Now that I’m on Episode Five of Law & Order Legacies, I think I’ve reached a point where I can tell whether or not I’ll like an episode, just based on who the detectives are. Let’s face it: having the right detective team can either make or break a game. For reference, here are all the detective teams I’ve seen so far in the series:
Rey Curtis & Lennie Briscoe = The classic team
Rey Curtis & Olivia Benson = The crossover team
Rey Curtis & Mike Logan = The team which never has more than two minutes of screentime
Rey Curtis & Rey Curtis = Clearly, the best detective team ever
Episode Five stars my personal favorite pair, Rey Curtis & Olivia Benson. That means I like this episode by default. Even though these two characters never meet in any of the TV shows, they have pretty good chemistry together. Their partner-relationship gets slightly strained here, however, as Curtis believes Benson is compromising herself by getting too emotionally involved with the case.
The case hinges around a black boy named Henry. Henry becomes an orphan when his mother is shot, right in front of him. The catch? Henry is blind, so he is unable to identify the shooter.
The investigation moves a little slowly at first, as the detectives don’t have too much to work on. However, the game more than makes up for this, because the entire case is saturated with emotion. I really got into the case, and at one point, I shouted at my iPad, telling one of the suspects, “You are a horrible, horrible person who deserves to go to jail!” Sadly, my girlfriend was in the room at the time, and she completely misunderstood what was happening. Now she won’t talk to me anymore.
[Explanation of Previous Joke: Michael’s iPad is the closest thing he has to a girlfriend.]
In general, the investigation was well-done; everything came together nicely, and it’s as good as any of the other investigations of the series. My only complaint would be that they went a little overboard with giving the player constant gratification in this game; almost every star question contains a compliment like “Well done!” or “Good job! or “You’re so beautiful, I want to date you!” Yes, I know I’m doing a good job of solving the case; you don’t need to remind me of it all that often. It detracts from the experience somewhat if I keep getting reminded I’m playing a game.
The game loses a bit of steam when the culprit is arrested, but things pick up again when the trial begins. The prosecution centers its case around Henry’s testimony, but the judge dismisses this testimony because Henry is blind. It was interesting to see the prosecution scramble to recover after that crippling blow to their case. In the other cases, the lawyer team only suffered from minor setbacks; it was a change of pace to see them legitimately sweat it out for fifteen minutes or so.
Eventually, they get permission to use Henry’s ear witness testimony, and the rest of the game is a cakewalk to victory. No actual cakes are involved in this cakewalk, which may disappoint some gamers. The conclusion of the game feels like the natural place for the story to stop, even if it is a tad cruel.
That’s one thing I find kind of odd about the Law & Order Legacies series. The goal of every case is to get the defendant sentenced to the maximum penalty. No. Matter. What. If there was a case where the defendant ran across the street to go into a burning building and save thirty orphaned puppies, the lawyers would be demanding that jaywalking scumbag serve at least fifty years in prison. Why can’t the lawyers have compassion on some of the more benevolent criminals?
All in all, Law & Order Legacies: Episode 5 is on par with the rest of the series. The plot moves a bit slowly at times, but the emotional content of the plot makes up for it. The criminal’s sentence seems a bit harsh, but that’s just the way the sledgehammer-wielding lawyers operate. If you’ve been enjoying the series so far, you’ll probably enjoy this game for a while, then quickly move on to the next episode.