WeView: Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments

It seems the fates have aligned as the community has selected a game from PlayStation Plus for this week’s WeView. Yes, if you’ve got a Plus account and you’re PS3 wasn’t cast aside like an expired pack of biscuits the minute you unboxed your new gen console then you can grab a copy of Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments from PSN right this very second, play it, and probably get back here in time to share your thoughts in the comments below. If you’d like to know a little more about the game before commiting valuable hard drive space to it then fear not, Dan’s review has got you covered.

The first thing Dan highlighted in said review was the quality of the game’s graphics. Although he did note that you should “expect screen tears here and there”, overall he was full of praise for how the game looks, calling it “deserving of its next-gen status” when he tested it on PlayStation 4. He also praised the high level of detail in the game world, as well as the quality of the facial expressions. This latter element is particularly important, as he points out that much like LA Noire “a hint in a facial expression can aid you during an investigation”.

These facial expressions come into play during the game’s interrogation scenes, an area Dan was also positive about. He seemed to really enjoy the way Holmes “picks up hints from the suspect’s clothing and general appearance” to give you new avenues of investigation, saying it “makes you feel even more like a sociological genius”.

He was also full of praise for the game’s deduction board, an element of the game that “allows you to link together important pieces of evidence and solve the case how you want to solve it”. I actually had a very quick play of the game at EGX last year, and this area of the game stood out for me as well. It’s a great way of summarising what you know and lets you really solve the case, rather than following along a single path laid out by the designer.

Dan was, however, less impressed by other elements of the game though, finding simple navigation of the world rather frustrating. He called it “clunky and slow”, and found that even when examining a room in first-person view “clue pop ups often require two or three clicks of a button before anything registers.”

The mini-games that form some parts of the investigative process also frustrated him, as they feature “no indication of what you need to do for these activities”. Bizarrely it seems that you can even skip them if you want, making them seem not only poorly thought out, but also redundant.

Weighing up the game, Dan felt it was worthy of a 7/10, with the game’s inconsistent voice performances also dragging it down somewhat, although he did praise Holmes himself. Here’s what he had to say in conclusion:

It’s difficult to find a detective game where you can actually solve a mystery how you want to. In Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments the deduction board gives you this ability, which ultimately leads to a number of different conclusions to each case. You can also enjoy a great sense of satisfaction as you make a plot revelation. Visually, Sherlock Holmes is brilliant, from the detailed crime scenes to the realistic facial animations. The clunky gameplay, frustrating mini-games and inconsistent voice performances do detract from the overall experience though.

It’s now time to throw it over to you. What did you think of Crimes and Punishments? Did you feel it was a great adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s source material, or did it not live up to the potential? Did you find the mini-games as confusing as Dan, or did you enjoy the game from start to end?

However you feel about the game, you can share your views by dropping them below. Remember to include a rating on the Buy It, Sale It, Plus It, Avoid It scale so we can sum up the community’s view in Monday’s WeView Verdict article.

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7 Comments

  1. This was a great game and after my huge pack of PS4 games i got this Xmas including Assassins Creed Unity, The Crew, WWE 2K15, Sleeping Dogs, LittleBigPlanet this is the only game i thought i would give it a try and couldn’t put it down. Its one that really tests you whether you have the right criminal or not. Definitely Buy It would be my opinion and even better now you can pick it up quite cheap in most places.

  2. It’s free xD cannot wait to play it but goddamn too many games and Thief is in my plus backlog. Hitman took a lot longer than I thought. At least I have this month and April since I already completed/Platinum Dishonored :)

  3. I managed to find time to do the first case. It was quite enjoyable. A quite well thought out crime to investigate with various things leading you in the wrong direction before you work it all out.

    I don’t agree with the criticism of the mini-games though. I quite like being given something with no instructions and have to figure it out myself. And yes, you can skip them, but that wouldn’t be any fun. There’s also a trophy (or several) tied to completing the mini-games, so you’d miss out on those too.

    The only problem I have is that the frame rate seems a bit low. And by “a bit low” I mean “it’s all over the place, making it a horrible experience at times”. If I’d tried to solve more than 1 case, I’d have probably been violently sick.

    Maybe the PS4 version can manage to avoid those problems. But for the PS3, my vote is “Plus it, since it’s there this month anyway, otherwise avoid it”. If the framerate on the PS4 version is acceptable, it might get a “sale it”. There’s a good game in there, but also horribly broken.

  4. Who throws away biscuits, expired or not?? What is wrong with you??!??!

    • Biscuits don’t expire, do they? They might have a date on them, but it’s so far in the future they’ll be gone long before then.

  5. Not a bad looking game on PS3 but felt like playing an older PS2 game. I was looking forward to it when it popped up on the IGC but in the end it was a lemon entry. Plus it.

  6. I’m hoping this one is as good as the first one as it was a really good game right up until where I had to crack the safe.As i’m colour blind and got stuck on the ball tumbler different colours and never got to finish it.Still it was brilliant right up until then.I look forward to starting the new one out.

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