Quick Review: Law & Order: Legacies, Episode 1
Law & Order: Legacies exists in some sort of Law & Order time paradox, creating a veritable law enforcement ‘dream team’. Spanning twenty years of primetime network television, developer Telltale had a pantheon of characters to choose from. Episode 1, Revenge, teams former homicide Detective Rey Curtis with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s Olivia Benson. Together, the pair investigate the murder and suspected rape of a maid at a five-star New York City hotel.
Revenge largely plays out in the same manner as the iconic television program: the detectives arrive on the scene, they investigate, question witnesses, question more witnesses, arrest a suspect, interrogate said suspect, turn he/she over to the District Attorney’s office and then prosecute. Save for a few surprises, some red herrings and no traveling by car, this is the Law & Order formula you know, right down to the intro and unforgettable theme song. Due to Legacies’ attention to detail, Revenge is familiar and easily digestible, the way most network TV ends up being.
Actually ‘playing’ Legacies amounts to little more than listening to dialogue. From there you must ask the right questions, challenge witnesses/suspects when you suspect they’re lying and make timely objections in the court room. It’s an extremely straightforward, simple system that’s surprisingly rewarding, allowing you the same satisfaction of piecing the case together ahead of the characters themselves.
What makes Revenge enjoyable is it succeeds at doing what any good episode of Law & Order must do: deliver an engaging case. Some of the suspects Detectives Curtis and Benson question are a bit too cliché and a fair amount of the writing isn’t nearly as clever as Telltale would like it to be, but each character serves a purpose, providing names and details that keep the case moving briskly forward at an enjoyable pace. This means you’re never stuck on any one segment for any longer than you must be, that is, assuming you pay attention and don’t fail interrogations.
Once the case hits the courtroom the narrative takes an unexpected, welcome U-turn. Hopefully these types of plot points will be peppered into future episodes, keeping the player on their toes. Revenge also introduces a cold case involving Curtis’ deceased former partner, Detective Lenny Briscoe, which figures to tie Legacies’ seven episode story arc together. Episode 1 is a promising, albeit flawed beginning to Legacies; it’s enjoyable, low-commitment entertainment, which is a winning combination when it comes to network dramas.