Supported Controllers (hover for description)
In NCIS 3D, you play as the newest recruit to the NCIS crew - and you're just in time to be drafted onto one of the biggest crimes yet. When an employee at a naval contractor's found murdered in his office, it's up to you to negotiate a web of lies, corporate politics, and deception, and as you attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice, you discover a conspiracy far greater than you could have imagined...
If you've never seen the TV show before, there's no reason to panic, as NCIS 3D lends itself perfectly well to those uninitiated in the TV show. After all, we should know, as up until we reviewed this, we didn't even really know what NCIS stood for. With well written characters easing you into the game and defining their personalities pretty much from the moment they open their mouth, you'll be whisked along by a tight, interesting, and well written story that, just like a good book, you won't want to put down as you start to unravel the case.
Much like the recently reviewed (and also very good) Wii version, in NCIS 3D, you'll split your time between searching a crime scene for clues, sending the evidence you found in for examination, and interviewing suspects. Each mode is fairly easy to get your head around, but requires a decent amount of thinking and foresight - this certainly isn't a game you can just mash buttons to work your way through.
Some of the items you collect will take a little bit more examination, however - such as the appointment diary you find on the desk of the first crime scene. Look in your inventory, and anything you haven't quite fully examined will be flashing yellow. Click on the item, and you'll be presented with a 3D picture of it on the top screen, which you can rotate by dragging the bars on the Touch Screen to look for clues.
Once you've thoroughly examined the evidence, it's time to bag it up and send it off to the relevant departments. On the scene of the crime, you found a USB stick, and so technology expert McGee(k) takes you aside to give him a hand with decrypting the information. Because, you know, we all have an in-depth knowledge of encryption practices and how to uncode information. Luckily, it's a fairly simple process. To begin with, you'll be presented with a number of blurry jigsaw pieces. Touch them, and it'll bring up a grid with a number of white and black squares. A few of the places on the grid will also have thick black borders, and it's up to you to slide the tiles around to get the black squares to line up with the grid sections with black borders. Luckily, it's a lot more intuitive than it sounds. Once you've done that, all you have to do is put the jigsaw together to find out what the encrypted image was. If that's all there is to it, no wonder so many places are being hacked lately. On later cases, there are a few other minigames you'll come across too, such as hacking into a safe, which works a little bit like a more electrical game of pairs. Presented with a chip with a number of wires coming out of it, if you touch each wire, it'll change colour - touch another wire, and if it's the same colour, it'll stay lit up. All you have to do is match the various colours of wires up as best you can. If we knew cracking safes was this easy, we'd probably be in a different line of work!
But it's no good collecting all the evidence if the suspects aren't playing ball - so it's up to you to sort out the truth from the lies in the interrogation room. Here, your suspect will make a number of statements. At any time, you can choose to question what they've said, or simply move on if you think they're telling the truth. These being potential criminals, though, at some point in their testimony, they'll likely make a mistake - and it's up to you to spot the lie, and prove they're lying, with some of the evidence you found at the scene. You'll have to push them at the right moment, though - push too soon, and they won't have said anything incriminating enough - too late, and you'll have missed your moment
It's knowing when to push, and what evidence to show that's the key here, and you'll have to concentrate to make sure you don't miss the incriminating statement, remembering everything you found at the scene of the crime, and everything you've figured out from analysing the evidence later. It's also important to choose the right evidence - if you show something that's not relevant, your suspect will start to doubt the strength of the case against you and may refuse to talk. Luckily, should you get anything wrong, you just restart the section again, knowing exactly where you went wrong.
With an gripping, twisting storyline that'll keep you hanging on what happens next (believe us - we've had a few late nights, wanting to just go through one more conversation), and some genuinely funny line between the characters, NCIS 3D is a great little game if you're looking for something with a bit of a slower pace that'll put your brain to the test. The only real problem is that just as it starts going, around four hours in, it comes to an abrupt halt as you finish the case, and therefore the game. Playing through, we were hoping there'd be more than one case to play through, but it turns out the single five or six hour opus is all we're going to get. On one hand, that's a shame, because we could easily have played through another three games like this - but on the other, wouldn't you rather be left wanting more rather than fed up by a game that's outstayed its welcome?
With a budget price to suit, NCIS 3D is well worth a look. We can't wait for the next one.
- Gripping storyline.
- Well written characters.
- Gameplay that makes you use your mind and wit.
- Too short - we were hoping for another case (or two).
- It'd be nice to actually be able to get some stuff wrong, and have the storyline branch, rather than simply restart the interview.
Recommended for: 10 and up
For more information, please see the parental perspective
All over a bit too soon - but great while it lasts.