It’s Elementary – Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments Review

Crimes and Punishments is the latest entry in the franchise of Sherlock Holmes games created and published by Frogwares. Can this game live up to the long-living legacy of Sherlock Holmes?

Official trailer:

Plot

In Crimes and Punishments, you play as the titular detective, who has to solve six cases. Along your journey, you’ll meet iconic characters such as Dr. John Watson, Inspector Lestrade, and Mycroft Holmes, who are all well-fleshed out and true to their literary counterparts. I absolutely loved how each case was unique and added a truly mysterious spin to the overall narrative. This is a dark, brooding game that oozes mystery, danger, and intrigue, and it’s all the better for it. As a Sherlock Holmes fan, this is definitely a narrative-driven story that I loved sinking my teeth into, and I adored the process of discovering who the true culprit really was in each macabre, complex case. Even if you’re just a minor fan of the original source material, Crimes and Punishments is worth your time and attention, especially if you enjoy mystery/adventure games with a cracking narrative and unique crime-solving techniques.

Graphics and Sound

Frogwares did a phenomenal job of capturing the essence of Sherlock and the time period by creating the game with the Unreal Engine. Each character model and location look fantastic. All of the little details shine in this game, and besides the occasional texture pop-in, Crimes and Punishments looks stunning on next-gen consoles. The voice acting is solid, and the lip synching is on target. Each background noise is also authentic, and adds a special flavor to the game.

Gameplay

In Crimes and Punishments, you must use your excellent deduction skills and logic to solve each chilling case. As Sherlock, you utilize several different mechanics to solve each case, such as interrogating suspects, lock picking, measuring vehicle tracks, and chemically analyzing evidence. These are incredibly entertaining, and I loved having to pore over every detail to find the smallest clue that would end up cracking the case. Some of these detective abilities are somewhat frustrating though. This game doesn’t hold your hand, and you might end up spending a significant amount of time trying to figure out what exactly you’re supposed to do with the evidence (thankfully, there’s also an option to skip these segments if you become stuck.) Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed these parts of Crimes and Punishments, even if I did end up a little flustered sometimes. An excellent addition to the game is the ability to choose different conclusions and moral choices, which adds an element of risk/reward. Overall, gameplay is solid and extremely fun, albeit sometimes frustrating and confusing.

Final Thoughts

Score: B+

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is the best Sherlock Holmes game yet. With beautiful graphics, great voice acting, a solid story, and unique gameplay mechanics, this is definitely a game that fans of mystery/adventure games should absolutely devote their time to playing. Gamers who are easily frustrated/aren’t fans of the genre will probably want to skip this game though, as it can become incredibly difficult and obtuse.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is available to purchase on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Steam. Check out the official site and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.

[Disclaimer: A review code was provided for me to review this game.]

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