Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment is only a month away from its September 2 release date, and to build anticipation and interest, publisher Focus Home Interactive have put out a lengthy gameplay trailer that showcases all facets of this latest entry to the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
The 23 minute trailer skims over one of the game’s six cases, which involves the murder of a sailor. In a humorous twist, the level begins with the player in control of Watson, made infamous in Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis with his ability to teleport in disturbing ways. Watson arrives at Holmes’s office, only to find the detective doing target practice with his pistol whilst blindfolded. This serves as an impromptu tutorial on the game’s cover mechanics, in which Watson has to maneuver his way around the office without getting shot.
At any rate, players take the role of Holmes once the investigation actually begins, which the trailer goes over in comprehensive detail. From the outset, the game looks stunning; developer Frogwares have adopted the Unreal 3 Engine instead of their own in-house engine. Of particular note are the realistic facial models of the character, which factors into gameplay. Like Rockstar’s L.A. Noire, players must carefully scrutinize the facial expressions of people they question to pick up on subtle clues. Other factors such as clothing, accessories and such are also crucial; in the demo, Holmes tells a suspect that his ill-fitting and expensive jacket do not belong on a boy of his stature and financial standing.
Sherlock Holmes, of course, is an analytical genius, and will often voice observations on clues the player finds and scrutinizes in an attempt to help piece things together. Of course, with investigation being Crimes & Punishments‘ central gameplay mechanic, players have access to a variety of tools and skills to solve cases. One such ability is Holmes‘s ability to piece together what happened at a crime scene and have it replay with various plausible outcomes, similar to Batman Arkham Origins.
The demo makes it clear that it is possible to solve a case wrongly by accusing the wrong person, and regardless of who is accused, players have a choice of either condemning the suspect for a harsh sentence, or, if it is felt that their crime had understandable reasons, absolve them for a more lenient sentence.
Crimes & Punishments has been touted as the most complex and sophisticated game in the series by Frogwares. Each case is said to have three to five different solutions and six to ten different endings, allowing for a great deal of replayability.
As mentioned earlier, the game will be out on September 2 and will be available on the PC, PlayStation 3 and 4 and Xbox 360 and One.