First posted on 10 January 2009. Last updated on 19 January 2013.
CSI: Miami is based on the television series of the same name and features the same cast of characters from the early seasons of the television series: Lieutenant Horatio Caine, Calleigh Duquesne, Tim Speedle, Erik Delko, Medical Examiner Alexx Woods, Detective Yelina Salas, and Maxine Valera. The game is the third title in the CSI series, after CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Dark Motives.
Like its predecessors, CSI: Miami is a point-and-click adventure game. The arrow shaped mouse cursor is highlighted when it is passed over an object with which or a person with whom the player can interact. The forensic tools available remain the same as those in previous games. They are categorized as either Evidence Collection or Evidence Detection tools. 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. A new tool not available previously that has now been added to this game is the Flashlight. An Assembly Table has also been added for putting together torn or broken pieces of evidence, such as glass. To examine an object or collect a piece of evidence, single click on an Evidence Detection or Evidence Collection tool to choose the tool and then click on the object or the piece of evidence. To learn more about the tool or the evidence collected, double click on the tool or the object. The categorization of the evidence in CSI: Miami remains identical to both CSI: Dark Motives and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
In CSI: Miami, the player is a rookie member of South Florida team. The game features all the voices of the original cast from the television series.
CSI: Miami includes 5 crime cases, with the last case tying all the previous cases together:
Case 1—Later, Gator: Working with Calleigh Duquesne, the player has to solve the case in which an arm has been found on the golf course at the Palm Glen Country Club, next to the corpse of an alligator.
Case 2—Crack or Jack: A night club owner is found dead in the middle of a dance floor. The player works with Tim Speedle to solve the case.
Case 3—The Hate Boat: A woman is found dead in a boat. There is a gunshot wound to her head. There are also strangulation marks on her body. The player has to solve the case while working with Eric Delko.
Case 4—Sunstroke: A man is found dead sitting in his chair on a beach, next to the corpse of his pet dog. Working with Yelina Salas on the case, the player has to find out if this is a murder because it is too much of a coincidence for both deaths to happen at the same place.
Case 5—Final Judgement: Judge Lawford is found dead in his office, with a gunshot wound to his head. Working with Horatio Cane, the player will need to round up all the suspects from the previous cases to solve the murder.
Unsurprisingly, CSI: Miami is meant for mature gamers because of the nature of the dialogs and the subject matters in these cases.
The game's main menu has a new option called Training, which provides a tutorial to train the player to play the game. The game interface also sports a new color scheme.
The graphics in this sequel look brighter and better than in previous titles. The character models look realistic but still not lifelike enough to their live counterparts (Maxine Valera in this game no doubt looks good, but Greg Sanders in the original definitely looks better). The reconstruction videos are well done. As expected, the voice acting for the characters is excellent. The background music is not distracting. The interface for the Computer Lab remains the same as in CSI: Dark Motives.
The gameplay is very simple. There is an option to customize the level of difficulty. It is very easy to identify the evidence in any scene with the highlighting cursor for collection and processing.
Compared to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Dark Motives, CSI: Miami is a bit of a letdown in terms of variety of its stories. All the cases in this game more or less deal with murders that have been committed because of adulterous affairs or sexual abuse. Still, the cases in CSI: Miami have enough twists and turns to keep the player interested, though all of them have a sexual theme in nature. The game dialogs also use more street language. At the end of the cases, the player's statistics are displayed, similar to other games in the series. Bonus material can be unlocked once a Master Ranking is achieved.
To conclude, CSI: Miami is a decent sequel of yet another licensed game franchise from a popular television series. Who says "crime doesn't pay"?