Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
Buy On
  1. This is one of those rare franchises where the game and the show that inspired it complement each other perfectly, and if you are looking for a clever investigation style adventure game then CSI: Dark Motives is the game for you. It’s everything that the first game was and more.
  2. This second game is certainly an improvement over the first game; the difficulty has improved, the graphics have improved and the cases have become more challenging. However there is one small loss: all the cases in this game can be easily finished with a Master ranking in just one try.
  3. 84
    A solid title. It improves upon the first game and gives us more of the same goodness. If I had one complaint, it would be the same as the first title. It is far too short.
  4. Not only is it a wonderful effort, but it is also one of those rare games where the sequel is better than the original.
  5. An excellent sequel—with better graphics, twice the length, a greater degree of difficulty. It has a few bugs (get patch 1.01) but should run fine on even minimum-specification systems.
  6. If you’re looking for puzzles, then there are any number of adventures better suited for you. But if you like the idea of hanging out with Gil Grissom and the rest of the “CSI” team, then Dark Motives can provide a weekend’s worth of enjoyment.
  7. The biggest complaint that I had, and many others agree is that the game needed to be longer than just 5 cases, maybe 10 or so would have done the trick.
  8. 75
    For fans of the series who want to test their sleuthing, Dark Motives is a no-brainer. On the flip side, anyone not connected to the idiosyncrasies of the series should look for crime elsewhere.
  9. The stories are good, the voice work is strong but the investigating parts in between tend to get a little tedious. Even with all the cool CSI crime fighting tools.
  10. Careful exploration is called for, and this is one game where diligent searching is in context as perpetrators don't leave flashing signs that say 'click here for tell-tale bloodstains'.
  11. Cheat Code Central
    Compared to last year's CSI game, Dark Motives is a definite improvement in every sense of the word. While many skilled gamers may find this game too easy it should be a real treat for fans of the TV that don't do much, if any, game playing.
  12. An example of how a game based on a television show can be done right. It may not be a long adventure, but it's a fun challenge.
  13. 65
    The game is awfully short. Even fans might be disappointed at only finding 5 cases in the entire game. Finishing the game can take anywhere from 4 hours to as much as 12 hours, depending on difficulty (the hardest difficulty turns off the hotspots).
  14. This is a game designed specifically for a general audience, and thus, the bulk of what would normally make an adventure game challenging or unique has been stripped away in favor of the most user-friendly interface and game design possible.
  15. PC Gamer
    The downside is that Dark Motives regurgitates the static, "Myst"-style point-and-click gameplay and fuzzy backgrounds of last year's CSI game. [June 2004, p.77]
  16. 60
    For most players, however, sifting through Dark Motives is much like real forensic work -- arduous and repetitive.
  17. Hardcore adventure players can still aquire some decent gameplay out of this title, but may find it rather simplistic due to its apparent targeting to new players to the genre.
  18. PC Format
    Glossy but vacuous; a short-lived, slow-paced distraction. [Aug 2004, p.91]
  19. The pace and style are a little slower than I’d like, the dialogue is on the corny side, and there were, for me at least, a number of performance issues.
  20. If you're enough of a fan to forgive its frustrating moments, Dark Motives' five cases will give you a few evenings' worth of semi-interactive intrigue, but not much more.
  21. Leave this one to diehard CSI fans who want to click their way through five new episodes of the show with little effort.
  22. The main drawback with Crime Scene Investigation: Dark Motives is the impossibility to make mistakes. Try to obtain a mould of a footprint by using the wrong substance gains you a curt, “No, use something else”, or words to that manner.
  23. It is absolutely comical the depths that the game stoops to in order to hold your hand.
  24. It needs a boat load of work. More cases, more challenge, and better animation could make this game a reasonable buy. I thought Kung-Fu Theater went out in the 80's?
  25. Computer Games Magazine
    The soulless interface just grinds you down. [July 2004, p.68]
  26. Dark Motives has somehow turned a subject ripe with gaming potential into something that is pure process and no fun, forcing you to spend all of your time doing the most mundane parts of your favorite adventure games with little or no reward.
  27. To cut to the chase, this is more a new episode than a new series, with what little changes there are related to updated graphics and a slightly modified search system.
  28. Computer Gaming World
    I used to really love adventure games, but after playing this one, I can't remember why. [Aug 2004, p.79]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. NatnessZ.
    Apr 6, 2006
    I've played this game for over a year now and I am completely fixated with it. It is amazing- well worth every penny. And having the I've played this game for over a year now and I am completely fixated with it. It is amazing- well worth every penny. And having the added edition of the real actors giving voice overs you feel like you've been put into the game- it is well worth playing! Full Review »
  2. BrittanyK.
    Jul 9, 2004
    This is a fun game. If your lookin for a game with a bit of hard mystery, this is the game! It's fun to work with Cathrine, Greg, This is a fun game. If your lookin for a game with a bit of hard mystery, this is the game! It's fun to work with Cathrine, Greg, analize evidence yourself on the computer, and pretend to be that rookie investigator. This is deffinatly a fun game, with some challenges(if your not a total brilliant computer game geek)haha Full Review »
  3. PetriT.
    Mar 31, 2004
    This game is absolutely amazing! ubisoft did it again.