Sherlock Holmes is Back on the Case in Crimes & Punishments

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After successfully completing its first console-focused Sherlock Holmes game, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, which we reviewed as “a wonderful adventure game” last fall, Frogwares continues its push to evolve the world’s most famous fictional detective within the video game space.

This week, Frogwares and publisher Focus Home unveiled their next Sherlock Holmes game, Crimes & Punishments. Crimes & Punishments will build upon the true third-person design of The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and, strangely, will also ditch Frogwares’ homemade graphics engine for the first time in favor of Unreal Engine 3 technology as the studio veers away from the vintage 60s character design to create a modernized Sherlock Holmes. This will supposedly allow for vast improvements in graphical quality:

Environments will be more realistic and finely detailed with dynamic lighting and shadows. Choosing this engine also lets the game benefit from many technologies like a powerful animation engine for smooth movement and animation transitions, real-time shaders and a particle system, and advanced post-processing effects.

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I don’t know how I feel about this to be honest, especially since The Testament of Sherlock Holmes already has richly detailed graphics and a distinct visual identity. Too many games that jump on the UE3 ship end up with buggy texture glitches and a general lack of artistic soul that proprietary engines always seem to have. I kind of get that impression from the early screenshots too. Some of the scenes almost look more like Alan Wake than anything else.

As for the game itself, Crimes & Punishments will consist of eight different cases of murder, missing persons, and theft to investigate and solve. Solving cases will give players freedom to make deep moral choices that will directly impact Holmes’ reputation. Making decisions and living with the consequences, good or bad, will be a driving force behind the game’s storyline. I like the sound of that.

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A time frame for release has not yet been confirmed, but Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is currently in development for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Maybe we’ll get the opportunity to interview Frogwares again and learn more about some of the changes being made. Regardless, we’ll keep you up to date as new details are announced. Stay tuned, mystery adventure fans!

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About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!