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Law & Order Criminal Intent 
PC CD ROM PS2 Wii XBox GC
£19.99 £ £ £ £
       

You are Robert Goren. Ace detective and member of the NYPD's Major Case Squad. In this point and click adventure based on the popular T.V. show of the same name you get to take control of Rob as you try to solve 4 homicide cases.

The game cut's straight to the point as soon as you hit new game. You are presented with three case files. A colleague explains each case to you and you can then pick whichever one you want to do first. I chose the murder in the hotel room.

You'll start at the scene of the crime where you'll be able to examine the victim and look for any clues that might be of use. If you feel that there might be something more to a clue then you can send it to the guy's at the crime lab and let them take a look at it. You come equipped with a pretty snazzy Nokia PDA. If the boy's (and girl's) at the Crime Lab discover something they'll give you a call and tell you to pop in when you can for a report. The PDA is also used as an inventory and stores all the Witnesses, Evidence and Documents you might find. You'll also need the PDA to get from place to place.

As you find more clues and talk to more Witnesses more places will appear on your map. You can get to any of them by simply clicking on them. An interesting feature when questioning witnesses is the ability to choose what tone of voice you want to use. For example if you need to question a friend or relative of the victim due to the fact they just found out their friend/relative is dead you will need to use an empathetic tone. Or if you feel the witness is being a smartarse you can choose to be aggressive. While talking to witnesses there will be two bars. A green one and a red one. The green one will fill up when you do something right. The red one will fill up when you do something wrong such as use the wrong tone. If the green bar fills up you've got all you can squeeze out of this witness.

Sometimes though the witness is harder to crack and you'll need to find a piece of evidence first and it's got to be something that means something to the witness in order to encourage them to spill. In order to find out who committed the crime you're going to need to profile your criminal first. This can be done with the criminal profiler on your laptop back at the Major Case office. You submit pieces of evidence and if it's relevant it will be inserted into the profiler. Once your profile is strong you can start submitting suspects and the profiler will tell you how likely it is that this person committed the crime. If you're suspicious about a witness you can order the surveillance department down at Major Case to tail them and give you a report afterwards. The research department will also give you a report which contains their details and a quick background check. This work's with item's you find as well. As you find more clues and question more witnesses it will lead you to new area's and new people to question as well as an array of devious puzzles to test your mind.

One thing I haven't touched on yet is the music. It's perfectly suited to this kind of game. Every tune will haunt you even when you turn the game off. It almost feels like you're playing a horror game. The graphics are also excellent. Albeit sometimes the character's look like they have a bit of an overbite problem but they are easy on the eye. The only thing that really annoyed me about this game, and I don't know if this is just my laggy computer, but sometimes when you click somewhere Rob will walk there but when he turns to face the object he sometimes gets stuck in an endless loop of turning animations. This can be really annoying and requires a few clicks to put right. I've even seen this happen to computer characters and once you click on a computer character you can't move so if they don't stop turning then you're screwed.

Overall I think this is a pretty good game. Fans of the show will love it but if you're into this sort of thing I highly recommend it.

 

Review by Michael Dolotko.