The chance to live inside the mind of a self righteous and charmingly sarcastic serial killer, all within an open world setting, should have lifted Dexter 2 the Game from infuriating mediocrity. For the first few minutes, you may be impressed that Michael C. Hall, the star of the Showtime series, lends his voice as Dexter, and if you crave the series' trademark score and all those creepy Hall voiceovers, the game delivers on those minor levels. But there is an absolute gaming crime taking place in Miami. What begins as a solid first impression devolves into an entirely frustrating experience.
The journey begins like many of the show's opening moments -- at Dexter's Miami apartment. After receiving a call from Sgt. Angel Batista, Dexter travels to a crime scene and uses his forensic skills to catch his first killer. With the first case, you will have to look around the room for evidence, and you will either take photos of the crime scene or just pick up the evidence to eventually bring it back to Dexter's lab. In a nice homage to the actual series, there is a plethora of blood spatter adorning our hero's work space.
Since it's an open world, you will spend ample time driving around Miami from one crime scene to the next. The city's details are one of the game's few strengths, and often I would simply ditch the car to take in all the sights. A navigation system at the top of the screen always points you to your next objective and destination, so the chances of getting lost in Miami, at least with this game, are close to nil.
Once you collect all the evidence, you'll examine all the items and see if they are a match. When you have enough proof that the suspect is the killer, you follow them from a distance before finding the perfect chance to claim your next victim.
Unfortunately, I haven't killed the first bad guy since the Dexter 2 The Game crashed several times! For $2.99, one would expect this title, which represents one of Showtime's benchmark programs, would work without a hitch. After several attempts at starting a new game, I get stuck at exactly the same point -- at the moment Dexter confronts the killer. That shiny light you see in front of a Cuban restaurant is expected to transport Dexter inside the establishment, where I'm guessing he's expected to confront the murderer. As of this review, Michael C. Hall is still standing there, waiting to kill somebody.
What can you say about a title that needs a big update to fix all its little boo-boos? The irony is that Dexter 2 The Game captures the subversive and hypnotic spirit of the Showtime series, but ambiance can only get you so far if the game literally doesn't work. Until those bugs are fixed, please search for your dark passenger elsewhere.