. It’s impossible to use any of your tools improperly. Should you try to dust for prints where there are none to be found, your CSI partner will announce, "There are no prints here." Try to use your cotton swab when you ought to be spraying an item with blood-revealing Luminal, and your CSI partner will say, "You can't use that here." Ultimately, it's a matter of trial, error, and simple logic.

CSI is reminiscent of much older Mac games like Déjà vu and Uninvited where you have an elaborate storyline and graphical environment but you have limited ability to interact with the world. In CSI you have certain aspects of the environment that you can interact with. The rest of the environment is untouchable. For example, on a bookcase you may have a dozen books, but only one of them will be selectable. Sometimes the game's evidence collection can be frustrating. You will be told you need to check for trace evidence, and then find every single tool not usable. You need the evidence, but have no way to collect it. Fortunately, you do not need to collect every single piece to garner a confession from the bad guys.


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