The Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson we've come to know and love are distinguished middle-aged gentlemen with years of experience under their belts. But how did such an impressive legacy begin? Next year we'll get a glimpse of part of that answer, as Frogwares today unveiled a prequel adventure in their long-running series, called Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One.
Players assume the role of a 21-year-old Sherlock Holmes, a "brilliant, but rebellious young man" yearning to make a name for himself. That ambition becomes personal when "an old wound compels you back to the Mediterranean shore where your mother died." Accompanied by your "mysterious friend and sounding board, Jon," you depart for the "exotic, dangerous island" where her death occurred. It's up to you to decide how to approach your open-world investigation, as "deception, violence, and deduction are just a few resources in your arsenal." Either way, you soon discover that "beneath the vibrant urban veneer of the island, the rhythm of the local life strikes a more ominous beat. Crime and corruption, a twisted sense of justice and morality... These are just a few stumbling-blocks in your quest for truth."
Don't be fooled by its title, as Chapter One promises to tell a complete standalone story set years before the pipe, deerstalker, and 221B Baker Street. Presented with the same stunning photorealistic art style as its predecessors, the new game of course sees players engage in typical detective work, but this time with more choice than ever at your disposal. Whether you "choose brute force to solve problems or stay one step ahead of your enemies by using your wits to spot vulnerabilities, you decide what each situation demands as you hone your investigative skills." Whatever your method, you must "explore and exploit the entire city in your pursuit of truth, using clues, rumors, disguises, labels, and pinned evidence to build a solid case within your mind palace." But even the answers you seek come with the weight of decision, as "there are two sides to every story, and the proud islanders have their own ideas about truth and justice. It’s up to you to decide whether uncovering the truth will do more harm than good. And how that will shape the man you’ll become."
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One still has a little growing to do, with its release currently targeted for sometime in 2021 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Steam, GOG and Epic Games Store.