The Scene of the Crime
In a world so noir that sunshine has been legally replaced by ominous street lamps, you play the part of a detective on a murder case. Rather than track down the perpetrator yourself, your job is to collect evidence and put together a case for conviction. Point and click your way around the grisly crime scene until you've ticked off all the necessary plot points, and then leave the apartment to conclude the story. Access your briefcase full of forensic tools through the icon in the lower-left.
There's a nice physicality to this, aided greatly by Kamil Kochansky's thick, twisted visuals. The fiddling with forensic tools, the clump of your footsteps as you explore the apartment, the syrupy background saxophones by composer Kolczok—it all puts you in the scene. The adventure is short, just a chapter in the saga, but even so, there's a feeling of disconnect between the vibrant cutscenes that book-end the story, and the gameplay itself. It might have been more effective to sprinkle parts of the (surprisingly violent) closing scene throughout the game as you discover details, CSI-style.
Even with the shortness and schizophrenia, this is a promising dark new direction for Mateusz Skutnik and crew. Step into the gumshoes of a new hero and explore.
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Here's a nice little walkthrough for you, told again in story form. It's not as long as the LAST story-through that I wrote (Desert Bridge), but it's pretty good, if I do say so myself.
It's dark and the rain's falling heavy. I've been following this case for weeks, but, right now, all I can think about is how bad I want a smoke. That lighter's weighing pretty heavy in my pocket. Life's a real riot, and the way I see it, there ain't a good reason why I shouldn't cut it short. Short enough to not let the collectors get the last laugh, but not so short I can't show off my skills. That's why my lungs are as black as the city's underbelly.
What are my skills, you ask? I'm a private eye. My job is to put my nose where it don't belong. There's a lot that don't belong in this town, and a P.I. is just that. Or so the big boys say. Lights flicker from a single room on the top floor, mingling and dancing with the lightning. Man, do I want that cigarette.
I storm the room, gun raised, eyes wild as deuces. Cards were never my thing, but if I were as good at that as I am at snooping, I wouldn't be a snoop. If there's a God out there, he's got a sense of humor, but I can't call him unjust for it since I'm here, or much else for that matter. People are always quick to put off the blame. My bad credit ain't no one's fault but mine.
Room's empty. Another light flickers from behind a door. I go in. It's the bathroom. A man's arm is hanging out of the tub. Everything else is hidden in the shadow of a torn down shower curtain.
I examine the body. The man was 30 years old, dead from a stab wound. The water's dark from the blood and the shadows. The man was just leaving his prime, might even have had a decent life. Poor guy. Either he died from a mistake, a psychosis, or maybe even greed. But all of that's the pity talking, and I shake myself when I remember where I set up shop. Chances are this guy had it coming.
I notice the man is wearing a watch, for whatever reason. Strikes me as odd, but I've forgotten to take off my ticker in the shower once or twice. Makes me glad I bought one that's waterproof. The thing had stopped at 8:03 PM. Must have been when he died.
I step away and start looking around the bathroom. It's dank, rank, and tiny. Reminds me of my own apartment. There's a newspaper lying next to the toilet. The headline reads something about a woman winning a hundred grand. Lucky dame. I drop the paper and check in the top of the toilet. They say they quickest way to a man's heart is between the third and fourth ribs. Well, I found the vehicle that got the murderer there: A blood-stained knife.
I check around the sink next. There I see the one thing I was afraid I'd find: lipstick. There's always a dame involved, and I've never dealt with one that wasn't crazy. I'm really lucky if she has a genuine case and isn't trying to set me up. I don't trust the brunettes anymore.
There's a lot of bleach sitting next to the sink. Pretty obvious that someone wanted to cover their tracks. Ther's also a crumpled up piece of paper in the trash. Turns out to be a threat letter written in magazine cutouts. Whoever this maniac was, they didn't even have the decency to write their own threats. Days like this, I hate my job.
I'd found everything I could in the loo, so I step out into the apartment. The TV's glowing, but the only thing on is static. I turn to my right and find this end of the room ransacked. Someone had already searched the place, but that doesn't stop me from doing some searching of my own. Under the foot of the bed I found a cell phone. Could be useful if I could see the old messages, but the battery is missing. At this point in life, so's most of my soul, if I ever had one.
A set of closed drawers on the left side of the bed seems like the next best place to look around, but there's nothing in them. But there is a strand of hair on the bed. Blonde. I must be losing it.
One last thing to check before going to some other moldy corner of this rundown place. I lift the picture above the bed off the wall and discovered a safe with a hundred grand inside it. Could this be the same 100K mentioned in the paper? If it is, then it must be at the center of this case. It would definitely explain why the place was such a wreck.
I turn back and check around the TV. In the drawers I found a cell phone battery and a small notebook with a page torn out. My gut tells me I have some more sniffing around to do, and I'm never one to argue with it. That's why most of the money I make goes to bourbon instead of the bills. On top of the picture box is a set of car keys. I bet somebody's in the trunk of a car somewhere. Or some body. Either way, I'm not gonna get much sleep tonight.
Behind the TV, I found a bullet. Something else bad happened here. With my luck, I've got two murders on my hands, as if they weren't dirty enough already. To take down crime, sometimes you have to do a few illegal activities yourself. Things you see in this line of work toughen you up. Or maybe they just wear you down so much that you're just too tired to care anymore. After a while, the only things you care about are the things that kill you. You make a living, stay alive just so you can spend all your money on a kind of death or two. Pick your poison. One's wrapped in paper, the other a bottle, but I haven't found a reason why I couldn't have both. But you know what the real tragedy is? If either of them is making me happy, I can't tell.
I turn left to face the wardrobe. On the left side is a picture of a blonde dame who looked a lot like the one in the paper. It's comforting, but I don't know why. The right side of the wardrobe doesn't have anything I can use in it, but the left side does. I found the man's wallet in his coat. Inside that was a receipt from a restaurant, timestamped about 5:30 PM. Looks like he had lunch with someone, and I doubt it was his wife.
There's a suitcase at the bottom of the wardrobe. I open it up and take a peek inside. Somebody was packed and ready to go. Since when do kidnappers kidnap people with a full suitcase? Something was starting to stink worse than the body.
I went over the place again and couldn't find anything else, so I decided to leave and call it a night. But blazing crimson on the door frame was a spot of blood. Just my luck, this all but confirmed that there were two murders.
It's time to put the pieces together, and what better way than with the cell? I plug the battery in, but the thing tells me that I need the PIN. The notebook had some embedded handwriting from the torn out page, and my trusty pencil's never failed me yet. A little scribbling and the PIN is mine.
There's a new message from 7:30 PM. Martha must be the blonde. That was probably her blood, too. The threat letter said to bring the money at 7:00 PM. The picture is getting a little less fuzzy.
Next, I dust for prints. Using the brush and the dusting agent, I discover two prints, one on the knife and one on the lipstick. Why am I not surprised? The bullet is clean, though. I compare the prints. No surprises again, they're a match. I bet she's a brunette, too.
After reading over the letter and my notes, everything comes together. I can leave now, knowing I've solved another case and made the world a little brighter for someone who cares.
Posted by: Wolfgang DelaSangre | May 22, 2009 2:06 AM