It seems crazy that there aren't more detective and investigation-based games. Sure, plenty of games feature mysteries and puzzles and riddles to solve, but as far as truly detective in nature, it's not a massive field (excluding post-and-click adventure games). Which is one reason why Frogwares
' Sherlock Holmes Chapter One
really manages to stand out. Well, that and its stellar story.
It's just a shame that with that, it's not quite as good as it deserves to be, which can really be brought down to the tech driving the game, and maybe Frogwares just being that bit too ambitious with what it wants to serve up in the genre.
Here's a clue from our in-depth review:
What’s immediately great, and jarring, all at once is Frogwares wastes no time throwing you into the thick of things. The pressure to perform a decent job of investigating is that Holmes is written as a narcissistic know-it-all who has little-to-no humanity when it comes to the cold, hard truth of things. Logic is his friend and he’d have made an excellent Vulcan.
Click here for our full Sherlock Holmes Chapter One review
The game itself plays like this: clues and deductions and the game’s overall story -- main and otherwise -- are all intimately linked. There’s a coherent journey that never feels disjointed in how it’s narratively presented. This is at minor odds, however, with use of its investigative systems; Mind Palace, Case Book, the world map and Sherlock’s Wardrobe (you play dress-ups, a lot). Jon, Sherlock’s imaginary childhood friend, a kind of ye olde timey lad who affectionately calls Sherlock “Sherry”, also helps keep you up to date with a sort of simplified delivery of all that has transpired at any given point. But those systems mentioned above, they’re clunky and difficult at times to discern one moment to the next, and take some time to work through from a functioning and confident level.