CSI: Hard Evidence Review
CSI: Hard Evidence box art
System: X360, Wii, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Telltale Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 15, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

From the forensic tools and the series' staple locations, to the gruesome crime scenes and the interaction with the show's stars, Hard Evidence oozes with true CSI style. It does stumble a bit with its tedious interrogations; slogging through text-heavy conversations isn't nearly as exciting as unlocking that final, case-breaking clue. And, to be honest, "exciting" may not be the best way to describe anything in the game. It has its moments, but they're delivered through the cerebral satisfaction of problem solving rather than the adrenaline-fueled action that many gamers are accustomed to.

CSI: Hard Evidence screenshot

If you're a hardcore CSI fan, or someone who misses old-school PC adventures, you should enjoy Hard Evidence's simple, yet satisfying gameplay. But if you're looking for car chases and fire fights, then this one will put you out faster than a bottle of Nyquil. This being the case, Hard Evidence is very accessible to the casual gamer. In addition to the easy-to-learn controls and gameplay, it also offers a hint system, so stumped CSI-wannabes will never be left scratching their heads at a confusing crime scene. Simply ask your partner, who'll always be by your side, and they'll point you in the right direction.


Hard Evidence's visual and audio presentation is pretty weak, but it does pull off the important stuff--the series' characters, environments and voice-overs--well enough that fans of the show should get a kick out of Grissom and the gang doing their thing. The occasional videos, showcasing a crime's dirty details, are also a nice touch; you'll get a closer-than-you-like look at how a person chokes on their own vomit. Which reminds us, if that image, as well as the aforementioned used condom and charred cab driver didn't tip you off, Hard Evidence is just as mature as its television counterpart. Best keep this one out of the same pile as Super Mario Galaxy and Wii Sports, lest your little one mistakingly finds their Wii-mote swinging a DNA swab instead of a baseball bat.

There's no mystery here: Hard Evidence is squarely aimed at the casual gamer and/or CSI-addicted fan. No new gaming ground is broken, and players looking for a "gamers" game won't find it here. However, if a simple, occasionally plodding, procedural crime adventure appeals to you, then you could do worse than joining Gil Grissom's crew in this true-to-tv-show experience. Just be sure to slather on plenty of disinfectant when you're done.

By Matt Cabral
CCC Freelance Writer

Weak, although the CSI-centric stuff is pretty well done.
Simple, point-and-click interface.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Pretty minimal. Voice-overs are decent.

Play Value
Great for CSI fans, not so much for anyone else.

Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Break down the evidence and bring suspects to justice in five all-new, bizarre crimes. Unravel longer cases, search bigger crime scenes and uncover hidden evidence in unique locations like never before.
  • Master new forensic tools and find more evidence than ever. Use the new garage lab to examine large pieces of evidence like cars and trucks. Recreate gunfights with ballistic lasers, uncover shocking secrets with video analysis, and much more.
  • Experience your very own CSI episodes as you piece together clues with the real CSI actors. Take part in dramatic interrogations, create grisly crime reenactments, and explore atmospheric crime scenes inspired by the show.

  • Screenshots / Images
    CSI: Hard Evidence screenshot - click to enlarge CSI: Hard Evidence screenshot - click to enlarge CSI: Hard Evidence screenshot - click to enlarge CSI: Hard Evidence screenshot - click to enlarge

    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook