Does this series deserve a legacy?
Law and Order isn’t a show that I’m familiar with, apart from the odd references in TV shows like the weird introduction to an episode of Family Guy, so I’m perhaps not the best person to be judging the episodic series and comparing it to the TV show, but as a newcomer I was surprised by just how good it was. I wasn’t expecting much and because my expectations were low, it caught me off-guard. Now only 3 of the 7 episodes are available, so today we’ll be reviewing them as a group and I’ll add the further episodes as another review or reviews further down the line.
Episode 1: Revenge
The episode begins with a maid found murdered in a hotel, but it’s not as simple as that. The evidence all points one way, but the main suspect has limited diplomatic immunity and then a shock twist turns the case on its head. It begins with you questioning suspects and being asked by the game if the statement is true, if you are suspect they are lying and say no, then you have to back it up with a list of statements, only 1 is true. If you pay attention, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Then comes investigating the murder scene itself, which can be tricky as evidence can be obscured by things like boxes and so on, but some of the most blatant clues are close by, I can’t believe how idiotic the killers are in this series to not even bother trying to cover up any blood or the murder weapons.
Once all is done, the court trial begins. You switch to the Counsellor and rip apart testimonies, object to the defences’ statements like leading and badgering the witness, with each correct and wrong decision costing you points to sway the jury to your cause. If things are going well, the defence council will try and plea bargain with you, if you believe you can’t get a full conviction. It’s upto you as a player, but I personally only ever plea bargained in the 3rd episode to get one convict to turn against another to avoid a mis-trial.
There are also personal elements of the main characters that impact the episodes, but only marginally. A recurring theme seems to be an old murder case which evidence seems to keep raising its head through the cases in the episodes, which are all set in different times. As a first episode, Revenge does well to establish itself and the formula for the series, which becomes quite good.
Episode 2: Home to Roost
The episode begins with a man gravely injured, trying to knock on a front door to get the attention of his wife, so what caused his death? Well it takes a while to find out, what with all the usual fare you have to go through in this game…but it’s pretty odd to say the least. The same routine of the first episode happens with the questioning, searching for evidence and the court trial, but it isn’t all clean-cut as you would imagine. It’s nice to see a twist that shows that the jury doesn’t always get it right, nor do the investigators.
Episode 3: Killer Smart
A hooker is found dead in an alleyway by a fellow colleague, what’s so odd is that a lock of hair is missing from her head and she was strangled, which matches into the MO of a serial killer, so it’s a pretty big case. Out of all the episodes, this is the best as the suspects throw all rules out of the window in the trial by choosing to represent themselves and one obviously has no idea about the rules of law, while the other is clearing using him to look good. But like the first episode, I have no idea how murderers can be so clumsy like not even bothering to clean out the shed where the murders happened, which is covered in blood. It’s pretty bad to be honest; perhaps some better tools to find the clues would be better instead of leaving it just to be found by the player. Despite this, it’s a decent episode and definitely the most amusing in terms of one-liners and outbursts.
Visually, Law and Order: Legacies is part cel-shaded, but it doesn’t hinder it. The lip-synching is off as in most Telltale games, but it’s not a bad looking game. The backgrounds are a bit basic though, while the voice-acting is strong, but there are odd recording issues with volume at certain points. And hearing the theme tune replay over and over when the game is paused can be tedious to say the least.
The first 3 episodes of Law and Order: Legacies is a nice start to what is a decent episodic series. It’s good to be a part of solving a crime from its beginning to its conclusion in court. It’s actually fun, which I was not expecting. I hope the further 4 episodes continue to push the series forward.