Using metaphors the Sherlock Holmes games used to be a rickety old cart made with weak unwanted wood, being dragged aimlessly down dimly lit, dirty, smokey streets in London. But if you looked closer, deep down the actual storyline, crimes/cases and puzzles are what made these games and what kept it moving forward. With each incarnation the gameplay and graphics have improved but the main thing is those puzzles and crimes to solve have remained the strong beating heart that immerses you and the reason to continue to play these games.
The graphics in The Devil’s Daughter are by far the best in a Sherlock Holmes game, 221B Baker Street looks fantastic and you can even walk out onto the balcony to watch the bustling life of London walk past. The fire crackles in the background as you change Holmes’s outfits, hats, hair styles and facial hair for fun and sometimes specifically for cases. Sadly however idyllic that sounds, it does come with a handful of other issues that really let the game down, the back drops flicker and stutter, the gameplay feels clunky and this sadly make you feel very disconnected from the game. You don’t have any feelings or emotional investment for Sherlock, your just going through the motions. When you compare that with characters from games such as Life is Strange or Heavy Rain, you honestly had deep connections to how their electronic lives turned out and felt every decision keenly as you watched the fallout from them.
The first thing that really let the game down particularly in the early few cases was the large amount of crashes meaning I had to restart the console completely, I persisted and tried to do things in a different order and luckily it seemed to stop but if anyone experiences those issues early on it will definitely annoy and hinder your progression in the game. If you can put this aside and the clunky gameplay, the cool puzzle and solving the well written crimes is the best part of this game and franchise. Me and my girlfriend love these games, we have played them all as well as Agatha Christie’s ABC Murder, Heavy Rain, Murder Soul Suspect and Life is Strange as we really enjoy these intricate puzzles and working together, making decisions that went on well into the night (much tea was drunk).
We actively set aside time to play, talked about it when we weren’t playing and as a whole after we completed the game (and managed to get the platinum trophy for earning all other trophy so within the game) we actually really enjoyed the experience. My girlfriend particularly liked the ‘in sherlocks mind’ parts which were cool. You could mull over clues, conversations and make judgements and watch your conclusions literally form in front of you. That with your trusty case book where you can sift through all your notes, finds, tasks and dialogues means you really feel like you are solving the crime.
Although the game’s engine could be tweaked to run smoother and maybe it will in the future, a lot of the time the graphics aren’t what make a game. It’s the storyline and how much you are enjoying the experience are the real reason this game will score higher for me.
We enjoyed Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter even though some of the puzzles are frustrating at times, the graphics however beautiful let it down by its choppy engine so for this reasons this game scores 7/10. I would definitely buy the game but that’s for my own enjoyment of games in this genre, some people wouldn’t enjoy the experience sadly.
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