Our review of Crimesight, a PvP investigative game made by Konami inspired by the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and available on PC.
The figure of Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Moriarty, is one of the greatest sources of inspiration within all media. Between films, TV series and video games, we have seen countless versions of the London detective, whether they are “faithful” reproductions of the character created by Arthur Conan Doyle, or more or less original alterations.
There is, however, one characteristic that certainly cannot be ruled out in creating a “new” Sherlock Holmes: he is a detective and loves solving murder cases. Whether he does it to defeat boredom or because driven by a moral imperative, it matters little, the important thing is that he does not let a criminal escape.
Even in Crimesight it’s the same thing, even if in this case we don’t have to talk about a real detective in flesh and bone, since the protagonists of this PC game are artificial intelligences that clash even before the crime has been accomplished.
To find out all the details, just keep reading ours Crimesight review.
AI vs AI
Crimesight, unlike the typical Sherlock Holmes game, is a online PvP investigative video game. Each player (from two to four) plays the role of a detective who takes the parts of the Holmes Artificial Intelligence or the Moriarty Artificial Intelligence, within a game that takes place in a villa, divided into a considerable number of rooms .
In this villa, a group of people got trapped in a storm. Help is on the way within a few days, but there is a problem: one of the characters is a killer and he has decided to kill one of his companions. The Holmes have the goal of discovering who these two people are, while Moriarty must be able to put a weapon in the hands of the culprit and must make sure that he is alone with the victim in a room, without witnesses.
The whole match takes place at shifts, with a limited number of moves. The Holmes have the opportunity to act once more than Moriarty, but this has an advantage: if he imposes a move on a character controlled by a Holmes, he gets priority and cancels the opponent’s move. At the same time, however, this confirms that this character is not the target of the murder, since Moriarty cannot control the victim (it would be too easy in this case to move the victim into the same room as the killer).
So why not keep all the characters always nearby and in a group? The main problem is that the characters need to search the rooms (by selecting pre-positioned luminous dots) of food, to feed at the end of each day. Without food, the PCs tire and eventually become stunned and their ability to prevent a murder is minimal. In fact, every non-victim and non-murderer is our greatest defense and must be kept healthy. Most of the bright spots, however, do not ensure food and, indeed, often assign a weapon, so even the Holmes could unwittingly put the tool that will lead him to victory in the hands of the killer.
There are several ways to find out who is the killer and who is the intended victim, but the most effective is Sherlock’s analysis, activated automatically at the end of each day (i.e. every three shifts). The detective tells us if the criminal and the target are within three squares of each other and, in this way, excludes a whole series of combinations.
From phase to phase, therefore, we have the opportunity to discover some additional information and arrive at a conclusion, provided that Moriarty do not feel safe and activate the “aggression” command of the killer, who then tries to get close to the victim to eliminate him, moving automatically according to the movement of the latter. If in this case he fails (for example the victim has moved too far and the criminal does not have enough movement to keep up with him), automatically only one turn remains, during which the identities of the two characters are revealed and Moriarty has only one attempt to win. the match.
We know that reading these words is a bit complex to understand how Crimesight works. The best way to imagine it is as a kind of strange game of chess, where at each turn we can move only a part of the characters a few squares and our aim is to make sure that the villa is explored in search of resources to survive, but at the same time without the PCs being too far from each other, as this risks giving Moriarty a chance to attack. Obviously, the whole thing has to be completely reversed in case the player is the bad guy of the situation.
Strategy, not deduction
Crimesight does not require real deduction skills, since it is the game that takes care of the logical connections and always signals for each character which are his possible victims and which are his possible attackers. What he wants is attention and planning.
The way you play also changes a lot based on the number of players: if you are three against one, each Holmes has only one move, while the single Moriarty has two. In the end, it’s still a three-move versus two-move, but it’s clear that three allied minds won’t follow the same plan every turn and could get in the way. Basically, it is possible to communicate through a series of stickers: we can indicate who we want to control, where we want to move it and we can also suggest that, in our opinion, a certain character is the aggressor or the victim.
This ping systemHowever, it is also visible to Moriarty, who is hiding among the detectives. If we are convinced that we know which player is the intruder, we can deny the communications, so that he does not see our stickers.
We can too block communications to our allies, send a sticker only to our suspect indicating that we will perform a certain action (lying means), and then reactivate communications only with the other players and indicate to them the real move we planned. If we have been right, we can then confuse the opponent’s ideas.
In the’1vs1 this problem does not exist, of course, and probably this mode is the most interesting, since we have more control over the strategy from start to finish, if you do not have the opportunity to play with a group of friends with whom to communicate in voice chat (which guarantees a little more organization and forces the intruder to try to confuse ideas in a more direct way).
Quality vs Quantity
Crimesight, in a nutshell, is an interesting and well crafted idea. The main problem, right now, is that the contents are very limited. There is 3vs1, 2vs2, 2vs1 and 1vs1, which slightly change the way in which you have to think about the movements, but on balance it is always the same way. The maps are few, but above all they are practically all the same: the specific layout of the rooms changes, but the way in which you have to play is identical. There is no real PvE, if not some tutorials that fortunately explain well how to play and prepare us for online.
Our question is how long it will be able to entertain its community. We have the impression that a group of experienced fans will be created who will play Crimesight for a long time, but a good chunk of players will have fun for a few hours and then they will realize that every game is good or bad identical to the previous one. If there will be a decisive and intense post-launch support (unconfirmed for now), Crimesight could flourish, but if not, it could die out within a few months.
Finally, we specify that the game is translated into Italian.
- The strategic gameplay is accessible, without being corny
- The tutorials are well done
- The contents are limited
- Will there be post-launch support?