Sherlock Holmes game not ‘elementary’

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First Posted: 10/28/2014

The story of “Sherlock Holmes” has been told in book form since 1887, now you can experience Sherlock’s tales like never before in a new video game called “Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments”. For the first time you aren’t just a spectator watching the exploits of the famous detective, thanks to interactive gameplay you now get to step into his gumshoes and figure out the crimes for yourself.

In “Crimes & Punishment” you assume the role of the man himself as you solve different investigations. Even though the stories are new these eight cases seem as if they where written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with all of the twists and turns one can expect in a Sherlock tale.

Graphics for “Crimes & Punishment” are detailed and really good. They are filled with dynamic lighting and shadows, making all of the clues and set pieces easy to see and intact with. Each of the cases offer the player a series of morality choices that will effect the outcome of the story, each decision you make will affect your reputation and change how the other characters will feel about you and their interactions will be different. Sometimes you don’t see the ramifications of your actions until much later in the story because plot twists and other scenes might be very different.

Sherlock Holmes has some incredible skills at his disposal, he is a master of disguise, a skilled scientist, an incredible thief, an excellent interrogator and most importantly he is able to use his detective skills to piece together all of the clues which lead to some incredible resolutions to each case. As Holmes you use all of these skills to locate the clues, interrogate all suspects, and figure out who is the culprit in your own way. The game doesn’t hold your hand and tell you what clues to look at, you have to find what you need and make the deductions yourself.

If you miss clues then you just don’t know that part of the plot, you will lose many options when trying to figure out what is truly going on. The game doesn’t tell you that you missed a clue, it just impacts the story. Which could be a real pain, I think it should tell you something because it can get frustrating if you think you found everything. If you aren’t diligent and you pick the incorrect person then you can actually put innocent people in jail or to execution and this will really impact your reputation and the story. In the books Sherlock is never wrong, but because the story is dictated by the player you can actually make bad choices which really change everything.

One of the interesting things about “Crimes & Punishments” is the way you actually deduce what is going on in the crime scenes. You actually have to delve into Sherlock’s brain and activate synapses which will show you each of his thoughts about each clue. Some of these thoughts have multiple beliefs and you much choose which you think is correct, and if you choose right it opens up new possible answers. If you get all of the thought paths to line up then you come up with the best possible solution to the case. Depending on your choices within a few seconds you can make Sherlock come up with all sorts of new suspects you might not have seen at the beginning. After each case you still have to make a moral choice because Sherlock is asked what the punishment should be so you can judge the severity of the crime. If you make the wrong choice you can go back and play a story and see how it will play out if you make different decisions adding the replay value of the game.

I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan so being able to play as him was a great selling point for me, and you can play in first person or third person to investigate for clues. I love how my actions change the story and I was truly sucked into each of the different stories. Overall I really liked this game, and I believe this is a must play for fans of the series. Even if you don’t care about Sherlock Holmes and you ever wanted to play a game where you are a detective and have to solve a murder mystery then you are really going to want to try this game.