#PGConnects: Hands-on with 19th century noir detective game Criminel


A dimly lit alleyway. A silhouette in a doorway. A dead body. Sure, it might seem like Criminel is a film noir thriller, but how many gumshoe movies took place in 19th century Paris?

This is an innovative mash-up of The Third Man and Sherlock Holmes: a forensic detective game, set during the early days of forensics. A game with the best mutton-chop sideburns on iPad.

The game has you solving a series of murders. In act one of each killing, you wander about a 3D crime scene, taking photos of suspicious objects that might end up being clues.

When you're done, you return to your office to do some good old fashioned deduction.

Criminel

That generally involves making a list of the murderer's traits by tapping on your photos, and tapping on interesting words in a witness's statement. With this info under your belt you can cross reference your clues with a handful of possible suspects, and then pick your guilty man.

It is, perhaps, a little simple at this point. You can sometimes find the right killer just by cross-referencing the height and age, and then picking the murderous man who fits that description. Not sure that'd hold up in court.

But I think with the right tweaks, and a ramp up in difficulty, this could make for a very interesting detective puzzler.

Criminel

You might notice some similarities with Rockstar's LA Noire, and they don't stop there. 4PM also seems to be inspired by that game's uncanny head-scanning tech, and is doing something similar - albeit much more simple, and much more ghetto - for its characters.

Criminel has the potential to be something special. It's just a case of whether developer 4PM can make some smart tweaks and tune the difficulty just right before the game launches on iPad in the spring.
Mark Brown 14/1/2015
© Steel Media Ltd.