As the greatest detective of all time you must find clues, interrogate suspects & unveil a mystery in a story full of twists!
User reviews: Very Positive (810 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 25, 2012

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May 14

A RELEASE DATE AND NEW SCREENSHOTS FOR CRIMES & PUNISHMENTS!

Crimes & Punishments, the new investigation game developed by Frogwares studio, is now set for release on consoles and PC on early September 2014!

On this occasion, discover 3 new screenshots of the game, featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson investigating some of the crime scenes from the 6 exceptional cases the game asks you to solve. You will have to exploit the incredible gifts and talents of Sherlock, such as his ability to guess the details of an individual's life simply by observing them, or to imagine and reconstruct a past event by studying the key features of a crime scene, in order to find out the truth. But what will you do of your suspects? Will you listen to your moral sense, or will you impartially enforce justice?

Crimes & Punishments will be released on PC early September 2014.

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Crimes and Punishments Steam Page

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Reviews

“One of the legendary sleuth's greatest investigation”
8 out of 10 – GameSpot

“A Testament to the genre”
4.5 out of 5 – Gamezebo

“It is every bit as gripping as you would expect from a tale about the great detective”
8 out of 10 – Hooked Gamers

About This Game

YOU ARE SHERLOCK HOLMES, AND THIS IS YOUR INVESTIGATION!

Become the greatest detective of all time in The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, a twisting, turning investigation game set in a faithfully-reproduced London of 1898. Suspected in a case involving theft, fraud and double-crossing, Sherlock Holmes will undergo a descent into hell in what will doubtlessly become one of his most thrilling cases yet. You will find all the elements of a grand investigation: examine crime scenes, find the clues, follow the trails, interrogate suspects and unveil the mystery behind a great adventure, led by a breath-taking story full of twists!

Key Features:

  • Lead Holmes’ darkest investigation: examine crime scenes, find clues, interrogate suspects
  • Discover Sherlock Holmes’ dark side in a breath-taking story full of twists and turns
  • Uncover new leads and clues as you explore richly detailed places all across London

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:WINDOWS XP SP3/WINDOWS VISTA SP2/WINDOWS 7
    • Processor:AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2 GHZ
    • Memory:2048 MB RAM
    • Graphics:256 MB 100% DIRECTX 9 AND SHADERS 3.0 COMPATIBLE ATI RADEON HD 2600 XT/NVIDIA GEFORCE 8600 GT OR HIGHER
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:14 GB HD space
    • Sound:DIRECTX 9 COMPATIBLE
Helpful customer reviews
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Short review

Graphics & sound are good, especially for an adventure game where you usually don't expect much. "Hunt the pixel" is mostly avoided, though you may have to seek around a bit sometimes. There's brilliant moments where you actually feel like Sherlock Holmes when you're deducting the true circumstances of a crime, but those are outnumbered by dodgy moments where you're confronted with unconnected puzzles that really have no reason to be there. Fortunately all such puzzles are skippable, so you won't get frustrated. The story is interesting enough to motivate and feels like classic Holmes, with a twist at the end that may not be everyone's cup of tea but is certainly original.

Snap this up when it's on sale, especially if you're a Holmes fan. It feels slightly overpriced at full ($20 at the time of writing).


Long review

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is the latest installment (as of writing) in a series that I haven't played. No knowledge of events in the previous games is required, fortunately; there's some allusions but you don't need to know anything about them to play this one. Your very first investigation serves as a tutorial on the controls, and you can simply go from there. This game does not rely on you carefully scanning every inch of the screen with your mouse until you've found the hotspot; you don't have to do more than get close enough and you will get clear indications of what can be investigated. At the same time, this is not so obvious that it takes all the fun out of exploring, and sometimes you do have to backtrack carefully to see what you've missed.

For an adventure game in particular, the graphics are good. You won't fall out of your chair in amazement, but character models and environments are all well done and fit the atmosphere of the story. The soundtrack does its job, in that you hardly notice it's there, except for one notably bad case of it playing with an intensity that the situation doesn't warrant -- things only start to happen in that location later, yet the soundtrack is ominous and frantic right from the start. The voice acting for both Holmes and Watson is excellent and the characters come across just right. The other characters are mostly believable, with two notable exceptions: one character who is required to pass for another with a British accent has a painfully obvious faux German accent that shouldn't have fooled anyone, and the actor voicing the main villain sounds like he's taking his cues from cartoons, with the only thing missing being an evil laugh. Both of these break immersion quite badly and mess up what is otherwise fine voice acting.

Enough about the window dressing, let's get to the gameplay. Here we get to both the game's best and worst parts. As in all adventure games, you walk around, gathering information and objects, and occasionally apply one object to another. Especially commendable in this regard is that when you do have to combine objects, this makes sense and is easy to do (like combining pieces of rope to make a longer piece of rope) -- sounds obvious, but there are many adventure games where you have to combine unlikely objects in bizarre ways to solve puzzles in the most roundabout way possible. You won't find such puzzles here -- whenever you need to overcome obstacles by combining objects it feels perfectly natural.

Unfortunately, what you will find are puzzles that are generic brain teasers (like matching colored balls in some interesting sense or rotating tiles) that have no believable connection to the story and are just there to make you stop and solve them. To the game's great credit, all of these puzzles are skippable after some time has passed, because it would feel really frustrating to *have* to solve them if you didn't want to, or couldn't. Some can be solved by trial and error, some are impossible to do that way, but almost all of them feel like they don't belong in the game and they don't fit in with the narrative. Apparently everybody in Victorian England used intricate locks that can nevertheless be opened without outside help to safeguard their valuables, instead of, you know, keys. The lowest point for me was a series of puzzles in an elementary school that really break immersion by their sheer contrivedness and lack of justification for solving them at all (rather than simply forcing the issue). Elementary, dear player? Hardly.

If those were the only puzzles, I couldn't really recommend this game, but it redeems itself with the deduction puzzles. The game's best moments come when you actually get to feel like you're solving crime like the great detective himself, carefully observing for clues and piecing them together in a logical whole using "deduction boards", where you choose from several logical (and less logical) alternatives until both the clues and your deductions line up. Solving these puzzles with a minimum of guessing rewards you with the feeling that you're Holmes himself, coming to seemingly impossible conclusions by eliminating the actually impossible. Even the "chemical analysis" puzzles, which are not really about deduction but about memorizing colored blobs, tie in with the overall atmosphere of crime-solving. The game could have elevated itself considerably if it had more of this and less of the arbitrary puzzles -- in fact, if they ever make another installment, I'd strongly recommend that they only do these deduction puzzles and no more of the mechanical ones. As it is, there are only three or four in the game, with the regular puzzles padding out most of the playtime.

The story is the other selling point of the game. The flavor is excellent, and when it works, it's worthy of anything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has written, with both the mundane and slightly fantastical/unbelievable elements mixed together in a familiar way. The characterization is fine -- Holmes has his dry quips and stoic determination, while Watson is there to reign in his friend's unique brand of callousness where it's warranted, without coming off as a dunce (a common sin in other adaptations). There's nothing original here (except for the end, which we'll get to in a bit) and you've seen most of these elements before in other Holmes stories, but it's all well put together, with the exposition scene where Holmes recaps what's really happened for Watson before the final showdown being especially memorable. It doesn't quite exceed its source material, but it's a valiant effort nonetheless.

There's a twist at the end that might leave opinions divided on whether it's of benefit to the story (or whether it should be there at all), but I liked it. After all, this is only one of many stories told of Holmes, and if you don't like what this one's selling, you can always ignore it, but I thought it was a charming idea that I hadn't seen before. Not everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow and there are one or two spots that I'd consider plot holes, but I found myself intrigued and entertained. Overall the level is more "penny dreadful" than Shakespeare, but then, that fits the Victorian era nicely.

Bottom line: this is a strong recommendation if you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes as he appears in the Doyle stories. If you're just an adventure game aficionado in general, be warned that this contains some pure puzzles which have little or nothing to do with adventuring, and the remainder is probably not going to challenge you a lot. In either case, at the $20 that is its current asking price it's probably slightly disappointing, but this would be a good one to pick up on a sale.
Posted: May 18
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
14.3 hrs on record
Minor technical issues aside, this game was amazing. While I haven't played any of the other Sherlock games yet, so I don't have a benchmark to compare it to, I very much enjoyed the storyline and multiple mind-blowing plot twists, the varied puzzles and leaps of deduction, voice acting and the various personalities of the characters, and the occasional moments of poignancy, introspection and humour.

Progression was occasionally blocked because it wasn't obvious there was something up in a tree to click on or that you could ascend a stage using boxes, and I'd wander around for an hour being puzzled, but otherwise it was smooth and flowed well.

Also, creepy kids! But they tied that in at the end fairly well too.
Posted: June 28
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Nice enough adventure game that can be played in first person, with good gamepad controls if one desires a Big Picture couch game. Nothing genre-shattering but entertaining enough that I felt like finishing it and wasn't bored at any point. Graphics-wise it's nice enough, maybe the lack of lipsync and mostly dull voice acting were the only annoyances. Puzzles weren't too nasty since I ended consulting help only with one of them. The hotspot-spotting "sixth sense" ability mostly eliminates pixel hunting situations. The plot was more than just a whodunit and Holmes was suitably rude, it felt like it had taken influences from the BBC modern version.
Posted: August 22
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
I think the 73 Metascore this time is right, TToSH is a good adventure game but I don't think good enough to reach a full 8 mark. Why? Because opposed to nice graphics and well built environments, some interesting gameplay ideas, three different control interfaces and a lengthy story, the player has to deal with rather inexpressive characters, subpar voice acting and animations, some logical puzzles put there only to extend longevity, a pair of little nasty bugs and an unreal and intricate but never clear story that leaves you powerless and confused even when Sherlock expresses his ingeniuos deductions/intentions.

I always loved adventure games, The Case of the Serrated Scalpel from the Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes series back in 1992 is still one of my favorite exponents of the genre, and I think Frogwares are on the right track to build a worthy successor to that perfect mix of realism and atmosphere. Crimes and Punishments is out at the end of the month and I feel good vibrations about it!

Recommended to adventure and Sherlock fans, and maybe also to newcomers who would like a not too difficult game to begin their journey from the best game of this developer's prodution.
Posted: September 4
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
21.1 hrs on record
The best and most polished Sherlock game to date. Great voice acting, decently long, good difficulty balance, I'd recommend this game to any point & click and Sherlock fans.
Posted: June 28
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88 of 104 people (85%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Great adventure game! Maybe the best in the series. It has some minor flaws like no lip-sync,poor optimization in the sewers and awkard controls but the story, puzzles and overall gameplay compensate for them. I managed to finish it in 12 hours but with some help at the harder puzzles. It's a game that every adventure enthusiast should play.
Posted: November 10, 2013
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