Forget Dante, Kratos, and Solid Snake. The demon prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is without doubt the coolest character that video games have bestowed upon us to date. His charisma, razor sharp wit, and impeccable dress sense have proved that you don’t need to kill people to look cool. In a sea of burly, bandana-wearing space marines, Miles Edgeworth and the vibrant cast of the Phoenix Wright series offer some much-needed subtlety, which the ‘roid-popping meat-heads of recent times are severely lacking. With Phoenix Wright barely mentioned in the game, Miles has the spotlight all to himself; the perfect choice for the lead role in Capcom’s fifth Ace Attorney outing.
The awkwardly named Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth swaps the defence attorneys of previous games with their prosecuting rival, Miles Edgeworth. Don’t expect the likes of the justice-obsessed Phoenix Wright, or his young protégé Apollo Justice - Investigations is all about Edgey – the demon prosecutor who will do anything for a guilty verdict. Although a long-time rival of the blue-suited do-gooder Phoenix, Edgeworth also has an obsession for revealing the truth, and has even been known to take to the stand as a defence attorney while Phoenix was injured. He may have a ruthless streak, but his heart is certainly in the right place.
The protagonist has changed, but Investigations is still an Ace Attorney game through and through. Perhaps the most important difference here is that the action is no longer restricted to the court room, but still rigidly follows the formula set by its predecessors. Each of the five cases revolves around a mystery that needs to be solved, and a set of characters relevant to that mystery. In the first case, Miles finds a dead body in his office, with leads pointing to numerous suspects. Through unearthing evidence, talking to characters and exposing contradictions in their testimonies, you slowly work towards the inevitable truth.
Where previous games limit the action to static conversation screens, Investigations allows players to take physical control of Miles in order to explore crime scenes and other areas of interest. The third person camera offers a refreshing change in pace, giving the standard point-and-click gameplay an interesting new perspective. After discovering a clue or vital piece of evidence, it’s up to Miles to somehow connect it to the mystery.
Much like the defendants who take to the stand in court, suspicious characters will offer testimonies in order to assert their innocence. These testimonies need to be scrutinised, and then ripped to shreds using Miles’ prosecuting skills in order to expose lies. This takes the form of a verbal fist-fight, where each statement can be ‘pressed’ in order to extract more information. Once the lie or contradiction has been pinpointed, evidence must be presented in order to prove it. The classic ‘Take That!’ and ‘Objection!’ phrases that have made the series famous return, meaning you can still shout into your DS like a loon in order to bring the truth to light. Just be sure not to do it on the bus.
As well as this, Investigations introduces a new Logic mechanic, which enables Miles to connect two clues together in order to establish a more concrete piece of evidence. As Edgeworth thinks of himself as a logical person, this new feature suits the game and its new protagonist down to a tee, and spruces up the usual adventure puzzles nicely.