One of the most popular and enduring fictional characters of all time will make his way to the PC and consoles in September when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famed detective stars in The Testament of Sherlock Holmes. I’ve had my eye on the title for some time, but with very little in the way of news leaking out, I haven’t had the chance to bring it to your attention. The team at Frogwares has been working on the title for three years, with it being the sixth entry in their The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series. It is the first to be developed specifically for the consoles and, as such, much work has gone into creating a new engine and gameplay mechanics to take advantage of them.

The game will feature a story quite as dark as any seen in Doyle’s original series as Holmes finds himself incriminated in a number of crimes, unable to prove his innocence. Scotland Yard, London and even the estimable Doctor Watson are losing their faith in the detective as he descends to ever more confusing behaviour, as he seeks to clear his name. The plot promises to explore Holmes as a character and his relationships with those that surround him. It sounds very interesting, if not in keeping with the original stories, but that much can be forgiven if it is well-written enough.

It will feature an open-world, where players can decide what leads to follow and ignore as they seek to solve the crimes. In many ways, it seems to be reminiscent of last year’s L.A. Noire, as you will be solving puzzles, interrogating witnesses and engaging in hand-to-hand combat throughout. Later in the game, you will even have the chance to play as Watson and determine whether the ever more brutal methods being attributed to him are indeed the work of Holmes.

The graphics and voice work may not be exceedingly impressive, but something tells me that this is a game well worth keeping an eye on.  Again, it will be available for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in September, with a more concrete date yet to be nailed down.

Damien Lawardorn
Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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2 Comments

  1. I always have mixed feelings about Sherlock Holmes games. I absolutely love the character and all the original canon. So in my mind, there is no other person quite as unique and sharp as Holmes. Even Sir Doyle wrote the stories from Watson's perspective, never Holmes'. And there is a very specific reason for that.

    So when a game gives me control of the legendary Sherlock Holmes, it feels like I'm doing the character a disservice if I don't solve crimes fast enough or loose in hand to hand combat. I hope the game is from the perspective of the other characters in the story. There can be more than one, like Heavy Rain. I feel that would make it MUCH more interesting . If done well, we'll be guessing what exactly is going on in Holmes' head the whole time, which is exactly how the original stories read.

    1. In a way, I do agree with what you're saying. The character of Holmes is amazing in his eccentricity, but you must remember that we was never infallible. Look only to the affair with Irene Adler, or 'Norbury' to see examples of his failings. His successes though, are documented time and time again and the sheer number of them and the way in which they play out often left me scratching my head just trying to follow Holmes' reasoning. To step into those shoes in, indeed daunting. 

      Nevertheless, most of the game is from the perspective of Sherlock, with Watson also being playable at points, which I think will certainly add to the experience. I'd love to see others like Lestrade or Hopkins (?) or even one of the clients, but none of them would create quite the same gameplay experience, IMO. 

      Also, two of the stories were written from Holmes' perspective.

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