Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

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danyboy
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Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby danyboy » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:15 pm

The Story:

The story opens with rookie female FBI agent Nicole Bonnet assigned to a coffee run while on a stakeout with her partner. Upon returning to the stakeout location, a dark and foreboding Bronx apartment building, she hears a gunshot and rushes to her partner’s side only to hear him uttering his last words, “Give Nick a message.”

The FBI assigns Bonnet to take the place of her dead colleague and teams her up with Nick, an agent who has been oddly scarce around the Bureau. The mysterious case of the macabre murders is plaguing New York and targeting wealthy residents. The murders are committed with a strange weapon and the hearts of several victims are removed. Bonnet takes on the case solo, as Nick is being very elusive, and sets out to solve the murder investigation before another life is ended.

Players get the opportunity to become agent Bonnet and explore the evidence to discover what links the victims, find out what the motive is, and investigate why the murderer targets prominent New Yorkers? Exploring more than 200 dark locations, Bonnet races against the clock to save her own life. Eventually she will be led to the Peruvian city of Cusco, where she will discover if the macabre murders are some form of ancient sacrificial ritual. Bonnet will be forced to get inside the mind of the mass murderer and capture the killer before the killer spills her blood.

Introduction:

OK. I know that an FBI agent solving sordid crimes sounds familiar, but no need to worry - all comparisons should stop there. In the beginning of the game there is a very interesting opening scene that puts you right into the investigation mode. The story is mostly about finding the whereabouts of a serial killer, but soon you will realize that several other mysteries are hidden in the story. Even if the ending is a bit predictable, it doesn't make the game any less enjoyable. One reason why the ending might be predictable is the small number of possible suspects or characters you encounter during the gameplay. Several interesting cutscenes help the story flow very well.

Puzzles:

Most of the puzzles are inventory based; you also have a couple of logical puzzles. I should mention that there are two puzzles - a timed puzzle and another puzzle - which will end your game if you don't solve them. The puzzles aren't very hard and are well integrated into the story. However, a couple of them will offer you a good challenge. One puzzle that was fun to do was in the forensic laboratory. Sometimes, you can't trigger a puzzle or make inventory combinations until you have a dialogue between Nicole and another character. Explanations given in the game are enough to solve most of the puzzles.

Graphics and Gameplay:

Art of Murder is a third person point and click adventure game. The game has 3D characters moving around in interesting and colorful 2D graphics. The cutscenes aren't as well done as the game backgrounds. The most beautiful scenery is from the part in South America.

By pressing ESC you can access the main menu where you can save, load and adjust the game settings. At the bottom of the screen you have the inventory, and on the bottom right side is a briefcase that will also allow you access to the main menu and a spyglass that will give you hints about where to go and what you need to look at. Here you will also be able to access your PDA so you can phone people, receive e-mail and take pictures. A notepad will allow you to read important things that need to be done or that have already been done. When you click on the left mouse button, you will either perform an action or make a movement. Clicking on the right mouse button will give you information about an object. There are infinite save slots, but it was a bit annoying to always scroll down to get the most recent saved game. Some of the objects you need to pick up are very small and almost impossible to see. Luckily, you can use the spyglass to find them. The game is mostly linear, and you can't leave a location until you are done exploring it and finding everything.

Agent Bonnet is very chatty and for those like me who love a challenging game, she gives away too many clues. It was a bit annoying that Nicole is supposed to have a partner in the game, Nick. But he seems more like an imaginary friend since we don't even see him for most of the gameplay.

Even if the cutscenes are a bit pixelated, they are intriguing, and they really add to the plot and make you want to learn more about the possible outcomes.

Product: Art of Murder: FBI Confidential
Developer: City Interactive
Format: PC CD-ROM
Game Type: Adventure, classic point and click
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Availability: July 29, 2008
SRP: $19.99

FEATURES:

· A dark and exciting storyline filled with twists, mysteries and intriguing characters
· 200 detailed locations including New York, Peruvian Cusco, and the Amazon jungle
· Nearly 20 in-game characters who move in a natural way and cast realistic shadows
· 100 difficult puzzles that engage players to think logically
· 5,000 realistic dialogue lines that enable players to easily understand assigned tasks
· More than 200 detailed and varied pre-rendered images that are enhanced with background animations. The graphics were designed by some of the best graphic and art directors in Poland.


Interesting facts about the game:

You get a warning when you’re not done exploring a place.

There is a hint system that allows you to know where you can go or see the things that might be important.

ALT/TAB friendly

The game is on DVD

Dialogue and sound:

The voice actress who played Agent Bonnet was perfect for the character. Other voice actors were average - nothing out of the ordinary. The game music fits the mood of the game very well; mostly it is classical music. The sound effects are a real plus in the game; they make each scene more alive. The most interesting sound effects were in the part where you explore South America.

One thing I didn't like was that Agent Bonnet repeats the same phrases over and over and after awhile, it became somewhat annoying.

Bugs and/or Patches:

I didn’t encounter any major bugs; the sound was a bit choppy sometimes.

Computer Specifications:

System Requirements:

Windows 98/2000/ME/XP
DirectX 8.1
Pentium III 500MHz
128 MB RAM
DirectX 8.1 compatible video card with 32 MB RAM
DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card
1 GB free hard drive space
DVD-ROM 4x

My computer specifications:

OS: Windows Vista SP1
RAM: 3072 MB
Processor: Intel (R) Core (TM) 2 Duo 3.00 Go
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Disk space: 1st 247Go and 2nd 282 Go
DirectX 10.0c

Closing Statement:

Art of Murder: FBI Confidential has some beautiful graphics and an interesting story. The puzzles are fun but not very difficult. This is a modern investigation game with some surprises hidden on your path. The graphics and the story are probably the two elements that make the game so enjoyable. Average time for gameplay is around twenty hours, which is average for what is available on the market right now. The price is around $20 US, so it is also about average in cost. So, if you are in the mood for a relaxing game where you don't have to pull your hair out, Art of Murder is the perfect game for you.

Official Websites:

Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential

Daniel (aka danyboy)

Thanks Draclvr, Ghostlady, LadyK, Angelfire and all of those who helped me with this review.
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LadyKestrel
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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby LadyKestrel » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:05 pm

It sounds like you enjoyed this one, DB! Nice work!
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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby danyboy » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:22 pm

Thanks LadyK!

CU

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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby draclvr » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:46 pm

Another honest and informative review! One of the things that I'm finding encouraging is that so many of these games are compatible with Vista.
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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby skeeter » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:52 am

Great review! This is another game I've been keeping an eye on...
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danyboy
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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby danyboy » Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:48 pm

Thanks skeeter and drac.

CU

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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby Rosaboobie » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:49 pm

Well done, THE TEAM for yet another excellent review.

I cant believe how reasonable your new games are - Just $20?? In Uk we would pay twice as much for a new game!
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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby Dragon » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:53 pm

Thanks for the review. I'll put that one on my want list.
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danyboy
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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby danyboy » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:12 pm

Dragon and Boobie, you're both welcome. Boobie very sorry that games are expensive where you are, Usually games in Quebec are more expensive than in the U.S. or the rest of Canada, we also have two taxes to pay when we're buying stuff and if people who don't play games in English want to play them in French they need to pay between 10 or 15$ more.

CU

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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby Sophie » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:41 pm

Games are always much dearer here also, mainly because of the money exchang rate.
Thank you DB for another great review. :)
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danyboy
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Re: Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential Review

Postby danyboy » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:02 pm

You're welcome Sophie!

CU

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