The first of the Sherlock Holmes games, unfortunately not the first one I played.
With two games under my belt (in the wrong order) how does going back to the beginning feel?
If I’m quite honest a little disappointing.
The game in some ways is much more simple but at the same time much more difficult. Makes no sense? As does half of what you do in this game.
First off we are always in first person view in this game BUT you don’t have free reign of where you walk. Its a pointy clicky walk system which winds you the hell up from time to time. It was difficult to get used to at first because I’m not used to playing games like that any more but after a while you get used to it and it only becomes a slight annoyance when you are rushing about and can’t find the correct area to click.
Obviously the graphics take a step back… I’m not going to mark it down for that as it is a old game, but you instantly notice it. It was kind of pixelated and blurry at times on my computer from time to time.
The voice acting is what takes the biggest down turn though. It is terrible and I’m sure there was a American trying to voice Holmes, not that there is any problem with that but it felt odd hearing him jump from a squeeky posh English accent to what sounded like (obviously to my untrained and partially deaf ear) like a American one. Holmes is the only voice you hear for most of the game which is good because it doesn’t pick up later in the game. All the characters at the end have highly annoying voices which I will mark it down for because even being a old game there is no need for it.
The puzzles were annoying. Which is good. They need to be. But marks down for the puzzle at the end where you had to create a Sherlock out of black and white puzzle pieces, its the first time I had to look up how to do it (not the actual results just what the fuck I was meant to be doing) because there was just no explanation. My bad for being a uncultured swine but still. It was much more like old style click and points with much more complicated and over the top things being done.
It is MUCH more easy to die. I died a few times trying to escape the scorpions etc, not by the scorpions but by going to the wrong area by accident. A lot of the puzzles and events are timed (there is a blue timer that shows up on the right hand side of the screen) which makes it much more exciting.
Unfortunately the actual story WASN’T quite as exciting.
I mean out of this set of games I believe I started with the last one and then went back one before going right back to the beginning and whether it was trial and effort or just happened to be that way so far the stories obviously get better because the Mystery of the Mummy was boring.
Sure there were a few moments in there designed to scare you but the complete unreaction to a mummy suddenly opening a door behind you, or in fact the lack of human empathy that Watson brings to stories in general, made the whole thing underwhelming.
That is my fault for not bothering to check what order they went in, and to be honest if I had then I might have been giving Sherlock Holmes Nemesis a 10/10 instead of a 8.5!
Don’t get me wrong there is a lot that I love about the whole game. Its still very much Sherlock but very much a puzzle game instead of story heavy game. Unlike the later games it is left to one “area” which is cut up into different levels usually based on what floor you are on at the time. Without that focus on story (which you can tell makes a difference just by comparing play time) you aren’t really excited by the adventure itself.
The game play is very clunky, I spent a good 10 to 20 minutes finding the exact way to move the cursor to get a prompt to empty a barrel of gun powder and another 5 or 10 trying to find how to reveal a trap door. Puzzles don’t automatically end and tell you what they’ve done and it relies too heavily on you caring enough to pick up on small pieces here and there.
If you haven’t played a Sherlock game in this series before then 100% PLAY THIS ONE FIRST! It is a good game but compared to at least the two I’ve played before this it disappoints. You can see where they took some of their better ideas and made them great and you can see the bare bones of what we came to love instantly in the others BUT it doesn’t have the story, charm or the replay value as the others.
As always the game needs to be rated.
I shockingly rated Nemesis higher then Final Fantasy VII, I know I’m a terrible person and a terrible gamer. Kill me now.
The Awakened dropped down a little and unfortunately this will drop down more.
It might just be my computer but at times it was hell of a unplayable, places wouldn’t click, puzzles wouldn’t solve and for some reason if there was a lengthy cut scene the game just stopped working completely which made certain areas unplayable and me having to be VERY quick with the save button.
For all that and the fact that I found the story un-engaging I’m afraid it only manages a 4/10 from me.