Court Is Adjourned
Trial Drama is Captured, But Challenge is Lacking
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I want to start this review by saying that I like point and click mystery games. I've played a lot of them over the years and I find them very appealing when I'm in a mellow mood.
I was all set to enjoy Law & Order: Legacies in much the same way that I've enjoyed the C.S.I. games over the years. Unfortunately, despite some promising components, the game doesn't really rise to the sum of its parts.
Telltale licensed the images of several actors from the Law & Order franchise for the game, and the developers do a good job of depicting the characters. Unfortunately, the game doesn't partner the right characters with each other, so for example Detective Benson from Law & Order SVU is paired with Detective Curtis from Law & Order. As an SVU fan, when I see Benson, I want to see Stabler.
I understand that a game can't always license all the images it wants, but it was still distracting, especially since in other episodes Detective Logan and even Detective Briscoe show up. I appreciate that the game attempts an overarching storyline and to throw fans a bone with references to things like Logan's flirtation with Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael. The problem with that is that it's difficult to place Law & Order: Legacies in any kind of reasonable timeline for the show, which I think is more annoying to fans than appealing.
As for game play, it's fairly simple, too simple. Point and click mysteries aren't supposed to be super difficult. It's not Donkey Kong, but this game is mostly clicking through dialog menus and avoiding obvious red herrings.
When you finally get to go to a crime scene, the point and click search for missing items is brief and kind of annoying. Some items aren't immediately visible, but you're dinged for not picking the right items to move to uncover them. It's as if you're expected to know which of dozens of items you can move as opposed to the ones you can't. It's irritating. Worse than that, there are only a handful of items to find and no need to ever return to a crime scene. Despite being docked points for a wrong choice, the game continues on rails.
The best parts of the game, certainly the most challenging parts, are the trials. You actually have to remember what certain legal terms mean and you have to raise the right objection at the right time to win over the jury. You also have to remember the case as it's been presented to you, but the episodes are short, the witnesses few and choices simple, so it's not that challenging.
Overall, this game is a miss, which is disappointing, because these games can be fun and challenging. For those of you who play a lot of point and click mysteries, I would place Law & Order: Legacies above the Agatha Christie games but below the C.S.I. games. If you're a diehard Law & Order fan, the characterization will appeal to you, but the timeline problems will make you crazy.
Marie Flanigan has been a devoted gamer since she got her first Atari 2600 for Christmas long, long ago. These days, she splits her gaming time between PS3, Wii and a Mac. : firstname.lastname@example.org.