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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

is an upcoming investigation game in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series developed by Frogwares and published by Focus Home Interactive for Microsoft Windows,... read more

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Genres Adventure
Themes Crime
Engines
Status: Released
Release: 30-Sep-2014

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is an upcoming investigation game in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series developed by Frogwares and published by Focus Home Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

The game takes place in London and its suburbs in the 19th century; it resonates with the Russian novel Crime and Punishment by author Fyodor Dostoyevsky focusing onto finding the right culprit and making the moral choice of absolving or condemning him. The game is the first in the series to use the Unreal Engine 3, and was inspired by both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories and the BBC's Sherlock television series.

The game is split into seven cases such as murders, disappearances, thefts, etc. written in the tradition of Arthur Conan Doyle’snovels.

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Gameplay

The majority of the game involves exploring crime scenes and examining clues. Once discovered, clues are added to a "deduction board", a gameplay mechanic which involves linking pieces of information together. It will lead to possible different deductions. Once deductions are connected together, player will have a full tree of deduction. Depending on how player interprets the clues, they will have different conclusions. Therefore player can fail in the game, or succeed into finding the right criminal. He should also decide whether he wants to absolve or to conduct the criminal. The moral choice player makes will influence the further gameplay. Each case will have 3-5 possible solutions; in total there will be 6-10 different endings for each case. In total, the game offers 14 investigation mechanics, including Sherlock Holmes' skill to guess many details about someone's life simply by glancing at them or to imagine and reconstruct the course of event by carefully observing all the key details of a crime scene.

There are two camera views to be available – a first person point of view and a static third person camera. The player is able to change between them at any time. Sherlock can also draw evidence from autopsies and scanning the people he meets. For the latter, players will enter a first-person view for an up-close inspection of a character's face and emotions, clothing and belongings, where he'll find everything from scars and bruises to the quality of an outfit. Frogwares have fully detailed Victorian-era London using the new engine and it can also be explored.

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Frogwares is tweaking its Sherlock Holmes series to be more modern with the introduction of "Sherlock Vision," a mechanic that will help in highlighting evidence that would otherwise be missed. For example, through Sherlock Vision players can look at a dusty bookcase shelves and notice that a chest has been taken from the shelf, or that an item may have a hidden inscription on it, and was also inspired by the BBC's Sherlock series that allows player to see through the detective's eyes. According to Frogwares' business developer Olga Ryzhko, Sherlock Vision will help take the series to the "next level". Ryzhko calls the game the "most challenging, most sophisticated" Sherlock game yet, and said the development team has built on previous games' mechanics while tweaking them slightly for a more modern feel. In the television show, text appears on screen listing what Sherlock is thinking — what he notices on other people, what he's thinking of and even what he's searching for on his smartphone. InCrimes and Punishments, the same happens with this Sherlock; text will appear detailing what he is thinking, such as how approaching footsteps sound and who might be at the door.

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Development

Crimes and Punishments is developed on Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, allowing the series to jump far ahead of previous installments in graphical quality. Environments will be more realistic and finely detailed with dynamic lighting and shadows. Choosing this engine also lets the game benefit from many technologies like a powerful animation engine for smooth movement and animation transitions, real-time shaders and a particle system, and advanced post-processing effects. Frogwares have scrapped its old method (employing one huge texture) instead opting to use Tiled Textures.

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Reception

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments has been previewed by several major gaming news sources. Jessica Conditt of Joystiq points to the setting, tone, mechanics and graphics in Crimes and Punishments each appear to be updated vastly and in a wonderfully gritty direction compared with previous Sherlock games." VentureBeat's Jasmine Maleficent Rea says The once gentlemanly adventure-game star is now a deceitful amalgam of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original character and the 21st-century interpretation we find on television and in movies. [...]Crimes & Punishments shows us the very manipulative side of Sherlock that modern audiences expect. He remains an amoral character in a world desperately trying to reclaim its morality, and he seems to revel in it." Michael Cromwell of PCGMedia says that the game is "a self confessed departure from the prosaic and amoral, with Frogwares pushing for a more hands-on, ethically involved experience – putting you, the player, in the mind of Sherlock Holmes."

Gamercast awarded the game Best Adventure Game at E3 2013. 

Jeuxvideo.com granted the game Best Adventure Game at E3 2014.





This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, which isreleased under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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