“There was a fantastic mixture of seriousness and pure comedic value found in the dialogue which is perfect for the game, despite the murder at hand. “
Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells are required once again to tackle the murderous tragedy that unfolds upon the famous Orient Express – a journey where the only suspects of the brutal crime are those who surround you. Could it be one of the passengers, a crew member, or an unknown traveller? Speculation around other possibilities and scenarios should never be ignored and that is what makes this case one of the most famous ones we have come to know and love. In Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express, extra elements have been added to this story, thus making it one for any fans of murder mysteries, adventure-thrill seeking, and the original books and/or movies. Use your natural instincts, uncover evidence and motivations, make critical deductions, and unravel the shocking truth behind this dreadful incident. Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express has been developed and published by Microids to bring this modernised version of a classic tale right into the 21st century. Will you be able to solve the mystery? I did and these are my thoughts on the game; spoiler-free!
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
|Microids Studio Lyon
Hercule Poirot is working overtime, doing his utmost to find out the truth about the disturbing murder on the Orient Express. It wasn’t what he signed up for – he was looking forward to a relaxing and luxurious journey to his destination!
Things I liked!
- Story adaptation | As many will have known, heard of, or already have had the pleasure of watching/reading, AC: Murder on the Orient Express was originally a novel published in 1934 and then had its first film adaptation made back in 1974. With this 2023 video game version of the famous case, you’ll be shocked at just how good this take on the original is. Keeping a classic story while adding extra parts into the mix to make a modern adaptation for the 21st century is something which takes time and extra attention to detail and this has been carried out beautifully. I still can’t believe how this brilliant concept has worked this well but I’m certainly not complaining as it has majorly turned the original story on its head but for all the right reasons in my opinion. Just be sure to keep a Locke out for anything new and suspicious; I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
- Interesting investigation | Those little grey cells will be working overtime in AC: Murder on the Orient Express as you confront people, find and investigate evidence, recreate timelines, and work out some intricate puzzles to reach your conclusion on what exactly unfolded on that terrible night. Giving us different aspects to think about and work through was well done as it broke up the gameplay, not constantly repeating the same game mechanic over and over again. I mostly enjoyed anything that got my brain thinking and required muscle memory but there also wasn’t a single element I disliked. Although I don’t believe the game has the best distribution of playable and idle content, I was always happy to be venturing around to find out anything and everything I could with the help of my mind map – a very helpful tool which indicates what remaining tasks you need to do to progress. The gameplay is fun and insightful which kept me guessing and constantly changing my prime suspect.
- Beautiful locations | Along the thrilling journey and investigation of Hercule Poirot, I found myself being transported through a series of varying but beautiful locations which were pleasantly unexpected, to say the least. Not only did I have the pleasure of traversing the Orient Express but I also found myself in breathtaking residences, gorgeous countries, and unforeseen territories. Being able to have these changes in scenery made an exceptional impact on my gaming experience as I was dreading being stuck in the same location for thirteen chapters. It allowed me to appreciate the story of the game even more and become excited at every opportunity I had to scout around previously unseen environments. The colourful environments dominated the majority of places, truly bringing features and details to life which I greatly appreciated, despite the dreadful crime at hand.
- Writing quality | I take my hat off to the people responsible for the writing of the dialogue and text in AC: Murder on the Orient Express because the quality was magnificent. There was a fantastic mixture of seriousness and pure comedic value found in the dialogue which is perfect for the game, despite the murder at hand. One particular clip I captured of Hercule Poirot saying “Poof” had me and my partner in absolute stitches. It really can be the small things. Continuing with my point, the humour is refreshing when mixed in at the correct moment which makes it even better. Although it may be hard to imagine when looking for a potential murderer, it can lighten the mood and actually may be more useful when dealing with difficult people from time to time. As for the actual language and subtitles, these were up to standard should you prefer to read rather than watch or a combination of the two. No problems for me here!
- Chapter select | In the extras section of the main menu, you can find chapter select and I was over the moon to discover this when loading up the game. The chapters can only be replayed separately once they’ve been completed for the first time so you will have to play through the entire game at least once before you can load these up to either gather missed collectibles or miscellaneous achievements that might have been missed originally. I find this an incredibly useful feature and believe the majority of chapter-based games should always include this for players to use for various purposes. Each chapter also informs the player of how many collectibles are within the chapter as well as how many have been found already to make this process easier too.
- Music and sound effects | Notably, there wasn’t much music or many sound effects to write about but for those I did experience, they seemed to have their time and place which is all you can ask for really. The sound quality never appeared to be an issue either. Due to the ambience of the surroundings and location, I didn’t feel the need for music. The quiet, if anything, made me more thoughtful and inquisitive about what I was handling at that specific time; I even found myself asking many rhetorical questions under my breath. It was quite a strange yet curious feeling which I didn’t expect. Turns out you don’t always need music to enjoy a suspenseful game; the quiet can make a world of difference.
A beautiful house, inside and out. What could the police possibly want here?
Neither good nor bad
- Character visuals | The environments and surroundings of the game were wonderful to view but I did find myself slightly disheartened by the quality of the characters’ appearances as I would have expected these to be far crisper and smoother than what I experienced. The movement of their mouths in comparison to what they were saying was quite inaccurate, so I often found myself glued to the subtitles instead of watching them speak to avoid any misinterpretation. The facial features weren’t incredible but not terrible either so I believe improvements could have been made to these – greater attention to detail as they are frequently viewed in cutscenes. Even some of the gestures characters made during various conversations and events seemed very strange, almost like they had been rushed and not refined enough.
- Unpunishable mistakes | When playing investigative games I always focus on important questions, dialogue, and puzzles to create an accurate interpretation and understanding of what is occurring around me. The last thing any detective wants is to be wrong about any details in their case but AC: Murder on the Orient Express doesn’t quite allow this in the long run. To further explain, it’s impossible to make any true mistakes that would alter the outcome of the story. If you make a miscalculation, you’ll either be told you’re wrong or the screen will flash red to indicate your error so you can correct your decision. I wasn’t a huge fan of this as it didn’t allow the story to take any alternative routes and almost baby-proofed the puzzles and queries so you always got them right in the end, no matter how wrong you might have been. A scoring system would have been nice for each chapter, perhaps rating your detective skills from poor to outstanding so it meant at least something when you were incorrect.
The truth will come out in the end. My advice? Don’t lie to Hercule Poirot. He’ll read you like a book.
Things I disliked!
- Voice acting | When talking to people throughout the game you will be prompted to profile them and therefore assess their correct nationality, occupation, and age. Although the majority of the characters were somewhat straightforward to profile, others were quite mindboggling as their accent didn’t match their nationality. Thankfully, there are only three choices for each to choose from which narrows down the margin for error but still, it was the only problem worth mentioning that stood out for me during my playtime. When someone is Swiss but often sounds Welsh, it can be very offputting and makes you realise that perhaps a handful of the voice actors/actresses could have been of better quality. Another one also was classed as American in the game but it was clear the accent wasn’t natural and was being put on from a mile away. It didn’t affect the gameplay but stood out promptly as the only element that made me have some dislike towards AC: Murder on the Orient Express.
How long did I play the review before publishing? Around 13 Hours
How long to beat the story? Approximately 10-12 Hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 22/27
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 15-20 Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie titles.
Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express is a wonderful addition to games full of mystery and questions just waiting to be solved and answered. The unique take on a classic novel is well inspired, making it a must-play for any fans of the Agatha Christie series or detective/murder mystery games in general. I did enjoy the overall game and concept, even with a couple of inadequate features in my opinion. Could it have been improved? Yes. Would I recommend it? Also yes.
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!