Detective games

Ah, a man with good tastes. I actually preferred the Marlowe novels because I loved how Chandler could turn a phrase, and I mourned when I finished the last in the series. That said, I’ve also got all of the Continental Op books, there are just too few of them. Totally different character, and there is something nice about a detective who has average at best looks, one the women don’t all just automatically fall for.

No mention of


Looks like this game was recently announced, not sure when it arrives. I like the sound of a sci-fi detective game though.

This might go in that direction.

That… doesn’t look very promising.

It’s out (in EA of course). Would be very interested to hear any impressions from people who jump in

Yeah, Shadows of Doubt is on my watch list for sure. The system requirements are kind of nuts for what it looks like, but it supposedly plays great on deck. I mean, who am I kidding I probably won’t be able to resist and will jump in later today. I’m keeping an eye on those day one reviews, though.

I enjoyed the demo, although having to hide from the cops was a bit jarring. I had hoped to be more of a nuisance to law enforcement and less of an outright criminal that had to hide from them, but it’s fine.

Mostly I want something that feels like Sid Meier’s Covert Action without the car chases, giving me a stream of sensible if not mind-blowing puzzles to unwrap. Adding in a living city where inhabitants have jobs, routines and preferences is cool and I presume accounts for the steeper system reqs.

I realise the potential weakness of proc-genning everything, but in the demo I enjoyed the way I went from rifling apartment drawers, to finding a receipt, to finding fingerprints that matched the mysterious ones I found in the apartment, to identifying who they belonged to.

If it can give me a string of cases like that, that I can approach in different ways I’ll be happy.

Although even with just one open investigation the old corkboard covered in string was out of control.

I’ll probably pick this up later this evening.

Covert Action is the number one Sid Meir game I’d love to see get an XCOM style resurrection. Not that Covert Action was an authentic Spy Game at all but it was really the only one I ever played. I liked Alpha Protocol’s attempt at the genre but i prefer a sim based game rather than a more typical RPG for that.

I’ll be checking out Shadows of Doubt and will probably be frustrated where the proc gen breaks down and the shallowness becomes clearly visible. But I love what it is trying to do.

Does it? Are they doing the calculations for the citizens’ routines on the GPU? Because that’s what raised my eyebrows, specifically.

Early reports of it working well on deck were apparently not exactly accurate. I guess it forces raytracing and performance is generally bad even on strong cards, and for deck it’s a battery killer.

I played around with Shadows of Doubt for about an hour last night, and I’m pretty impressed! The interface is a bit clunky at times (I tried playing with a controller but gave that up quickly), but the parts are all there to allow for actual detective work. I’ll certainly get my money’s worth out of the current form, and I’m excited to see what changes are made through Early Access.

I just spent 20 minutes dinking around the apartment, opening drawers, etc… and my case board is already a tangled mess. :D

Yeah, the case board is the reason I had to ditch the controller for M+K. I do appreciate how it automatically fills in information when it’s collected, so I don’t have to manually mark down what color a person’s eyes are, for example.

Right? I’ve already gone full Pepe Silvia and I’m still in the tutorial.

One of the tutorial prompts made me panic and try to flee the crime seen by smashing the window with my fist and plummeting down to the street. Bystanders did not take this in stride.

I also somehow seriously injured myself in the courthouse lobby trying to drop/throw a hammer, and ended up blood-spattered and bleeding.

I played it for about 40 minutes straight, and I think I have barely scratched the surface of the tutorial. Performance seemed fine (not, like…amazing, but perfectly ok) on my laptop with a 3050ti, Ryzen 7 5800u and 16GB RAM. This is going to be a rea fun one to revisit from time to time, I think.

I solved the tutorial case using some fairly inelegant methods :

(Spoilered in case the case is the same for everyone)

Bismarck is no Columbo

I found an unknown fingerprint in the victim’s apartment, along with the last telephone number that called the victim’s phone and that caller’s first initial.

I then went through the phonebook looking for names that started with that initial and found one who had the phone number that called the victim. This gave me an address.

I then went to that address and found a matching fingerprint on the door handle. However, when I knocked on the door the person inside was male and I thought my perp was probably female.

So then I went to the restaurant the victim frequented and found the mystery fingerprint again - on one of the tables and then found it again in the ladies bathroom.

This convinced me the perp was probably the lady and not the man and so I put her name in on the case form and… success! I got my thousand dollars.

I didn’t provide any evidence that the person was in the apartment, didn’t find the murder weapon and didn’t arrest the perp, but on the other hand… thousand dollars!

I also discovered that if you really want to get into a locked area without being spotted, you can just sit outside, then save the game and reload it and you’ll have glitched through the wall into the room of interest.

I’m going to generate a new city now and start failing to see obvious clues for reals.