I’ve never really thought about it, but I have watched a lot of Law & Order. I wouldn’t call myself a diehard fan – I certainly don’t follow it with the same fervor that I do Fringe or Doctor Who – but I have probably caught hundreds of episodes of the show and its myriad spin-offs while searching the channels for some decent background noise.
It’s great comfort TV – often extremely clever, but at the same time, extremely structured. You know what to expect from the show; there’ll be a few witty cast members, a bit of mystery, and an interesting case that will be wrapped up within the hour (organized in such a manner that the first half will consist of the police investigation, while the second half will focus on the prosecution as they make their case in the courtroom). In fact, it’s a formula that seems to slot quite well into Telltale’s episodic game structure.
Even with a format perfect for a game adaptation, I would not in a million years have expected the Law & Order license to produce a good game. While flawed in several ways, by dropping many of the adventure game tropes that you expect from the studio and borrowing bits and pieces from the similarly themed LA Noire and Phoenix Wright, Telltale Games has produced an intriguing title that perfectly captures the spirit and conventions of its licensed material.