Developer Frogwares alongside publisher Focus Home Interactive have pushed out the latest game in the Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes series. This latest entry, titled Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, has launched on almost all non-Nintendo platforms including PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Crimes & Punishments is Sherlock’s first appearance on our new current gen systems, and what an awesome experience it is.
Crimes & Punishments plays out over the course of six different cases. Each case will take roughly two to three hours to complete and are each unique in their own way. The cases can range from solving murders to uncovering thefts to investigating burglaries. You are Sherlock Holmes: the greatest detective around. Crimes & Punishments places you in charge of uncovering all of the clues, using the clues to create deductions, and eventually using the deductions to solve your case. The gameplay is played out in a way very similar to that of L.A. Noire. Though Crimes & Punishments isn’t quite as open world as L.A. Noire was, it’s still open, enabling you to freely roam any of the available locations for that case. You’re free to look around for clues, talk with people and interact with items scattered about all to help uncover new information. This formula is one that really succeeds. In Crimes & Punishments all locations are well designed and fun to explore, and while most clues are in plain sight, it’s still quite nice running through such different locations on the hunt to finding some clues. Occasionally you will even get to switch out from playing as Holmes and get to enjoy playing as Dr. Watson, and even their dog, Toby. Dr. Watson may not have actually changed gameplay much, but it was always nice to find clues while following scent trails as a dog.
Crimes & Punishments is also filled with plenty of mini games and puzzles. From cracking into a safe, or lock picking a door, to building molds, to doing chemistry there are mini games all over. Most are relatively simple to solve, though I did often encounter an issue. When connecting lines, in uncovering an image or picking a door lock, the lines would need to line up perfectly. If the lines weren’t perfectly straight the game would not set through as completed. This can get very frustrating at times, but the developers had a fix right there. If you’re stuck on a puzzle or simply don’t want to bother doing it you can press a skip button which will automatically do the puzzle for you. This feature was a life saver because when a puzzle got too frustrating I’d have the ability to just say “screw it” and move on with the case.
Crimes & Punishments is also an incredibly beautiful game, and one that really feels like it belongs on the current gen platforms. All characters look incredible and are given amazing little details like light bruising, scratches and other unique traits. Obviously these are helpful in learning about people in the actual case, but in a sense the differentiations and great design of each character is a real accomplishment. They not only look amazing but they truly feel different. The characters are not alone in their beauty though. The environments are all very well designed and are absolutely gorgeous. The vast detailing that went into each location stands out and the environments cannot help but feel like real life locations, either currently lived in or abandoned.
It seems to be the small things that really make the game work. From small details on the skin of the character to smaller more unknown features. Crimes & Punishments gives the user the ability to switch between first and third person modes whenever they want to. Additionally, a user can use a sixth sense type mode in which certain locations, or during certain events, should the player activate it they can play out what happened, helping to put clues together. At the end of a case, once you’ve uncover the truth, you are also given the ability to make a moral choice of how to handle the situation. Turn someone in to the police, knowing they will be hanged, or was their crime not that bad and let them off the hook? The choice is yours and it actually adds a lot to the experience.
Overall, I went in to Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments with very low expectations, and I was extremely surprised. Crimes & Punishments is a very good looking game, and a very fun playing game. It’s really a case of all the care and small details its developer put in working together to create an amazing experience that players will enjoy and will end up finishing the game only to want more.
• Beautiful Graphics
• Fun and rewarding game play
• Various types of cases
• Entertaining mini games give an option to skip them should you not be able to complete
• Police and Dr. Watson often come across unreasonably stupid or get in the way
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is out now on Steam, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360