While games like L.A. Noire and Batman: Arkham Asylum put on a good detective show, are we really detecting anything? Commenter Soleyu describes what a true detective game should be like in today's elementary edition of Speak Up on Kotaku.
I just read about the Sherlock Holmes Series and I'm reminded about my greatest gripe with detective games, you are not ever really a detective.
Now granted I haven't played L.A. Noire yet but up to this point every game which has "detective" elements boils down to get item, use item.
I mean a true detective in the style of great novels and mysteries (especially those in the mold of Sherlock Holmes) would you know, deduce stuff. Like for example the detective finds a clue, let's say a small statue, and then if the statue is an antique and there are other antiques there from the same period one could think that our mystery man is a connoisseur and collector of that (or one could be in an antique shop, but I digress).
But for that one would need to also be familiar with that knowledge, which is to me the main problem with most detective games or elements, the character not the player is the one deducing the clues and stuff, which while admittedly speeds up the gameplay, it's basically robbing the player of interaction, quite frankly all detective games up till now are basically glorified QTEs.
Arkham Asylum is particularly guilty of this, the detective gameplay basically boils down to looking at the environment and then following the marked path.
Mysteries are basically puzzles in which the pieces are not known and one has to find, and that is well lacking in all detective games I have played up till now. And that is not even counting on the psychological aspect of the mystery since crime mysteries are usually done by people.
In any case I would want for a TRUE detective game one which requires knowledge and intelligence to solve the cases, which why I'm very looking forward to the Secret World which seems to actually require that to solve the mysteries presented.
So anyone agree, disagree? know any games which are truly about detectiving?(and yes I'm aware I just made up an awful word, bite me)