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A different L&O, but they keep getting better
on December 28, 2006
Bugs aside -- and they are indeed obnoxious at times -- Legacy keeps getting better with each L&O entry.
Maybe it's because I like linear games, and maybe it's because I like pixel hunting, but I think CI's first installment is their best L&O so far.
First thing is, there's more than one crime to solve here. There are four. That's a big plus.
Next is the fact that it's more character based than the previous three. Being third-person (as opposed to first-person) doesn't make much of a difference, if you ask me, but it's refreshing to have the detective actually ask the questions out loud. Listening to the Q&A's in full adds a lot to the experience.
Then there's Vincent D'Onofrio's voicing. To be honest, it's not the TV show. His dynamics are somewhat lacking here. On film, D'Onofrio has much more presence, and his acting is given proper direction. In this game, while he does an adequate job, his tone rarely veers from the calm-toned vocals that have become his trademark. Unfortunately, though, that's not enough. On screen, Vincent exudes plenty of energy, while here, no matter what "angle" of questioning the player chooses, he maintains a somewhat monotone vocal. This is not necessarily a pitfall, mind you, but to enjoy this game's main-character acting, one must either never have seen the show or suspend most of what they've already experienced from it.
A nice new inclusion in this installment that was missing from the previous L&O games is the automation of getting info on suspects and evidence. In Criminal Intent, one no longer needs to send things to each individual department. Suspects being analyzed automatically go to both Research and Surveillance, while collected evidence to bhe analyzed automatically goes to both Research and the Crime Lab. Makes play a lot less tedious.
If you can deal with the bugs that often make this game frustrating to play, then I recommend it (as I do the previous three L&O games). I enjoyed it despite the bugginess, but everyone's got a different threshold for tolerance.