Sherlock Holmes: the first chapter is off to a good start
As a big fan of crime mysteries, I always look forward to the next entry in the Sherlock holmes Games. As the series started to falter a bit with the last title, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter, It is obvious that the developer Frogwares was inspired by their previous game The sinking city and introduced some of these ideas to the world of Sherlock holmes. From the very start of the beta I played, it was obvious that this reimagining of the Sherlock Holmes games was looking to change things in a big way and in the best possible way.
It is difficult to imagine that a Sherlock holmes the game has not had an open world setting so far. Sherlock Holmes and his stories seem perfect for an open world, and while previous entries in the Frogwares The Holmes titles had experimented with less linear scenes, this has never been more open and engaging than in Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One. If there is one thing Sherlock holmes the games have been good in the compelling world the games are set in. The artistic direction, the camera work and the general mood given by the characters in the game helped me to immerse myself in the mystery and the world of his fictional 1880s Mediterranean island of Cordona.
Crimes and Punishments
Like the other games in the series, Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One don’t hold your hand at all. While there is an option for custom difficulty settings and you can get hints from the characters in the game as well as from the Holmes notebook, you still need to find all the clues and use deductive reasoning to determine who the suspects are and if you wish it. condemn them. While it may seem like a puzzle at first, it’s a rewarding experience to draw your own conclusions and put the pieces of the puzzle together at your own pace.
Gameplay in Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One is a much more fluid and natural feeling than the previous entries. While the game is more hardcore in its hands-off approach, I never felt lost or frustrated. This is in part due to the game’s focus mode where you can focus on your surroundings and easily spot important objects and people. On top of that, the game also contains dialogue options and the ability to enter Sherlock’s “mind palace” and piece together the clues into a web of evidence that can lead to various branching paths. While I won’t go into too much detail, I was able to go back to a previously saved game and get different results coming to a different conclusion. The gameplay loop here suggests there’s quite a bit of replay value here.
The game also features various abilities and scenarios that take advantage of legendary Sherlock Holmes skills, such as eavesdropping, character observation, and the ability to change your appearance. All of these skills had their own unique uses and their own game mechanics. For example, when I listened to a pair of maids, I had to select the important information Sherlock had heard while running against a stopwatch. Selecting the wrong information would take away my time and force me to start over. By making more mundane gameplay elements more interactive, I felt like I was gathering evidence instead of just playing to get to the next checkpoint.
A good start
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of fun I had to have collecting evidence and this is one of the biggest lessons from my short stay with Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One. By making the traditionally boring gameplay elements in mystery games such as eavesdropping, journaling entries, and NPC questioning more interactive and engaging, I found myself enjoying the mystery-solving part of the game much more. than I ever would have thought. Now, that doesn’t mean the game didn’t have its fair share of issues during my demo either. There were a few places where I wasn’t sure what to do next just because the game didn’t make it easy for me to catch my take on a clue and made me forget some things. The map and journal can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t check it out often and at first it took a bit of adjustment to understand how the game wanted me to use its toolset. Either way, these are small issues that didn’t really affect my overall experience.
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One seeks to elevate the series in the best possible way. From its perfectly designed and intriguing world, to its camera work and cinematic visuals, to its intuitive and fun gameplay. This game is definitely shaping up to be a worthy sequel to one of the best mystery game series around and definitely worth a review if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, mystery games, or just want to play something that makes you think a bit.
Techraptor preview Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One with a Seam code provided by the game’s publisher. The game arrives on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X | S on November 16, with a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One port later.