All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Score: 95%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer: 369 Interactive
Media: CD/3
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

How did all the stars from my favorite television show get inside my PC? Ok, all kidding aside, 369 Interactive nailed it when it comes to the models of the characters from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The videogame counterparts of the stars of the show are dead-on perfect, and since they all loaned their voices for the game, of course that's top notch as well.

Although there are only 5 'missions' to complete in the game, each location is quite well done, be it the apartment of a victim with its decidely Ikea decor or the cluttered office of Gil Grissom himself. You'll hear ambient sounds like telephones ringing in the background or equipment chirping in Greg's lab and nice little touches such as these go a long way towards making CSI such a wonderful gaming experience.

Another factor that really added to the overall experience was the excellent storyline and voice acting. As I mentioned, you've got the real deal saying their own lines, however the other characters had great lines as well. Suffice it to say that all was well written and you'll find not a hint of cheesiness here. Well, aside from Gil Grissom's usual puns.


First off, if you are a fan of the TV show CSI, you probably don't need my recommendation as you have already bought the game, beaten it and are working on opening all the extras. However, if you are unsure, let me put your fears to rest. There's always that nagging thought in the back of a fan's head as to whether a game based on a TV show will live up to what is expected. (*cough* X Files from a few years back. *cough*) CSI goes above and beyond my expectations in almost every category.

First off, the game's storyline was written by Max Allan Collins, a writer for the television show, so it maintains the same feel. You'll begin your 'training' as a rookie CSI in the hands of Gil Grissom, and in the beginning, you'll be guided along. There's always a familiar CSI face with you on the case, and should you get snagged, you can ask them a question about a certain piece of evidence you have already collected should you be unsure of what to do with it. Personally, I didn't find this all that helpful as they always told you something obvious like 'bring it to Greg to analyze' or something similar, plus in asking for hints, your 'evaluation score' is lowered. Gil does your evaluation at the end of each mission and based on the percentage of evidence collected and how many hints you used (or didn't use), you are assigned a score and ranking. This determines how many of the 10 extras for each mission you open up. On my first run through the game, I consistently opened 6 out of 10 and those were concept art. Supposedly, there are other cooler extras to be seen, but I haven't gone back to beat the game at 100 percent - yet.

Your missions involve murder, arson, drugs, casino connections and cheating spouses and I was quite pleased how several of them were interconnected. Among your resources are a bevy of collection and detection tools like swabs for DNA and Luminol to reveal blood stains. Choosing the right tool for the job is the only way to gather the evidence properly and if you grab the wrong one, your CSI buddy is there to advise otherwise. Another huge part of solving the crime is bringing the evidence to be processed by Greg at the lab, or doing research yourself. You can check and compare items under the microscope, run tire treads, footprints and fingerprints in the computer to check databases, and there's even a point where you jump on a web chat to try and catch a suspect. Al the Coroner and Capt. Jim Brass are there to help you out as well when the need arises. Beating a mission means finding a suspect that has the means, motive and opportunity to commit the crime. There are cut scene Reinactments available throughout the game just as there are in the show and they open up as you put pieces of the puzzles together. This adds yet one more excellent touch to the game's presentation.


Well, as I said earlier, there's always a CSI with you on the case so that you can ask questions about evidence you've already collected, however at certain times, I found I was unable to collect a certain piece of evidence because it kept saying I had the wrong tool, etc. This is due to the fact that in certain places, you'd have to click it 'just so' to collect the evidence. This, along with hit or miss logic, were the most difficult parts of the game. The game is fairly easy and can be beaten in 2 or 3 light game-playing sessions, or a few hours of intensive play. I actually wish it had been much longer as it was great fun while it lasted.

Game Mechanics:

Now, as I was saying, I encountered some weirdness when it came to logic. When I asked Jim Brass about a certain piece of evidence, he mentioned another piece of evidence which I hadn't yet collected and said he'd bring the suspect in based on the correlation between the two. This occurred several times throughout the game and was somewhat frustrating. Be advised that there is a patch available that supposedly fixes the logic problem, however when I downloaded it and ran it on my brand new system, it screwed up my game and I had to uninstall and reinstall the game. Fortunately, I didn't lose my game.

Simple mouse clicks are all that is required to play the game, so it's very user friendly. Once again, there will be instances where you might not click the required piece of evidence in just the right place, so keep trying. An arrow will turn green when you have moused over something worth looking into, however, once you have already collected that piece of evidence, the arrow will continue to turn green there. It would have been easier to have the arrow no longer alert you once you had succesfully removed the pertinent evidence - but it's a minor gripe.

All in all, if you are a fan of the show, get this game and you won't be disappointed. Even if you are just an adventure fan, this one is very well done and you'd do well to pick it up. Good job, 369 and Ubisoft.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/2000/XP only; Pentium II 266 MHz, AMD K6-III 400; 64 MB RAM (256 MB recommended for Win XP); DirectX 8.1; 4 MB DirectX 8.1 compatible Hardware-accelerated 3D graphics card; Direct X 8.1 compatible Sound Card; 12x CD-ROM Drive; 650 MB available hard drive space

Test System:

P4 1.8 GHz, 512 Ram, 60 gig HD, CD-RW/DVD, SIS650 Integrated Graphics, 32MB Shared Graphics Memory

Microsoft Xbox Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions Sega Dreamcast Blue Stinger

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated