Platform(s): [Reviewed: XBOX 360] , PlayStation 3, PC
Release date: September 25 2012
Genre(s): Open world, Adventure
I’ve had the misfortune, or fortune depending on what you’re into, of reviewing many point and click games in my day. None of the games so far, however, have engrossed me as throughly as The Testament of Sherlock Holmes by Focus Home Interactive. With the same mystery and danger surrounding the famous stories of Sherlock Holmes, the game brings twists and turns that leave you wondering what the hell is going on just around every corner.
The year is 1898 and our “Dark Knight, “one Sir Sherlock Holmes, has just solved another successful case involving a priceless pearl necklace. Unfortunately, the owner of said necklace reveals the necklace that was returned to him is a cheap knockoff and not the real necklace and all fingers of deception begin to point towards Sherlock Holmes.
No sweat off his shoulder, though, as Holmes rushes out to the quarters of a bishop that has been tied, burned and mutilated, after a call from his nervous assistant reaches him. What happens next is what some are calling a “descent into hell” as the Holmes finds himself caught up in a storyline that has all of London, and even Watson, doubting him. The game does an excellent job or making you wonder if the detective has lost his edge or, even worst, succumbed to corruption.
What Frogware says is “an exploration into the character of Sherlock Holmes”, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is as rich in story as it is in graphics, audio and game execution.
For a point and click game, there isn’t much to be said on mechanics other than the fact that gameplay can get a bit confusing. Puzzles get harder and more complex right out the gate.You are able to switch between first person and third person and Holmes it outfitted with a “sixth sense” that allows him to locate clues should you have a problem finding out where to go, or if you want to make sure you haven’t missed anything. You are even able to switch to playing Watson at certain times, giving a fresh look at the story through his eyes.
The graphics in this game are up to par with any other game this year and definitely more so than regular point-and-click games where a more cartoony approach is taken. The lighting and mood in this game is dark and realistic and frogware certainly throws no punches when it comes to getting gory and bloody.
The downside is that the speaking animations aren’t as well synced as other games, and definitely nowhere near L.A. Noire‘s realistic speech animations. It can throw you off a bit if you focus on it, so don’t do that.
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is a very story driven game. One that is both complex as it is engrossing, much like every book, comic and movie created about the legendary detective. If you enjoy point and click adventures and have fond memories of playing Clue as a child, then The Testamant of Sherlock Holmes is the perfect game for you. Unlike other point and click’s, this is a game I would recommend to anyone who doesn’t enjoy those type of games in general as it is very easy to get past that mechanic and jump into the storyline. The price is a bit much for this type of game, personally, but it’s still very engaging.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5