NCIS
Released n/a
Details
NCIS, or Naval Criminal Investigative Service, has been hugely successful in the US, drawing massive ratings over nearly 200 episodes with well constructed mysteries and strong character dynamics. NCIS devotees can now become their favorite characters - special agent Gibbs, chief medical examiner Dr "Ducky" Mallard and forensic technician Abby Sciuto - to solve a range of cases involving murder, robbery and violence. In truth, though, the game is essentially a procession of mini-games that are threaded rather limply through a series of episodes. The gameplay and structure proves remarkably basic, particularly in the wake of LA Noire. Committed NCIS fans will find aspects of the game to love, but for everyone else there is better crime-solving fun to be had elsewhere.

The structure of NCIS is the same as a TV series - the game's four episodes each feature a new crime involving some kind of connection to naval personnel. The episodes start with a cut scene outlining the set up to the crime before the NCIS team are brought in to investigate the scene and put together the pieces. The gameplay takes its cues from point-and-click adventures, but lacks any of the complexity and intelligence of the classic titles in the genre. It feels like an early Wii game, in that you move the characters between obvious points of interaction and then conduct a series of button-prompts. Other sequences involve lifting finger prints, photographing dead bodies and even tracking fleeing suspects via satellite - but rarely does any of this feel truly satisfying.

NCIS's interactive elements seem more akin to a children's game, but the violent content and frequent murders are only really suitable for adults. The investigation team scours crime scenes for guns, bullets and bodies, which are all clearly marked in case you miss them. These clues are then combined on the Deduction Board, throwing up simple four multiple choice options (it is generally obvious which one is right). From the opening case in an Atlantic City casino through a bank heist and to the rather disappointing climax on a skyscraper, NCIS lacks the tight mysteries and heart-pounding conclusions of its TV show inspiration.