[This is a series of game reviews I did a LONG time ago when I originally played them and they just never got posted. So enjoy.]
Another game from the Steam Sale. The whole original series of Sherlock Holmes games. I wanted to try them out so it was obviously a great deal for me.
The first one I played matched the top notch detective against a French thief by the name of Arsene Lupine,
The game takes the simple concept of the super sleuth and brings it to the computer screen with ease. If you haven’t been paying attention you can actually lose this game as well (though if you get the end location wrong it just doubles back to where you have to make the choice!)
Story wise and I have to say it is one of the best stories in a game I’ve seen. It was pure Sherlock Holmes from beginning to end. The character of Sherlock wasn’t over played and as you moved through the story and skipped from Sherlock to Watson you were able to see the two very different personalities stand out in wonderful fashion.
It kept you on the edge of your seat as you actually really felt like YOU were in charge of finding this thief who was trying to bring shame to the English. At every turn you felt like if you just solved the clues a little faster then you’d get him next time. Just shy of 9 hours in and I got to the last part of the game and was crying that the game was way too short until I realised I’d been playing for 9 hours straight! The villain was the perfect foil for Holmes and we get to see our favourite detective actually lose a fair few times (and see a saucy Queen Elizabeth get a snog from Lupine at the same time!) before finally capturing him and letting him go free.
Some of the moments felt perfect for the world of Sherlock Holmes (the theft of the Rosetta Stone was wonderful) and you really felt like you were part of the game.
As good as the story was though there were 1 or 2 moments where it didn’t feel like it had flown together properly, cut scenes stuttered to start, but it didn’t really do anything to ruin the game. The voice actors ranged from great to funny though I must admit that I spent a lot of the game with the subtitles on and the sound off so I didn’t get to hear all the voice artists.
Gameplay and it was near to perfect. It felt a bit like Broken Sword mixed with a small amount of CSI. It was easy to miss small clues whilst running around larger then life areas which means that a person with a good eye could possibly take no more then 6 hours to complete the game. Various different puzzles, all differing from area to area, kept the game fresh. OK the majority of the puzzles came in the form of riddles from Lupine who managed to hide them away quite well after scouting out the areas of interest but what it lead to was some really wonderfully strange puzzles. Whether it was deciphering hidden messages, maths problems or just trying to find the right items to sort out a problem there was always something going on.
It felt like a true Holmes mystery from beginning to end with its own side story involving Watson and racing tortoises!
I do have to say that playing the game in third person is difficult as you can click to move the character and they go the complete opposite direction so playing the game in first person is the best option by far. You control them in first person using the arrow keys (or W,S,A,D obviously) and its much easier to interact with items and move around from area to area in first person. The only problem is that sometimes when you click once to interact it thinks you are double clicking and will move you forward which can be a bit off putting when you are feeling like you need to do something urgently because it sets you back again. Another small thing that doesn’t really change how much fun the game is.
Altogether it delievered everything I had hoped. I worried about buying the game as I had my hands burnt by CSI:NY once. I brought the game because the whole world told me it was just like the old CSI games just to find out it was a hidden object game, I worried that this in all intents and purposes would be a hidden object game. I was completely taken back by how wrong I was.
It really did make you feel like you were Sherlock or Watson (and once Lestrade!) and that you were there doing these things. From measuring footprints in the mud to exclaiming how ugly paintings were.
It is by far one of the most interesting and fun games I think I have ever brought and I highly HIGHLY recommend it.
So seeing it is a full and final review I guess I must add it to the Gaming Babble game chart.
I think story wise it is a definite 10/10 but there are a few niggles that send it back down the line. It has great re-playability potential and does its job well.
So ladies and gentleman I am giving it a 8.5/10