Art Of Murder: FBI
July 7, 2008
This is the story of young FBI agent Nicole Bonnet. Her first case as an agent is to solve a series of macabre murders where the victims targeted are the wealthy and prominent people of the community. The culprit's weaponry is rare and leaves an unusual calling card by removing the heart of the victims. The adventure begins in New York, but the clues will lead ambitious agent Bonnet as far as the Peruvian city of Cusco - the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, as well as to the border of the Amazon jungle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
My computer specifications
OS: Windows Vista SP1
RAM: 2 X 288Go
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
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.
Art Of Murder: FBI Confidential