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The DETAIL from Rival Games is a Steam Media deelivcered point & click adventure and crime drama. It is, to date, in three episodes, and I had finished the first episode "Where the Dead Lie" and just started the second "From the Ashes". "Devil in the Detail" is episode 3.

The game begins in stark black & white, graduating to colour as the violence escalades and the blood begins to flow freely. A couple of young cops turn up at an apartment and no matter what you do the action goes down as intended, though you do have a say in whether the young female Officer gets a good smacking around before the villain is apprehended. Then you get to make numerous decisions by selecting actions, answers and responses from short menus and if you are as good at picking the correct answers as I was the second time through (actually there are no incorrect answers just different consequences), and the reason I was on my second run was because I ... well there's no need to go into that!  I will say that you should be carefully selective about your answers if you don't want the bad guys to get off due to your decisions (see the newspaper headline in the screenshots below to see what I mean).

The story continues as you take on the role of Reginald Moore an old, but wise, homicide detective. His part in the tale begins as a covered body is carried past him on a stretcher. At this point we don't know who is on the stretcher or how they died.

Moore is called to a crime scene where we are introduced to a few of the peripheral characters; another detective (an older version of Moore who has seen it and done it all), a couple of young cops, a news reporter and a forensic guy amongst them. Each of these has something to say, though not always something usefully relevant. Remember that anyone or anything highlighted by a thick yellow ring or broken parenthesis needs to be investigated (clicked on). Some of these will either continue to have the yellow ring on them after you have had a conversation or the ring will reappear a short while later; either way it means there is something else to learn there. To locate this second piece of information you need to hover the cursor over the character (for example) and roll the centre button down so that a secondary speech icon is illuminated; click on this for the new info.

Back to the crime scene and the body on the floor with two bullets in it and the forensic guy kneeling beside it in the mud. The victim is Aka Arkany, the Boss of a local crime family known as the Kuchka Brotherhood. This could mean the beginning of a mob war unless Moore can solve the murder and arrest the killer or killers quickly.

Moore speaks with an old ex-villain acquaintance and then you change characters and head off into the badlands to go under cover with the Kuchkas. I could carry on from here but this isn't a walkthrough. The comic-book art style of the presentation isn't going to be for everyone, especially players who like action to go with their bloodshed and violence but if you can get this far into the game then you'll know that it's grabbed your attention and you will want to continue. 

Some of the scenes, despite being non animated, require interaction from you. Yellow options are scrawled on the screen and you select one by moving the cursor to the text and clicking. This will initiate the next round of photo-art and show whether you have chosen wisely and correctly or whether your character has got themselves or their partner in deep smelly brown stuff. The type of options you are given are things like this; (the situation is you on your back on the floor and the villain is atop you) now do you reach for a weapon, try and punch him or gouge his eyes ? Whichever you choose has a consequence that may be for or against you. Generally if you think about the situation you can decide which is the best course of action/option to take but occasionally you will misread the situation and bring the house down on top of you, so as to speak.

The DETAIL is a violent game graphically. There are no punches pulled and the language used is street language of the highest (or really I should say "lowest") category. I have played through the first episode, it took me well under 2 hours and I'm not the best player of this game type, but it is really quite a bit shorter than I had expected, though of course it hasn't finished yet, there are still at least 2 episodes to go (possibly more to be added as Download Content at a later date ?). 

It always amuses me how comics, movies, television shows and computer games can show vivid violence, death in great and bloody detail, and use language you don't want to hear in your home, but the mere thought of a naked or half naked woman (or man) drives the censors crazy. For instance in The DETAIL episode one there is a lot of visually graphic violence and almost every conceivable swear word is used, and yet when your character enters a strip joint the girl pole-dancing remains dressed throughout the entire scene. No! before anyone writes in or complains; I am not proclaiming that there should be nudity or sex scenes in this or any other game, I am just stating aloud how ludicrous today's censorship rules are. Sex and nudity which are natural and in the correct situations actually nice and attractive cannot be shown, and yet blood spattering from a bullet to the head, pools of claret coagulating around a corpse and language you wouldn't use in front of your mother is considered to be okay.

However, that is the state of today and I am neither complaining nor holding The DETAIL up as an example of today's degeneracy. In fact The DETAIL is a damn good cop game where the story and indeed the detail take precedence over any form of player action, it's all player interaction and very well devised too. Take a look at the following screenshots and if you like what you see then The DETAIL is most definitely for you. It's now 3.00am Wednesday morning and I am off to bed. Tomorrow I will start (and hopefully finish) episode two and then I shall be actively seeking episode three.

Now enjoy the gallery of screenshots that I have taken from my time in episode one:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015