Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Developer: Frogwares
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments – Review

Site Score
7.7
Good: Deciding the fate of the culprits, investigating is fun, interesting cases
Bad: Sometimes a bit clunky, lip sync, some voice acting
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0
(0 votes)
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Everybody loves Sherlock Holmes. He’s smart, cunning and one of the best detectives out there. After giving us ‘The Testament of Sherlock Holmes’, developer Frogwares now proudly provides another Holmes game which is fully called: Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. Let’s get our magnifying glass and do some professional detective work, shall we?

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Story

The game provides players with some interesting cases to solve. Each case has its own story and characters. Of course, you’ll be taking the role of Holmes throughout the game but it’s great to see how familiar faces pop up once in a while. Everybody knows our good Dr. Watson, one of Holmes closest friends and his right hand in solving cases. You’ll also meet Wiggins, the street urchin and leader of ‘The Baker Street Irregulars’, a group of kids who serve as Holmes’ eyes and ears on the streets. There are still some fun encounters left, but I’ll keep my mouth shut so that the game holds another element of surprise for those interested in playing it.

Each of the six cases is interesting enough to keep your attention and the interactions between the characters are often humorous and never feel like they should’ve been left out.

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Graphics

Graphically, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments looks more than okay. Game objects and characters are quite detailed which is essential in finding hiccups in a suspects façade when you’re questioning him. Is he/she lying or hiding something? It’s up to you to find out by keeping a close eye at their facial expressions and body language.

Environments look neat and lively and perfectly fit the time in which the game takes place. Especially Sherlock Holmes’ house is a pleasant sight to see.

Sound

The voices used in the game are decent but nothing to get overly excited about. Sometimes the acting feels a bit off which may cause you to feel ‘out of the game’, like when you get distracted while watching an exciting movie. While I’m talking about the voices, it’s worth mentioning that the lip synchronization could’ve used some more attention as well. It happens quite regularly that the mouths of characters do something which doesn’t really fit the speech at that moment. It’s another thing that could break immersion a bit.

For the rest concerning the audio department, the game does its job like it should. A train sounds like a train and likewise for the coach, meaning that everything sounds realistic and believable. No laser beams and Gatling guns here folks!

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Gameplay

A Sherlock Holmes game wouldn’t be worthy of its name without some decent detective work. Crimes & Punishments definitely provides enough traces to follow, evidence to analyze and suspects to question. You start off by doing some field work at the ‘crime scene’ where you’ll most likely find some objects of interest. Discovering these objects might trigger more dialogue options or give you the opportunity to do some analysis at your home made lab or take a dive in Holmes’ never ending archives. It’s great to see how all things are connected to one another and this gives you really the idea that you’re progressing.

As Mister Holmes gathers evidence and interrogates suspects, he’ll be able to deduct some conclusions (or possibilities) out of that. By pressing the triangle button, the deduction screen pops up and the player’s able to make connections between everything they know so far. Sometimes two possible conclusions are shown on screen and then it’s up to you to make the right choice. Is that fraud of a man really the victim here or is there more going on than meets the eye? Your case, your choice but beware as jumping to the (wrong) conclusion might end up by accusing the wrong suspect.

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At the end of each case, there’s another hard choice to be made. Will you leave the culprit be or will you give him the sentence he/she deserves? Not everything is always black and white as one might notice while progressing in the investigations. Not every offender is a vicious human being with only the worst intentions in mind. The game gives you the freedom of choosing what the fate should be of those who’ve done something that isn’t quite lawful. This game mechanic is really refreshing in detective games as most of the time, players just solve a case and that’s that.

The game is filled with mini games like throwing a harpoon at a pig’s carcass, arm wrestling, lock picking and so on. Sometimes they feel a bit superfluous but it’s hard not to appreciate the effort of the developers to bring as much variation in the game as possible. Another small remark is that moving around can feel a bit stiff and not that smooth. Plus, Watson sometimes tends to walk straight in your path. Oh well, at least he means well!

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Conclusion

If you like Sherlock Holmes and doing detective-like investigations, then you should certainly try out Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. The game isn’t without its problems as it sometimes feels a bit clunky and unpolished on a technical level which can cause a slight decrease of immersion while playing the game. However, if you’re dying to try out something new instead of another classic RPG or shooter, then Crimes & Punishments won’t disappoint.

 

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