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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Adventure

 

Publisher

Universal

 

Developer

Legacy Interactive

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

September 2003

 

 

- Feels like a lost episode of Police Quest

- Nails all the high points of the show

- Easy interface

 

 

- Linear nature

- Looks like a lost episode of Police Quest

 

 

Classic: Police Quest (PC)

Review: Max Payne (PC)

Review: Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (PC)

 

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Law & Order II: Double or Nothing

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

Remember the end of Police Quest 4?  That part when you kill a dog by throwing a ball out the window then set the cross-dressing serial killer on fire with a makeshift flamethrower?  No?  You missed a gem.

 

law & order 2 double or nothing pc review          law & order 2 double or nothing pc review

 

The reason I bring up Police Quest 4 is that Law & Order III: Double or Nothing (DoN) will take you right back to 1995 with its presentation.  But with a $30US price tag and the fact you have to use your noggin instead of a Kalishnikov, DoN isn’t too concerned with riding the bleeding edge in terms of technology.  No, instead we get a rendering of the TV show complete with hollow “Duu-dunn” transitions, Jerry Orbach as Lenny Briscoe, and a chance to duke it out in the courtroom.  Fans of the show should be pleased and fans of old-style point and click adventure gamers should have flashbacks (even if DoN doesn’t have the same depth as more recent adventure games).

 

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

As Law & Order typically does, DoN opens with a murder – a biotech guy is found dead and it falls to you to track down leads and make an arrest based on the 

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evidence you collect.  Then you switch to the role of prosecutor, tasked with making the evidence stick and getting a conviction. (I won’t give away anymore of the story – I hate reviews that do that.)

 

Actually collecting the evidence and questioning suspects and witnesses alike isn’t difficult at all.  In a Myst-like 360° panorama view, you scan each scene for likely hot spots – the cursor changes – acquire evidence, then progress to the next scene, visiting

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the lab or whatever.  There’s more consideration when you’re questioning people, but for the most part, the story progress in a linear fashion – this isn’t Morrowind – which is a bit of a disappointment.  There are some misleading clues thrown in, but if you’re a fan of the show you should be able to spot them. (The writers from the show helped write DoN.)

 

law & order 2 double or nothing pc review          law & order 2 double or nothing pc review

 

Once you make the arrest, you become a lawyer (Aigh!) and you have a whole new ball of wax to deal with, which, incidentally, I found a whole lot less interesting than investigating the actual murder. (Possibly because I’m a huge fan of Police Quest adventure series.)

 

Too many will dismiss DoN because of its presentation and the reputation of the previous Law & Order game.  They’ll miss out on a solidly written tale, based on a TV series that has remained consistently strong in its story-telling.  The adventure is on the short side, but with good writing, a strong translation of the TV show, and the fact it makes you think makes Law & Order II: Double or Nothing a solid purchase for fans of the show and those that want a bit of a mind exercise.

 

- Omni

(October 26, 2003)

 

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