Criminel is slightly less than the sum of its parts. A photography based point-and-click adventure that uses the same face-capturing technology as LA Noire, on the surface it's an intriguing proposition.
But when it comes to execution, it's not quite there. The story isn't particularly gripping, the crime scene photography that makes up the meat of the experience isn't that interesting, and the faces are all a little bit weird.Crimin 'ell
The game is split into a number of cases. They all involve a corpse and some evidence that you need to find. That might be bloodstains, foot prints, or documents that are scattered around the environment.
You tap to move, and swipe or tilt to look around. It's all a bit juddery, though, and can get a bit fiddly if you're trying to snap something and can't find the right angle.
Once you've snapped a photo of all the bits of evidence, you run through what you've found, read some witness statements, then collate everything in a case and use that to accuse a suspect.
Although it's not really as in-depth as that sounds. Everything happens pretty much automatically, and while there's an attempt to make things interactive by making you tap details, it's all a bit perfunctory.
The draw here is supposed to be the story, which links together the various cases into a France-spanning conspiracy. But it's just not interesting enough. And when it comes to its bloody, and slightly shocking, end, you'll pretty much forget it instantly.
There's the germ of something here, but it's all too linear. You never feel like you're a detective, just someone stumbling through the crime scene while the real police giggle at your ineptitude in the background.
And that feeling is exacerbated by the bumbling controls. Quite why the officer in charge, who'll dole out cryptic clues if you tap a question mark in the corner, can't just tell you where everything is in the first place is never explained.Criminel has a good idea, but in the end it doesn't really know what to do with it. And that makes for an experience that's neither here nor there.