Oct 15, 2007
Okay Ubisoft dudes, we get it. The television ratings for CSI are still relatively high and some genius at your Ubi towers thought gamers would like to put on the forensic gloves as esteemed/paunchy CSI Head Investigator Gil Grissom one more time, even though the show is honestly about as passé as the slew of milquetoast CSI games you’ve released since your sorta decent CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2003. Conceptually, it’s not a bad idea - there aren’t many games out there that capture the grody-to-the-max process of working a crime scene and really having to use your wits to solve a case, but Hard Evidence no such thing.
What Ubisoft delivers instead this time around is a very forgettable game that amounts to solving 5 very run-of-the-mill crime scenarios that are about as tough to put together as your little sister’s 5-piece Dora the Explorer puzzle. The real meat in Hard Evidence is the excruciating amount of in-game advertising. And it’s not just cars like Rainbow Six Vegas’ pimping of the Dodge 2006; a Visa card is actually branded and worked into the dialogue as a part of the plot. Dudes, party foul.
The game’s mechanics could’ve put more faith in the player for being patient and for knowing how to solve puzzles. It should be a big pay-off when you crack a case, instead of a clammy feeling of having your hand held the entire time. Things like the active cursor that glows green when you “find” evidence by simply walking into a room and moving the camera around tell us just how little faith the game has in our sleuthing abilities. There’s even a giant indicator that checks off your progress, so if do happen to be stumped on one thing you can see exactly what you missed.
On the bright side, Hard Evidence is so fast there’s something satisfying in flying through a game in one sitting, especially considering you’ll probably unlock all 1,000 Achievement points along the way just for staying on task. So, if you’re looking for a challenging mystery adventure, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a 5-6 hour distraction that will up your Gamerscore by 1,000 points, Hard Evidence is the game for you.