Tag Archives: Sherlock Holmes

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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Crimes & Punishment – The Art of Subversion by Sherlock Holmes

logo_crimes&punishments_blackCrimes & Punishments, the new investigation game from Frogwares, today unveils a new gameplay video, presenting one of the many skills of Sherlock: the Art of Subversion! This new video is the second of a series of videos  that will be released over the coming weeks until the release of the game on September 30 on Xbox One & Xbox 360.

Holmes is known for his high intelligence, and high level of deduction skill. However, Sherlock as he was imagined and written by Arthur Conan Doyle is also a master of disguise, a characteristic that Frogwares transposed in Crimes & Punishments, as one of the many skills the players will actively use to solve the 6 cases of the game.

In the video that follows we find at Baker Street, in Holmes’ bedroom, a wardrobe that holds the key to Holmes’ disguises, as well as a dressing table housing wigs, hats, glasses, different hair styles and beards. everything needed to transform into about anyone! This seems to be one of the more useful skills in the game, when it comes to approaching suspects who might be wary of a well-known detective, and get information – or even confessions – by faking being a member of their social class. You’ll also notice Holmes does a pretty good Irish accent too…

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.