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Best Sherlock Holmes adventure game?

Total Posts: 48

Joined 2014-05-28

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Hey guys,

Apologies if this has been discussed ad nauseum but I haven’t found much with a search and I’d appreciate any fresh input on the subject.

Looking for recommendations on which Sherlock Holmes game to try.  Ideally an adventure game, but not sure such a thing even exists these days?

The old EA titles “Serrated Scalpel” and “Rose Tattoo” were great, but what’s new? 

Since then it seems Sherlock has been relegated to either hidden object games, or the Frogwares 1st person POV action series.

Has anyone played any of the latter?  Some of them look cool but I’m just not a huge fan of shoot-em up style games, and also I fear these smack a bit too much of the Guy Ritchie treatment—aka let’s turn Sherlock into an unrefined blood-thirsty superhero type thing.

But do these games have puzzles and mysteries to solve, or is it just kicking cockney butt all the time?  Any good storytelling throughout?  If so I’d be up for trying one out if someone has a recommendation.

Thanks.

 

     
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The Frogwares games are actually pretty good, and they’re much more about investigation than action. (Apart from the latest one, they don’t really have action sequences.) Also, starting from The Awakened, all can be played in either first or third person, mostly without relying on the keyboard if you don’t want to. (Though I really prefer 1st person when looking for clues.)

In chronological order (generally, they keep improving):

1) Mystery of the Mummy is awful. Avoid at all costs.

2) Haven’t played Silver Earring yet. It’s said to be pretty good, except for a maze at some point.

3) The Awakened had its moments, but I generally didn’t care for it. I wrote far too many words about why at the time.

4) Sherlock vs Lupin (a.k.a. Nemesis) feels more like a treasure hunt (with riddles and stuff) than an investigation. Fun, hard, but not very Holmesian.

5) Jack the Ripper is good. Lots of investigating and a fun system for deductions. And pretty tasteful, despite the subject matter.

6) Testament is where it starts getting into Guy Ritchie territory, with the game trying to make you wonder if Holmes has gone bad. Still, good gameplay, with a mixture of investigation and standard adventure stuff (and a few too many standalone logic puzzles for my taste). And the story is actually not completely stupid. Pretty enjoyable.

7) Crimes and Punishments has 7 (?) standalone cases. Lots of investigation and deduction. I liked it a lot, despite a few cases being weaker.

Cool Haven’t played Devil’s Daughter yet. That’s the one that’s supposed to have more stealth and action.

     
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Is Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Serrated Scalpel elgible for pick?
If so, my fav Sherlock Holmes game so far.

Of the frogware games I played and finished:
-Case of the Silver Earring
-Awakened
-vs Arsene Lupin
-vs Jack the Ripper

Of those four I’d pick Jack the Ripper as my favourite because of its macabre nature, the depressing 19th century Victorian setting and the deduction game mechanic.

But for Sherlockian purists case of the silver earring is probably the one that feels the most as a story penned by sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

     
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Origami - 28 October 2016 03:15 PM

I’d pick Jack the Ripper as my favourite because of its macabre nature, the depressing 19th century Victorian setting and the deduction game mechanic.

     
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The Awakened is my most favorite

     

Don’t Hate Me Because I Am Beautiful…There Are Many Other Reasons

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I’ve played most Sherlock Holmes games released from 90 and onward except for Frogwares latest. Crimes and Punishments is easily the best one to date.

     

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GreyFuss - 28 October 2016 05:55 PM

The Awakened is my most favorite

Although all the Frogwares SH games are good, Awakened is my favorite. Didn’t play the last one and I think I never will because they say it has a lot of QTE, that I hate.

     
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I’ve played Devil’s Daughter, it’s not bad but I’m sure the other ones are better. It has some good crime investigation and solving but also the annoying stealth and QTE actions bits, nothing very hard and they are skippable.
It’s also the only one I played recently so I can’t really compare them.

     
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It is only with the most recent SH games that frogwares went astray, whereas their older games are not only true adventure games but also true to the Sherlock Holmes character as known from the books and inspired by the Jeremy Brett TV show .. and many of them are also quite good!

In order from best to worst, I would rank them as:

1: Sherlock Holmes vs Arsène Lupin (AKA Nemesis) (2007)

Generally regarded as the most difficult of the SH games, and was in fact originally criticized by many for being too difficult. However being difficult is also the very reason it is on top on my list, I mean if we don’t get to exercise our little grey cells, and hone our detective skills when playing the worlds greatest detective, when do we get that chance?

Yes, I know, the story is a bit silly, but so was many of the original SH stories, I mean just look at the Hound of Baskerville - Play it for the puzzles, the setting and the characters, and don’t think too much about the actual story Wink

2: Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened (2006)
(AKA Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu (Not Really, but it ought to have that tittle Wink))

An unusual SH story as it is really just as much a Lovecraft inspired horror story with severed limbs and monsters with tentacles and whatnot, as it is a SH story. It is also unusual in regards to being a globetrotting adventure where among other places get to visit New Orleans USA, and only the beginning takes place in England. This mixture however works and it has one of the most exciting stories of the Frogwares SH games, and even if it is not nearly as difficult or has as exiting puzzles as Arsène Lupin, then it is also well represented in the puzzle department.

3: The Testament of Sherlock Holmes (2012)

Arguably the best of the most recent SH games by Frogwares. After Jack the Ripper it felt like Frogwares was getting back on the track and it once again felt like a traditional adventure game with many of the same qualities as there earlier games. It is perhaps not the best story, and it is most definitely at the easier end of the scale, but overall I liked it.

4: Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring (2004)

This is a game I would really love to be able to love, but I can’t Frown
The problem is that it was also one of their first SH game, and they made a ton of beginners mistakes. They hadn’t yet invented their patented control scheme, where you can switch between 1st person, 3rd person and over the shoulder view, which meant that the navigation was absolutely horrible! At one point, the only way you can get from one end of a room to the other end, is by leaving the room through a door, take a small detour and enter the same room through a different door Confused
On top of that it also have a very clumsy stealth sequence, and an almost impossible timed sequence near the end

However if you can ignore or overcome all that, then it is an excellent game with many of the same qualities as Arsène Lupin and The Awakened.

5: Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper (2009)

This is imo where things started to go wrong for Frogwares. It is as such not a bad game, it has one of the better stories and iirc it is also their first game to use the deduction board. It however never really felt like a proper adventure game, but more like a casual game with HOGs and everything.
I must confess that I don’t really remember this game very well, and that probably sums it up nicely: Utterly Forgettable!

6: Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments (2014)

There is actually many things I like about this game, it has some excellent graphics great settings and at least some of the cases was absolutely brilliant storywise. They also had a lot of great ideas for this game, like the new and improved deduction board and the ability to fail individual cases, so what could possibly go wrong?!?
Well, pretty much everything! The simple truth is that they fumbled and dropped the ball on most of these ideas, and the game has an overall difficulty that is more befitting for a three year old toddler than the worlds greatest detective Tongue


As for The Devil’s Daughter and The Mystery of the Mummy then I haven’t played either and probably never will!

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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I thoroughly enjoyed 2015’s Dai Gyakuten Saiban, the spin-off Ace Attorney set in Victorian London. Yes, it does feature a very unorthodox depiction of Sherlock Holmes in the medium of games (not so for literary pastiches), but the game was obviously written by someone with a lot of knowledge of the canon, and also a lot of love for the character. The fact there’s no overseas release can be a bit troublesome though if you can’t read Japanese…

     

“Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God’s good earth” - Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God

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Tantei KID - 29 October 2016 10:07 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed 2015’s Dai Gyakuten Saiban, the spin-off Ace Attorney set in Victorian London. Yes, it does feature a very unorthodox depiction of Sherlock Holmes in the medium of games (not so for literary pastiches), but the game was obviously written by someone with a lot of knowledge of the canon, and also a lot of love for the character. The fact there’s no overseas release can be a bit troublesome though if you can’t read Japanese…

Stop rubbing it in!  Wink

     

NP: A Link Between Worlds, Beneath a Steel Sky and Vampyr

Total Posts: 48

Joined 2014-05-28

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Thanks all!  Amazing detailed responses, and very exciting to hear the passion for these games.  As I’m currently reading “Dust And Shadow,” a historical fiction Holmes/Ripper crossover, I think I’ll try out saucy jack on the video game side next.  That one sounds like a good bet.

mill - 29 October 2016 11:30 AM

Two of them are on sale right now:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/11190/
http://store.steampowered.com/app/11140/

Thanks.  Tbh I’ve never really understood steam.  I just want to buy a game and download it to my HD and play offline.  I know steam offers “offline mode” but you still have to play through the steam client, which to me seems superfluous and middleman-ish and weird. It’s more cumbersome and clumsy to load up the game, etc.  Since I have no interest in playing a game online, posting/sharing stats, social networking etc while I’m playing, is there just a way to dl and play offline without steam?  (I’m on mac OSX btw, so prob not?)

Cheers,
Rottingham

PS: Apologies for taking so long to say thanks for contributing to this thread.  Nothing worse than a dude who starts a thread and then bails.  I got caught up in a pretty nasty heroin bust that took me across the border for a few weeks.  Let me tell you something kids, laying low in Tijuana aint as fun as it sounds, especially when you’re camping out in the trunk of a ‘79 Continental with a family of mice eating through the upholstery.

     
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I wanted to write as essay on the topic, but then realized that Iznogood already did it for me. Thanks, I own you one, pal! Thumbs Up


Though, I would put Nemesis/Awakened/Silver Earring at the top 3, all 3 being of the similar quality, it’s just the question of what you want - Nemesis is, like Kurufinwe already mentioned, a “treasure hunt”, the most lighthearted of all, but also with the best puzzles especially if you’re into “out of the box” adventure problems. The Awakened is “Shadow of the Comet meets Sherlock”, but again, with some very clever puzzles and diametrically different locales throughout the game which is of a solid length. Silver Earring is the most classic and most “Holmesian”” out of all Frogwares games, the accent is on the story though it’s not without its share of puzzles.

Later games in the series, starting from Sherlock vs Jack the Ripper, changed the philosophy completely - every next installment would feature more advanced graphic engine, but it was with a less and less gameplay. It culminated with Crimes & Punishments, and because of the reason stated here, that’s where I dropped out of the series.


The second, much smaller problem (but noticeable to me, as I’m purist who already objected on Guy Ritchie’s iterations) is that majority of these games lack that something “extra” which would make them a familiar, and recognizable material compared to the books or, let’s say, TV show starring Jeremy Brett. Most of the time, the dialog/monologue is smart and detailed, but the gameplay lacks spirit of adventure, and going from location to location feels forced. Sense of pace is one of the biggest problems, and so recognizable return to Baker Street after a hard day’s work is without a charm you would expect.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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Total Posts: 401

Joined 2014-08-01

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The Ripper, Nemesis, Testament are pretty decent but my favorite is Silver Earring, I consider it the most complete and classic of all of them.

Iz talks about an almost impossible time sequence near the end and the truth I had to remember to what part of the game he was talking about because I didn’t remember any, I think now he refers to the sequence in the park?, If so, it does not seem to me at all something impossible to sort out, it is quite simple and besides it is just that small part. It is definitely not cause for any frustration.

Awakened I hated it, the first person perspective is something I can not stand (although I understand that there is also a version in 3rd person). About Crimes I have not played it yet but I have read many of the criticisms that have received more than anything to refer to the automatic that may prove to be in terms of exploration, which is a big point against.

     

” I remember. Somebody died. It was me.”
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I think that the Frogwares games are sorely lacking an identity, which is part of the reason they change the gameplay and visual style with each game. They desperately need to do something like Contradiction did, find a simple but genius gameplay mechanic which is the centrepiece of the game. The deduction mechanic was a start, but it needs to be harder and drive the whole investigation.

     

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