Tag Archives: Frogwares

New gameplay trailer revealed for Sherlock Holmes

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If you’re the type to love super-sleuthing and Sherlock Holmes is your thing, then you’ve probably been enjoying the delights of Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment, recently offered through Games With Gold. If you’ve finished that and not quite had your fill of Sherlock, then the good news is, there’s not long to wait for the next instalment.

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter lands on Xbox One in June this year and developer Frogwares, along with publisher, Bigben Interactive, have released a brand new trailer to pique your interest. This new cinematic follows on from the recent story teaser and introduces some gameplay elements for the first time.

Beset by doubt and fear, Holmes must act quickly to escape his darkest demons. Will his nerve be up to the task?

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter is a unique adventure game that blends exploration, investigation and action for a breath-taking and fantastic playing experience. Help Sherlock not only reveal secrets, but keep one as he strives to help a young Katelyn. There’s also the mysterious clairvoyant who has moved into 221C Baker Street. What part will she play in this adventure?

Play as Sherlock once more. Solve puzzles and master action sequences for an interactive experience that promises to be more immersive than ever. The mysteries will pile up. The clues will amass too. Trails will intersect and hypotheses will contradict one another. Will this be Sherlock’s most difficult case yet? Will you be able to guide Sherlock to the most incredible final revelation?

At the moment, there are certainly more questions than answers.

You can solve them and find out these answers on Xbox One, on the 10th of June.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KypiaRzlSE

Sherlock Holmes’ new cinematic reveals the Devil’s Daughter

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Bigben Interactive and long-time Sherlock game developer, Frogwares, have teamed up with award-winning CG trailer maker UNIT Image to create a brand new cinematic teaser for the recently announced Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter.

This trailer takes Sherlock on a mystic trip, out of the comfort of that infamous sitting-room and into a vortex of other-worldy adventure.

What led young Katelyn to 221B Baker Street? Could she have discovered the dark truth about her family? Who is the charming Clairvoyant that has moved to 221C? Is there room for seances and occult rituals in the bastion of logic and rationalism?

Will you be able to guide Sherlock to the incredible final revelation?

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter is coming to Xbox One on the 27th of May.

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter pack shots revealed

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It’s hard to believe that the Sherlock Holmes series of games are now heading to their eighth title. These investigative adventures starring Conan-Doyle’s most famous creation are firmly becoming a fan favourite. Bigben Interactive and Frogwares have now announced Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter will be heading to Xbox One on the 27th of May.

To celebrate, they’ve released what you should be looking for on the retail shelves when it finally hits them. That’s right, we’ve got a gratuitous box-shot.

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Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter will once again see you play as Sherlock, tracking down evil in the darkest corners of London and in the human spirit, freely exploring several neighbourhoods in the city. Serach for clues and suspects while Holmes and Watson untangle a web of intrigue, leading to the final stunning revelation.

Sherlock will offer you a fully immersive and epic storyline as the great detective is shaken by emotion when he is caught between family, dark forces and powerful thirsts for vengeance.

You can pick up Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter from the 27th of May and while some may be disappointed by a distinct lack of Benedict Cumberbatch, you’ll still be in for a plot thicker than your average TOWIE star.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment Review

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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment is an investigation style game with a gentle nod to the great point and click adventure titles of the early 90’s when full exploration and experimentation were required, not just added for fun. Developed by Frogwares and published by Focus Home Interactive Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment was released for Xbox One (and Xbox 360) on September 30th.

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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment takes place in 19th century London and the surrounding suburbs composed of varied and somewhat exotic locations including central London with its dark and grimy alleys, sun kissed Chinese Gardens, the Roman ruins of St Albans and the world famous Kew Gardens. It draws inspiration from and resonates with the Russian novel Crime and Punishment by the novelist and philosopher Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky’s literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th century Russia. Frogwares have focused on the player finding the right culprit and making the moral choice of either absolving or condemning the culprit with various outcomes and knock-on effects dependent on the your choice.

There are six unique cases in Sherlock Holmes Crimes & Punishments and each one has clearly been inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories and also written in the same traditional style. Each new case opens up a number of new locations to explore and clues that will need to be pieced together. Exploring and gathering clues will take up the majority of your time in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment. As you progress and discover new clues they’ll be added to a list of deductions accessible from the Y button. Clues are gathered from crime scenes, exploring places of interest, interrogating suspects in Scotland Yard and performing autopsies on the victims’ bodies if you’ve the stomach for it.

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It is from this deduction board (if you will) that you’ll start linking pieces of information together. Clues can be pieced together in multiple ways that lead to possible different deductions and outcomes and based on how you interpret the information you’ll be faced with a variety of different conclusions. In Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment the player can actually fail in finding the correct and guilty culprit if they’ve not spent enough time exploring and reviewing all the available information and hidden clues. Once players have reached a conclusion they are happy with it’s time to decide on condemning or absolving the suspect. The moral choice that players are asked to make will influence gameplay further through the game. Each case will have 3-5 possible solutions; and in total there are 6-10 different endings for each case.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment has a number of new and interesting game mechanics, including Sherlock Holmes’ skill to guess many details about someone’s life simply by glancing at them. When this takes place players enter a first-person view for a close-up inspection of a characters face, emotions, clothing and belongings. You’ll be looking for scars, quality of clothing, signs of stress or un-comfort and of course guilt. Another mechanic is the ability to imagine and reconstruct the course of event by carefully observing all the key details of a crime scene. There is also the addition of “Sherlock Vision,” a mechanic that helps players by highlighting evidence that would otherwise be missed. For example in your first case through Sherlock Vision you’ll look at a dusty bookcase and notice that a chest has been taken from the shelf simply by noticing the change in dust pattern.

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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment has been fully developed on Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 allowing Frogwares to take the series and jump far ahead of previous instalments in terms of graphical quality. Environments immediately feel more realistic and finely detailed with dynamic lighting and shadows. A particular case later on in the games takes place down a moon light alley in central London. The alley showcases how far Frogwares have taken the series. By choosing Unreal Engine 3 the game also benefits from many technologies like a powerful animation engine for smooth movement and animation transitions, real-time shaders and a particle system, and advanced post-processing effects. Frogwares had previously been guilty of using an old method of employing one huge texture and now have instead opted to use Tiled Textures which make an incredible difference.

The problem with Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment is the obvious lack of challenge from anyone else involved in the case. Other characters immediately bow down to Holmes and fail to question even the most obvious of wrong deductions.

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As players progress through Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment they quickly learn that the game isn’t just about what is right and wrong, but it’s about personal interpretation and judgements. From the sofa you’ll quickly become Judge, Jury and Executioner. With the lack of challenge from any other character within the game, even the wrongly accused suspect can feel like the right one and this is an obvious tribute to the well-known ego we’ve all come to love created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment is not just a great detective game, but an interesting one also. Sherlock Holmes mind is presented in the game in such a way that he is clearly a man treading the line between madness and brilliance. This just adds to the opportunity of playing him all the more riveting and not to be missed.

Thank you to Xbox for providing the review code.

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Developer Interview: Frogwares

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With new trailers and screenshots appearing for both Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments and Magrunner Dark Pulse, we caught up with Olga Ryzhko from developer; Frogwares Studio, and discussed E3, Unreal Engine 3 and Next-Gen consoles. Check out the full interview below and be sure to leave any comments or follow up questions in the comments box below.

ThisisXbox: Since 2002 you have created a plethora of Sherlock Holmes game (thanks to your ownership of the certain trademark categories). Do you guys have a favourite title to date?

Olga Ryzhko: Plenty! Each and all of them! My personal notes indicate around 25 titles released by Frogwares so far and you cannot simply pick one to be your favorite. It’s a brainchild of yours that you cherish and watch grow. Every game you make is also an experience, one that makes you strive further and make another great game.

Some of the games work better for the players than others. Releasing The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, our biggest and most incredible game, brought back the discussion among the players of which game is better. Some remain the very faithful fans of Sherlock Holmes The Awakened, a game from 2006, one where you battle the supernatural with the rational. It is now available on iOS, so it brings back very kind memories to the players.

The very first Sherlock Holmes game, Mystery of the Mummy, was the first game production for everyone on the team. We had to learn to make games at the same time we were doing it. The game was an immediate success to the surprise of everyone in the industry; to date, the game has sold around a million units worldwide on PC. It was released on DS in 2009 and will eventually be released on tablets. Everything we do leaves a trace in our hearts; however, it is true that the game you are currently working on takes most of your concentration at the moment. So, most important and significant, the priority is always set on future games rather than the previous ones.

TiX: Crimes & Punishments sees a new milestone marked in your history as a developer whilst you move away from your previous in-house engine and instead use the famous Unreal Engine 3 from Epic. What brought about this change?

OR: Indeed, the new game is a huge step for us. Our home-made engine worked extremely well for The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and for the previous games. It did its job and delivered almost all of our requirements. Sure there were some things that brought some difficulties to us, but they were minor things.

With Crimes and Punishments we are changing the main focus of the game; hence the previous engine won’t be able to simply meet our expectations – this is where UE comes in. It will do what the previous engine is not able to.

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TiX: You have a staff of 60+ artists and programmers, are they all adjusting to using a new game engine? Have you encountered many problems during the transition?

OR: Apart from Frogwares there are also 3 so-called sister-studios here:

  • World of Battles, an online MMORG
  • Waterlily Games, in charge of casual and mobile games
  • 3 AM Games working on Magrunner: Dark Pulse, a first person puzzler built on UE, as well
  • And finally Frogwares itself, the Sherlock Holmes games studio.

On the whole, it is now 80+ people here, and of course not all of them are involved in the Crimes and Punishments game. It was actually 3 AM games who started using Unreal Engine first, and when it came to the decision of what to do with the new Sherlock game it was obvious that we change to UE.

This transition to the new engine was not easy. We had to adapt a lot: UE is more designed for shooters rather than investigation games; we had to learn other ways to deal with game textures, we had to change a lot of the details we are used to. There is a lot of work ahead for us, however at this point I can say we are happy with UE.

TiX: Can you tell us a little bit more about the new game mechanics and features we can expect from Crimes & Punishment?

OR: Crimes and Punishments is an important milestone for us, not only due to the engine change. It is completely another kind of game: first of all, this is an investigation game that delivers a whole new experience to the player. Now that we are not limited by the engine and its capabilities, we are adding a lot of new features that will immerse you into the life of the greatest detective. You will be able to exploit his genius talents and skills: dynamic portraits, Holmes’s senses, traits, and talents, imagination or rather his ability to reconstruct the event from the past, to name a few. We continue our experiments on making you feel like Sherlock Holmes.

TiX: You’ll be presenting C&P at E3 this year this. What can we expect to see, new trailers and screenshots? Will there be a playable demo on offer?

OR: Depends on what you prefer J I guess we will have some images released before E3, also there are regular updates at the DevBlog, usually illustrated with screenshots. You just saw the tech demo video and most probably we will have a beautiful trailer for E3 as well. And most important, I will have the demo of the game itself revealing all the secret features that were not communicated so far. I warmly welcome anyone to pop in to the Focus Home Interactive booth to have their hands on the game.

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TiX: If Frogwares Studio was itself the centre of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, what would it be? A murder mystery? A story of theft and betrayal or how about a psychological thriller?

OR: Oh God! Nothing even close to that! I won’t say that it feels like home here – 80 people are too many to make it feel like a family. However, there is a cheerful tone here most of the time…well, except for the nest of vipers known as texture artists (lovely team xD). And we do have several newly born families here; it is very beautiful to see the new relations appear.

There is a story of theft and betrayal that starts every morning here; it is called The Adventure of The Missing Mug.

TiX: Magrunner Dark Pulse successfully completed a crowd sourcing fundraising project and reached its 100K target. How is development coming along? Can we expect new screenshots and a trailer in time for E3?

OR: The game trailer is being finalized as we speak. You can expect it to arrive very soon. At E3, Magrunner will be playable, again at the Focus Home booth. It is going to be available for everyone there. We will soon have the demo for our backers.

(KrisWB’s Note: This last question had to be asked!)

TiX: What’s the general consensus in the office… are you Xbox360 fans or PS3 diehards?

OR: Asks the Xbox dedicated portal!!

We are based in Kiev, Ukraine; there were no consoles in this part of Europe in the past, so we are more PC gamers in terms of our own preferences. If you’re speaking of the development process, “Of course Xbox,” says the technician sitting next to me.

A big thank you to our friends at Focus Home Interactive and Frogwares for taking the time to talk to us last week, we as I am sure you do, appreciate their time.

Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments has yet to be given a release date but as soon as it is, we will let you know and then of course provide you with another one of our quality reviews.

Crimes & Punishment – A New Tech Demo

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With the Testament of Sherlock Holmes, the series of video games dedicated to the famous detective marked a notable step in its history by dropping the traditional PC adventure games’ gameplay in favor of a real investigation experience on consoles and PC.

With Crimes & Punishments, the series will mark a new milestone, as the development studio Frogwares will give up its home-made engine in order to switch to the well-known Unreal Engine 3 from Epic.
This choice will first allow the game to benefit from bigger environments that are more gorgeous and more varied, all while offering an incredible level of detail: dynamic lighting, shaders, post-processing effects, animations… the game is an all-around winner, as illustrated in the very first presentation video of the new engine of Sherlock Holmes’ latest game, which we’re sending you today.

This new engine not only benefits the game’s graphics: it also allows the development of new investigation mechanics that the previous engine’s limitations did not permit. These new mechanics give the player the feeling that they ARE Sherlock Holmes, and enable them to fully use the incredible talents and gifts known to all fans, such as his skill to guess many details about someone’s life simply by glancing at them – or to imagine and reconstruct the course of event by carefully observing all the key details of a crime scene.

Crimes & Punishments will begin showcasing these unique features in the coming weeks through videos and presentations of the game. Crimes & Punishments will also be presented in more detail at E3 2013.

Until then you can check out a series of screenshots and a trailer below.