I like Detective/Murder/Mystery type games and am quite a fan of Sherlock Holmes in general, so it was no surprise that I enjoyed my time playing through this game. After having played through most of the Sherlock Holmes games I also like the direction the developers seem to be taking this series. This last installment is certainly my favorite of all I've played so far, but it is of course not without its issues.
First, I want to mention that the graphics are quite gorgeous in this game, and in several instances I found myself just gazing on the terrifically detailed and beautiful locales. Also the characters themselves are highly detailed and I sit left quite impressed. I did however find most areas a bit "foggy" and also animations not equally impressive. Close up of faces looks stunning, but feel stiff and lifeless.
As with the previous game, the voice acting is top notch and every character you play and meet are believable. I had a bit of trouble hearing the voices of our Baker Street duo in the beginning as voices seemed to be set quite low, but it was easily adjusted through the options screen. Music and sound effects throughout the game seemed very good.
All those things are good to have and helps the immersion and the general enjoyment of the game, but it all comes down to how the game plays. I know that this won't be a game for everyone. It is slow paced, dialog heavy and a lot of traveling back and forth, and for people who like their action a bit revved up this game will have a hard time to convince that it is worth their time. However, if you are into good story telling, enjoy having to think a little and don't mind lots of dialog then this right here is quite a gem. It will of course help if you share my interest in Detective/Murder/Mystery previously mentioned.
The game is seperated into six seperate cases of a little varied lengths and difficulty. They are all interesting mysteries with added twists and appear in well varied and interesting locales. They are truly seperate cases and are not smaller parts of a bigger scheme. I like that setup. It feels like they were going for an episode based game but you get all of it in one dash. Felt good to end one case one day, and then start a fresh new one the next. Kept it constantly interesting.
It is not a particularly difficult or challenging game. It felt more like a guided experience where you in the end decide who the culprit is and his or her fate. You do this through a deduction minigame that you constantly add to as you uncover clues and statements. In the end you can be totally wrong and have an innocent person thrown in jail. So you need to pay attention.
The game has a few various puzzle mini games and quick time events that give good variation to the gameplay even though the QTE's feel a bit out of place. You also have some "super" abilities that you need to use certain places. But don't worry you will not miss anything as you will always be notified when you need to use them.
I like that they put in some references to previous games in the series and also a nod to other things. The Calvin & Hobbes reference was particularly enjoyable :o)
Because the game is split up the way it is it seemed like a lengthy game for an adventure type game and I spent about 18 hrs to play through it. Even though it felt too easy and too guided I feel like I really got my money's worth in entertainment from this game.
The biggest complaint I have is that they have reduced Dr. Watson to a walking, talking obstacle that just seems to be in the way, and contributes nothing. Surely there would be ways to include him in various ways for a fuller experience?
In the end I have to say that I would easily recommend this game to all Sherlock fans, adventure game fans, murder/mystery fans and similar gamers.
I give this game a 8/10