Quick Review: Law & Order: Legacies, Episode 2
Home to Roost, the second episode of Telltale’s episodic Law & Order series, turns the clock back to 1999, reteaming Detective Rey Curtis with his former partner, the now deceased Lenny Briscoe. With little obvious change from one episode to the next, other than Curtis’ streaks of grey hair, it’s difficult to accept Home to Roost as a decade old case.
At least the plot is clever. A man is found dead on his front porch. Soon after, Briscoe discovers the man’s gambling problems, leading them to a small group of suspects. At one point, the player leads a phone conversation between one suspect and another, which yields an effective layer of consequence to your decision making. However, there is one significant drawback in episode 2’s narrative and that is the discovery of a crucial piece of evidence delivered solely via cutscene.
In episode 1, Detectives Curtis and Olivia Benson investigated a hotel crime scene, allowing the player to find all of the pertinent evidence on their own. In episode 2, before the mandatory investigation scene, Briscoe makes the key discovery for the player. Understandably, if the player failed to notice this detail mid-conversation the case could not continue in the manner it was written, but it’s an unfortunate reminder that Law & Order: Legacies is mostly on autopilot, occasionally asking for your input or pop quizzing you to retain your attention.
In the courtroom, Home to Roost doesn’t have a major twist likes its predecessor but I personally was thrown a curve when the jury found the defendant not guilty. On one hand, it’s refreshing that the randomness of an actual verdict is kept intact, on the other hand, according to the ‘Scales of Justice’, the jury was overwhelmingly on my side. In a television program an unexpected verdict works because you play the jury at home, and theoretically you can see both sides of the story. Here, you’re making the case and your effectiveness is clearly recorded: green means the jury sides with you, red means they side with the opposition. Stomaching that not guilty verdict was no short order.
Despite the unsavory taste of my suspect walking, Home to Roost engaged throughout. The writing, specifically in terms of dialogue, still has a long way to go, but the case itself is well paced. Hopefully future episodes will leave major discoveries to the player, and hopefully, I’ll be properly rewarded with a less sympathetic jury.