Detectives: these eccentric loners have as much or more mystery that surrounds them and their methods than their own cases. Who doesn’t like to watch Sherlock Holmes’ maddening deductions that verge on the psychic? The best usually have more unorthodox approaches in how they investigate whether their process involves donning a cape and cowl or being dead. These detectives and their worlds challenge how we look at evidence, interrogate and question others, and when to follow your gut.
Phoenix Wright series (DS/3DS/iOS)
Puzzle over various cases that range from your own murder to catching a killer that leaves no evidence aside from the ashes of burned estates.
This fun, cartoony detective/lawyer game doesn’t take itself too seriously. You’ll understand if you’ve ever seen the outlandish “Objection!” meme around the Internet. Investigate crime scenes, question witnesses, and bring back what you’ve discovered to court and help defend your clients from wrongful imprisonment. One of the latest entries in the series pairs together the Phoenix Wright legal team with Professor Layton’s puzzle solving duo.
L.A. Noire (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)
This game will take you through the police desks of traffic, homicide, vice, and arson in post-war Los Angeles. You’ll investigate everything from staged murders to following a string of burning houses that all have something in common. LA Noire‘s events are in part affected by the vets who return from World War II and the struggles they deal with acclimating to this new world.
This game features some of the best facial expressions you’ll find in any video game, which you’ll use to figure out tells, like when people are lying or telling the truth. It’ll be your job to read those tells and figure out how hard you want to push your suspects.
Murdered Soul Suspect (Xbox 360/Xbox One/PS4/PS3/PC)
You’ve just been murdered. As your ethereal form drifts from your body, you set out to try and solve your murder from beyond the grave. However, you’re stuck in limbo until you can “find peace,” which translates to finding the killer and bringing him to justice. Fortunately for you, the detective skills you gained and refined during your life are now heightened in a manner in the after life. Possession, mind reading, and other techniques will help you get around not having a body.
Move through modern day Salem and enlist the help as a few fellow ghostly crusaders as well as a medium to help you with the more physical aspects of the job.
Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Wii U)
Play as one of history’s most famous detectives: Batman. The Asylum has become overrun since the previous game Arkham Asylum, so a portion of Gotham has been walled off to create a city for miscreants and the mentally insane, like the Joker, Mr. Freeze, and Bane, to cohabit. But something is amiss in the closed-off city of criminals and Batman is aiming to find out what.
Glide through a wide open world and take on a few side-riddles to bide your time. Utilize all the tricks and tools the Batman has in his belt. The game takes the best of his stealth, fighting, and investigative skills to figure out who is behind the recent rumblings in the city of these crazed criminals. If this isn’t enough for you, check out Batman: Arkham Origins or Batman: Arkham Knight.
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