It was only a few years ago that CSI made its way onto television where it quickly became one of the most popular shows. Now we have around three different iterations of the series, and plenty of copycats out there as well. Thus far, the gaming market hasn’t really had any games that have taken this popular idea of Crime Scene Investigation and made it into a video game. Today we get to take a look at Microids’ own unique version of CSI in their latest game, Still Life for the Xbox. So does this game have you wanting to search for clues till nights end? Read my full review to find out!
For all of the games that have attempted to capture the CSI craze, they all have been failing in various aspects. The actual CSI-based games in my opinion have been the worst of the bunch, because they just never seem to give you the feeling that you’re actually doing much of anything. Other games have failed to make finding clues interesting.
Before I get any further, let me first say that I didn’t realize at first that this was a mature rated game, but let me tell you this game makes every use of that rating from start to finish. Although it comes with the territory, there are times in Still Life that I just find took things too far and went past where I believe video games should go. So as my advice to everyone, please observe the Mature rating properly, as it is there for a very good reason. Enough said, let’s move on.
The game plays like your typical adventure game, having you move from place to place by pointing and clicking. This is one of those games that the style of controls actually does work and it works really well. The reason I say this is because if you had full control over your character, I would think that you would pass by evidence more often then not. This way you’re kind of fixed into positions, which allow you to usually see evidence easier then if you had full control.
The game plays exactly how you would expect as a Crime Scene Investigator. Walk into the crime scene, search for evidence and go from there. The whole execution of this game really works in a way that most people are going to say, wow why haven’t the other CSI games worked like this. The whole outlook of this game works because it allows you to do what you want, and actually really makes you think, something very few games have you do.
Is the game perfect? Well no it’s not. First off, although I like the fixed camera angles, there are times in the game where it doesn’t help your cause. Another problem I have with the game is that there are times that the dialogue in the game is so extensive that it really takes you away from the game and makes it seem as though the game is filled with more dialogue then actual gameplay.
Overall, Still Life plays like a CSI game should. Although it is not perfect, it does enough to make for a very interesting and well-played game capitalizing on the CSI craze.
The one thing that a CSI game must have in order to work is good visuals, and this is a category in which Still Life definitely comes through. First and foremost, the game takes full advantage of the environments by making them all quite diverse. The character models in the game are also quite good, and although they may not compare to some of the other games on the market, they really are some of the best I have seen for an adventure style game.
This game holds so much gore and so much "bad stuff" that at times I had trouble wanting to keep playing, but the game still does make for a very "authentic" crime scene investigation game. Overall for a budget title must say that it gave me very little to complain about as it seemed to really have a pretty good visual set going for it.
The thing about Still Life that might turn some people away (besides the fact that is an M rated game and deservedly so) is the difficulty of the game. This is one of those games that you really need to be patient with and understand that in order to seek the reward you’re going to have to put in the time to make it there. Some of the missions in the game are extremely difficult, and therefore will be frustrating. But let me tell you there is nothing more exciting than completing some of these really hard missions.
Still Life is a game that really takes advantage of the whole CSI idea. If you are into the TV show and don’t mind the extreme gore, nudity, and that sort of thing, than this game will really appeal to you. If you are one weak at heart or with a weak stomach then this game may be better for you to just to take a pass on.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.