Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments
Summary: Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments has critics suggesting that it recreates the titular's mysteries faithfully, but still challenges the player's critical thinking skills which would make the great detective proud
Top Critic Average
Evidently, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments isn't about rights and wrongs so much as it is about interpretation and judgement. Being right all the time is a fitting tribute to Homes' monstrous ego, and it's also an interesting premise for a detective game - a more effective one than it might initially seem. However, the lack of character development and some lacklustre supporting players result in a feeling of detachment from a game that only excels if you are invested in it. That's a shame, because there was potential for Crimes and Punishments to be a truly great detective game, instead of just a mechanically sound one.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments dazzles visually, but disappoints with murky conclusions to its cases.
Rough around the edges, and some bad puzzles, but this is an atmospheric detective adventure that actually lets you do some detecting.
In terms of pure gameplay this is perhaps the best serious detective game so far, but the issues with the script and characters remain more than a one pipe problem.
A great example of how player choice can shape a gameplay experience. Most cases offer a variety of conclusions
Crimes and Punishments is the best Sherlock has been, but it's just short of great
All-new game mechanics, first-rate graphics, and involved sleuthing make Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments a great adventure game.
At the end of a case, the player is given a rating, either highlighting their compassion or their steely sense of justice. They're also given a breakdown as to how other players resolved the case and the option to find out if they identified the right suspect. Your enjoyment of Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments will depend on whether you want to be guided on a series of baffling murders or have the great detective be fallible.
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.
Each of the cases offers a unique and interesting story, and discovering what happened at each location is fascinating. While constantly pressing X to examine what seems like every object in a room becomes tedious it is easily offset by eureka moments that pop up every so often. The environments you explore are great but are unfortunately not helped by ropey visuals and a slew of technical issues. Perhaps Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments' greatest achievement is how guilty you feel when you punish an innocent person – even just being able to get it wrong is a superb idea.