CSI: Dark Motives
First posted on 04 August 2008. Last updated on 19 January 2013.
CSI: Dark Motives (also known as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Dark Motives) is the sequel to the original game in the series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It features the main cast of characters from the television series of the same name: Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle, Nick Stokes, Warrick Brown, Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Jim Brass, and Al Robbins.
In CSI: Dark Motives, the player again plays the role of a new recruit in the Las Vegas Crime Lab. The game is a point and click adventure. To examine an object or interact with another character, the player clicks on the object or list of questions that appears on screen. The only notable difference in CSI: Dark Motives is that the mouse cursor now changes to a question mark whenever it hovers over the questions. Otherwise, the game retains the same context sensitive cursor as the original.
The forensic tools in CSI: Dark Motives are the same as those in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The tools are categorized into tools for Evidence Collection and tools for Evidence Detection. The Evidence Collection tools include Swab, Gloves, Tweezers, Casting Plaster, Mikrosli, Adhesive Lifting Tape, Electrostatic Dust Print Lifter, and Adhesive Specimen Mount. The Evidence Detection tools include Magnifying Scope, Ninhydrin, Brush, Ultra Violet Light, Magnetic Powder, Luminol, and Finger Print Powder. To examine an object or collect a piece of evidence, choose an Evidence Detection or Evidence Collection tool with a single click and then click the object or the piece of evidence. To learn more about the tool or the evidence collected, double click on the tool or object. The categorization of the evidence in CSI: Dark Motives remains identical to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Trace/Prints, Documents, and Items).
CSI: Dark Motives has 5 cases:
Case 1—Daredevil Disaster: A professional stuntman, Ace Dillinger, has suffered from a bad crash in a stunt show. As the new recruit, the player has to work along with Catherine Willows to solve the case.
Case 2—Prints and Pauper: A body of a homeless man is found in an abandoned insane asylum. Stomach contents collected in autopsy suggest a murder. The player has to solve the case working with Warrick Brown.
Case 3—Diggin' It: Working with Sara Sidle, the player has to solve the case after human bones are discovered at the construction site of a new casino.
Case 4—Miss Direction: During the rehearsal of a play, a women is shot for real with a prop gun. Working with Nick Stokes, the player has to solve the case.
Case 5—Dragon and Dropping: When a poisonous Komodo is discovered dead and a human toe is found at the scene, the player must work with Gil Grissom to find out why the Komodo has attacked.
As in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, each case file in CSI: Dark Motives contains details of the victim and the suspects. To close the case and make an arrest, the evidence trinity must be closed: the player must identify the relationship between the suspect, the victim, and the crime scene. New places to visit appear as more information about the case is gathered. The player can also visit Jim Brass' Office, the Morgue, and the Computer Lab at any time. The Computer Lab has a Microscope/Image Enhancement that can be used to compare trace samples (such as hair) and a Computer that can be used to search and compare DNA, Tires, Finger Prints, and Shoe Prints. The interface for the Lab Computer in CSI: Dark Motives is better organized than in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It has a display for each category of evidence. In each category, a count of the new evidence and a total count of all the evidence collected are shown.
The game play in CSI: Dark Motives remains largely the same as in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. All the cases presented are interesting to solve, with plenty of twists and turns in the plots. The fifth case is loosely connected to the first case and the second case. When enough preliminary evidence is collected, the player can request a warrant to search a location or to arrest a suspect. An improvement over CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is that the player can now further process the evidence already collected for more prints or trace evidence if they are present.
At the end of each investigation, the player is presented with 5 questions related to the case. The player is ranked depending on the number of questions answered correctly, evidences collected, and clues used along with the player's statistics on the case. Bonus material can be unlocked after solving a case. These extras are displayed as a slide show and include videos of Max Allan Collins, a writer for the television series, talking about the scripting, the dialogs, and the reenactment scenes for this game as well as videos of Daniel Holstein, a real life CSI, talking about the responsibilities of Crime Scene Management and the Evidence Chain.
The production is more polished in CSI: Dark Motives than CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The graphics have improved. The characters look more life like and the reconstruction videos are more elaborate. At the start of the case, the player is introduced to all the members of the CSI team in a movie style that is impressive to watch. The background music is catchy and the sound effects are better. The dialogs are also well written.
Playing CSI: Dark motives requires a keen sense of observation. If clues are missed or the investigation is not proceeding in a systematic manner, the player will fail to solve the case and will need to start from scratch. Game progress is automatically saved.
To conclude, the sequel CSI: Dark Motives is a great improvement over the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The game is interesting to play and takes the player a bit closer to the action of crime scene investigation.