hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid review: Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos

3:00 PM on 01.12.2009 // Brad Nicholson

I wish there was a strong way to associate Robocop and TikGames’ recent Xbox Live Arcade release, Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos. The simple route would consist of me telling you that Interpol has detectives. Then I would draw a rough comparison between the gumshoe gameplay and how Robocop doesn’t need “clues” to catch the bad guy. Somehow, he always knew which cocaine factory door to kick in.

I can’t fully draw this comparison. I think it would be a disservice to Alex Murphy, who gave up his undead life to protect the streets of Old Detroit.

But I can review Interpol and pretend that Robocop has his metal hand over my shoulder the entire time. His essence would demand that I be factual. Above all else, his spirit would compel me to kick through Interpol’s cocaine door and reveal its honest truth.

I shall do that after the break. Hit it.

Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos (Xbox Live Arcade)
Developed by TikGames
Published by Sierra On-Line

Released on January 7, 2009 (US)

TikGames’ Interpol is the videogame equivalent of the Hidden Picture portion of Highlights magazine. It puts you in the role of an international detective, charged with defeating a global crime network starring a small cast of slippery lunatics. Don’t let your imagination get the best of you. Rather than actively searching the globe and putting together complex pieces of evidence, Interpol presents you with a series of geographically-themed hidden item puzzles.

The puzzles are presented as blurry, VGA-inspired artwork. Various items clutter the foreground of an ultimately stereotypical and idiotic representation of the geographical area. The Louvre, for example, is a closet shot of a disheveled basement. The Mona Lisa sits on the floor behind a giant model of a scorpion. The Last Supper is on a shelf, shoved underneath a giant samurai sword. Items like ornate knives, maces, and even a bust of a Pharaoh are strewn throughout the picture as nothing more than clutter.

Most of the items that you are told to find have zero meaning. The text-based narrative informs you that you are seeking some of the world’s most slippery criminals. I fail to understand how finding a bookmark, snake, and a model ship in the Vatican Library puts me on the trail to finding Dr. Chaos, or how it could lead the detective to search a restaurant kitchen or the Coliseum.

Once a ridiculous object is found in the picture, a simple click from your cursor suffices. The ephemeron then magically disappears and gives you points -- points that lack meaning, just like what you found. The cursor is small enough to avoid getting in your way and also has a magnifying property. A lot of the items in the game are fairly small and require this solution. There’s a problem, though. The art is so poorly rendered that it is hard to ascertain what an object is and what is merely background detail.

The most impressive thing in Interpol is the revolving globe shown while the game is loading. It is 3D and spins on a perfect axis. It has a bright, neon glow and looks as if it was created within the last four years.

The narrative is told through little blocks of text between missions. After beating a geographic area’s three- to four-puzzle pictures (within a time limit that is insanely high), the narrator informs you that it’s time to find another bad guy connected to Dr. Chaos. It cuts to a map, draws a neon line, and you’re magically there with an option of picking between three different locations. It is not exciting, interesting, or compelling.

Interpol has a cooperative multiplayer mode (both local and over Xbox Live), but it is nothing more than a rehash of the single-player mode -- with four people. Because the areas recycle objects or have a limited quantity of stuff to find, these missions can be beaten in a matter of 1-2 minutes. Also, having four cursors on the screen is quite annoying and it is easy to get lost in the shuffle.

To the game’s credit, there are bonus missions, and if you choose to go back into a geographic area -- I’m not sure why you would -- there will be new objects to find. Unfortunately, the picture stays the same way it did the first time you went through it. Hell, you probably remember that pen behind the blue vial and can find it immediately, anyway.

Interpol is a bad videogame. I can see where a minute bit of fun could come out of it. Finding hidden objects is a delightful activity for children, but there is no tangible value for anyone looking to play a game. Interpol is as shallow as the artist who decided that the Mona Lisa could sit on the floor behind a model scorpion. The visuals are terrible, the narrative is poor, and the multiplayer is rendered pointless by the game’s regurgitated assets and unchanging artwork. Stay away from this.

Score: 2 -- Bad (2s are a disaster. Any good they might have had are quickly swallowed up by glitches, poor design choices or a plethora of other issues. The desperate or the gullible may find a glimmer of fun hidden somewhere in the pit.)

Brad Nicholson,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Glory to The Many. The Many sings to us.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #22 (Witcher 2) - Pam Pa Ram (The Witcher 3) [youtube][/youtube] Instant classic 10/10. It's a travesty it wasn't included in the soundtrack. Maybe CDPR is preparing for a special second disc release? I sure hope
Oh, look at that, the rough draft I choose not to delete of this paper I need to do! I can keep adding to that instead of starting over and getting frustrated and quitting. What a novel concept!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Boys & Girls Whatcha doing ? Have you watched Shimoneta ? GO SEE IT [img][/img]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
And speaking of Yo-Kai Watch, it sounds like the demo's out!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Hello, Thomas. I see you're looking at our fine selection of quickposts. Do they please you?
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Overwatch Beta livestreaming Thursday. All aboard the AWESOME train. CHOO! CHOO!
PSISomething avatarPSISomething
EXTREMELY SPOOPY TRAILER [youtube][/youtube]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I'm coming to realize my time off from blogging has made the progress I made at being succinct fade away into nothingness, as the world will see in about an hour. I also made Valkyrie Drive's boobs even more boring at Japanator last night! Somehow.
Apparently, Kero Blaster got an update... Neat.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
[url=""]Deus Ex: Revision is now a thing that's on Steam for free [img][/img][/url]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Wasteland 2 DC is out!
Torchman avatarTorchman
Just a reminder: If you game doesn't have a dancing murderer, or a dancing little girl, your not a GOTY contender.
Rudorlf avatarRudorlf
Season 2 of Fargo is out, and of course Fargo isn't Fargo without dumbass criminals, tragedy and black comedy mixed into one package. BTW, the Organic Mechanic is in this season.
PSISomething avatarPSISomething
Nintendo of America released a YouTube video promo for Fatal Frame 5. They used the 'word' "spoopy."
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Had the brilliant idea of watching the original Alien last night before bed. Totally didn't have crazy dreams afterward. Also, Bilbo Baggins was a total jerk in that movie. [img][/img]
gajknight avatargajknight
Sure Niero's all powerful, but does he have lips? Woah...
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Finished playing the fan localization for Ace Investigations 2. These guys did a fantastic job, despite this game having the single most convoluted plot in the entire series. Here's hoping that somehow, someday, Great Ace Attorney will get this treatment.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Okay internet you done it... Playboy will not get nude girls anymore , too much competition. [img][/img]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -