Konami's Crimesight got a new trailer and a release date at yesterday's Future Games Show Spring Showcase—and it looks like Sherlock Holmes plus anime demons plus Clue (Cluedo for Brits) may be a winning combination. An isometric murder mystery that pits up to four players against one another, Crimesight is all about either saving the murder target, or teaming up to make sure the dirty deed is done.
The game's conceit is that there's a Sherlock AI, a Moriarty AI, and an Irene AI. The Sherlock side is out to save the victim, while Moriarty and Irene have slightly different abilities but both aim to get them killed. Each match populates the mansion setting with a bunch of characters, among which are two assigned the roles of villain and target, and then as things play out the different sides have different objectives in order to try and predict who they are and how the murder is going to happen: then either stop or execute it.
This is done by manipulating both the environment and the characters. Each player's turn gives them a certain number of actions, which can change depending on circumstances—for example, characters can get tired and be less responsive—and depending on who's where with whom you will start unfurling what's going on. The murder itself also has conditions that have to be met, not the least of which is that, when the bad AIs have worked out who needs killing and who needs to do it, they need to engineer a situation that leaves the two alone.
Of particular interest to crime aficionadoes will be the involvement of Jiro Ishii, the creator perhaps best-known for 428: Shibuya Scramble. I'm not a visual novel kind of guy, but those who like these things reckon 428 is one of the very best branching crime stories out there
The setting for this one is London in 2075, where AI designers have come up with a Minority Report-style system that reduces crime by 90%—and then a new specialist AI dubbed 'Sherlock' for the most heinous cases. But! "As it works on several cases, Sherlock discovers a harrowing truth: Sitting at the center of these cases like a spider on a web is Moriarty, an AI that rivals Sherlock's capabilities."
Look: I'm as surprised as anyone else to be seeing something genuinely new and exciting from Konami. It's been too long. Crimesight is one of those where it's hard to tell whether it all comes together until it's in your hands, but I love asymmetrical multiplayer and this seems to add a lot of fresh ideas atop some fairly classic murder mystery principles.
We'll know soon enough, Watson: Crimesight releases April 14. Konami is also holding some early access tests in the week leading up to launch so, if you're especially keen, you can apply to be included.