You may have noticed that we're hardly perpetual rays of sunshine around here, but even so, we seem to spend a lot of our time enthusing about one gewgaw or another. Doubtblush exists to make it clear that we do not, in fact, like everything.
Outblush Operative Clare writes: I am aware that CSI: Fatal Conspiracy ($25) came out...well...a really long time ago. Why am I writing the review of it now, you ask? Or maybe not, but I'm going to tell you anyway.
The reason this review took so long is because this game is so absolutely gut wrenching-ly horrible that it took me this long to come to my senses, walk away from it and vow to never return to it.
This angers me a great deal.
Mostly because as someone who genuinely enjoys CSI as a show, I wanted this to be good. However, nothing about this game was good. Nothing about this game was even passable. I knew we were off to a rocky start when the interface looked like something that belonged in a PC game, circa 1996. It was difficult to use, to the point that I actually turned off my console instead of trying to figure out how to save my game. It made me miss the days of the Oregon Trail. If only because when I played that game, there was an off chance someone would die of dysentery and shake things up a little.
But, being the trooper I am, I carried on.
Or tried to.
The way the game is set up, you can't actually progress in the game until you've done everything you're "supposed" to. There's no option to miss evidence (which would have provided an open gaming experience and made the hours I spent much more enjoyable). Instead, Sara Sidle lectures you in the same tone of voice someone would use to say the phrase "How many times have I told you not to put that in the dog?".
She did it exactly twice before I tried to figure out a way to bludgeon her to death with the evidence I had picked up at the scene. You can't do that either, and trust me it wasn't for lack of trying.
I was hoping there was some redemption in the story lines themselves. There wasn't. The story lines are so straight forward it's almost sad. There was only one possible outcome, which is totally disappointing if you take a step back and look at what this game could have been. The plots were utterly predictable to the point that it was almost painful. The only twists in the game came from me wringing my hands in rage every time Sara would lecture me like a petulant child.
To process evidence in the game you had to solve rudimentary puzzles. This honestly could've been enough to save the game, or at least make it tolerable if the games were engaging and complex enough. Instead, I felt like I was being tested for a learning disability of some sort, instead of being engaged in a game. They were detached from the story to the point that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't even fake an interest in any of the story lines.
It was about then that I realized the people who wrote this video game think that we are all drooling idiots. They don't give us any credit at all for being able to think for ourselves, and instead hold our hands through this ridiculously shoddy world they hastily slapped together. The more I played, the more I really came to believe that the writers either hate us, or think we are dangerously stupid.
It's long been established that games like this only exist to cash in on the massive amount of money the title can pull in, and this game is no different. I've had pap smears more engaging and enjoyable than this game. If you're looking for a gritty thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, you are much better off with Heavy Rain.
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