Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (series)

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Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series
Holmesserieslogo.jpg
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series logo used since mid-2007
Genres Adventure
Developers Frogwares
Publishers
Platforms
First release Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy
29 December 2002
Latest release Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter
10 June 2016

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a series of award-winning adventure games developed by Frogwares. The game is based on Arthur Conan Doyle's famous work The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, featuring the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. John H. Watson. While the franchise is based on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, each game has an original plot and storyline.[1]

Overview[edit]

Each game in the series lets the player control Holmes or Dr. Watson in either first-person or third-person perspective. This adventure game series mainly consists of puzzles to solve during the course of the game, both by the use of Holmes' abductive reasoning and Watson's assistance. It also requires gamers to find clues and evidence hidden in the environment. Holmes must take this information back to his labs, both in his flat at 221 B Baker St. and elsewhere. Clues are examined under a microscope or combined with solvents to separate pertinent elements.

The chief objective of the games is to solve the main mystery in the story, but the games also involve side investigations not central to the plot. The series takes Holmes all over the world, including to New Orleans, Switzerland, and Scotland.

Series[edit]

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter Sherlock Holmes: Crimes %26 Punishments The Testament of Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper Sherlock Holmes Versus Arsène Lupin Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy

The Mystery of the Mummy[edit]

Originally developed for Microsoft Windows, the series first began in September 2002 with Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy. The debut is in the first-person perspective and follows Sherlock Holmes' investigation of a British archaeologist's mansion. The game was resurrected and expanded for the Nintendo DS[2] allowing puzzles to be solved with the stylus and touchscreen.

The Case of the Silver Earring[edit]

The second game in the series, Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring, followed in October 2004, and introduced the third-person perspective. In it, Holmes and Watson investigate the murder of a construction tycoon, Sir Melvyn Bromsby; with his daughter, Lavinia, among the suspects.

The Awakened[edit]

The third game in the series, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, was released on 24 November 2006. It is the first game to feature first-person perspective in real-time 3D. The game follows an original plotline as Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate a series of strange disappearances related to the Cthulhu Mythos. Among the more positive reviews for the game, GameSpot gave it a rating of 8.3 out of 10, praising the storyline and stating that it was told "brilliantly", calling it a "Cthulhu-infused Victoriana".[3] A remastered version was released in 2008 offering a third-person perspective in addition to the first-person perspective. This game won GameSpot's Best Use of a License Award.

Sherlock Holmes Versus Arsène Lupin[edit]

The fourth game in the series, Sherlock Holmes Versus Arsène Lupin (also known as Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis), was released in the third quarter of 2007. The game's antagonist is Arsène Lupin, a fictional gentleman thief created by French writer Maurice Leblanc. It begins at Holmes' residence at 221B Baker Street in London, where Holmes and Dr. Watson find a letter from Lupin. The thief states in the letter he will steal five items of great value to England.

Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper[edit]

In late 2008, a fifth installment was announced; Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper was released in March 2009 and had Sherlock Holmes against the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper. This is the first game in the series to be released on console, specifically Xbox 360. The game consists of poems, puzzles and tasks that take Holmes from one clue to the next.

The Mystery of the Persian Carpet[edit]

The sixth game in the series, Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Persian Carpet, was released in mid 2008. Unlike the preceding games, The Mystery of the Persian Carpet is primarily an object hunt game. The game was rated poorly and was generally considered a disappointing follow-up to Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper. GameSpot's review of the game found it "not all that appropriate as a sequel to the other adventures that Sherlock and Watson have been starring in during the past few years." [4]

The Mystery of Osborne House[edit]

The game is the first in the series to be made and published for the Nintendo DS. In this game, Holmes investigates a robbery and a deep conspiracy in Buckingham Palace.

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes[edit]

In September 2009, there were rumors of the release of the sixth installment, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes. The game was explicitly for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but later was released for the PC.[5] After being delayed from an original 2010 release,[6] the game was released in Europe on 20 September 2012 and in North America on 25 September 2012.[7]

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is set in the London of 1898, with Holmes presented as the main suspect in a case in which he is unable to prove his innocence. It was developed primarily for consoles, and features a new graphic engine and gameplay mechanics.[8]

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Frozen City[edit]

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Frozen City was released on 25 October 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS.[9] According to review aggregrator Metacritic, the game received mixed to negative reviews.[10]

Crimes & Punishments[edit]

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is the seventh game in the series.[11] The game was released on 30 September 2014 for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.[12]

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter[edit]

On 8 May 2015, an eighth installment in the series was announced. It was scheduled to be released on 27 May 2016.[13] However it will the be first game since 2007 not to be published by Focus Home Interactive; instead it will be published by Bigben Interactive. No reasons were given for the change of publisher.[14] It will be released on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.[15]

Kerry Shale was originally expected to reprise his role as Sherlock.[16] However, it was later confirmed by Frogwares, that the game will focus on a different incarnation of Sherlock Holmes and will feature a new actor in the role.

Frogwares has decided that its latest release in the long running Sherlock Holmes investigation adventure series, The Devil's Daughter, will be delayed until 10 June 2016 across all platforms.[17]

Title Year Chronology Platform Gameplay style
PC XB360 XBOne PS3 PS4 Wii 3DS DS
The Mystery of the Mummy 2002 1st Adventure, First-person
The Case of the Silver Earring 2004 2nd Adventure Third-person
The Awakened 2007 3rd Adventure First-person in real-time 3D, Third-person and first-person for remastered version
Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin 2007 4th Adventure
The Mystery of the Persian Carpet 2008 Primarily an object hunt game
Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper 2009 5th Adventure
The Mystery of Osborne House 2010
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes 2012 6th Adventure
The Mystery of the Frozen City 2012
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments 2014 7th Adventure
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter 2016 8th Adventure

Common elements[edit]

Items and tools[edit]

Throughout several games, Holmes uses his magnifying glass when he inspects things such as crime scenes, mutilated bodies, fingerprints, gashes and scratches—and uses it mostly for finding evidence. It is the only item to appear in most of the series.[citation needed]

He also uses his microscope in checking clues unseen by the naked eye. He has a chemistry set in his flat which he uses to dissolve solute, dissect clues, and find evidence. Each game also provides exploration to find items that Holmes can use later in the game to help solve the case.

Gameplay[edit]

Much of the game[which?] consists of themes and gameplay found in a classic adventure game. Players are encouraged to explore the games' sandbox landscapes, where clues are hidden in them. Point-and-click game-play is also prevalent. The game[which?] also lets the players interrogate certain people to gather evidence for the investigation. There are also instances where Holmes disguises himself in order to infiltrate a hostile location to get more evidence. The series lets the player play both Holmes and Watson in either first-person or third-person perspective. Holmes' game-play mostly consists of investigations and finding evidence to come to a conclusion. Watson's game-play mostly consists of him running errands for Holmes and assisting in the investigation. But there are sometimes instances where he takes control of the investigation.

Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy was the first to use the first-person perspective in the series. Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring is a point-and-click (mouse-controlled) third-person adventure, and the first one to use this perspective in the series. Clicking in the general direction you wish to go will usually cause your character to move in that direction. As Holmes, you spend time searching for important clues, most of which the bumbling police force have missed. Items are at least partly visible, though some are not interactive until an action in the game triggers them. You also analyze various clues using Holmes’ desktop laboratory.

The Awakened was the first Frogwares title to allow gameplay to take place in an entirely real-time 3D landscape and from a first-person perspective, losing the pre-rendered backgrounds of its predecessors. Like other Sherlock Holmes games by Frogwares it has an open world environment in every location that can have hidden clues and interactions with NPCs. The inventory system saves all objects, documents, and map locations for later use and can also be used to combine objects. The game can be viewed from a first or third person perspective. It provides you with icons to indicate what actions Holmes can take within his world, like pick up something or talk to someone.

Development and inspiration[edit]

Origin[edit]

The characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the game series are modeled using the characters from the ITV series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the portrayals by Jeremy Brett and David Burke, respectively.[18]

Graphics and technology[edit]

The Awakened uses fully rendered graphics

Early games in the series use pre-rendered backgrounds, using them to hide clues in the scene and provide accessible open world landscapes. It features a combination of 2D and 3D styles of view in the background.[19]

The Awakened was the first Frogwares title to allow gameplay to take place in an entirely real-time 3D landscape and from a first-person perspective. Frogwares made a well rendered 3D environment without the normal excessive pixilation that haunted many adventure games.[20] It is also the first game to feature gory murder scenes. For that, it was rated M for mature.[citation needed][by whom?]

All this is mixed with a lush presentation of 19th century London, depicting its characteristic dimly-lit lonely alleyways. The graphics quality was an improvement from all the previous games in the series. Animation in particular became more smoother and much more natural-looking. The third-person camera can also be moved around the character independently, which helps both to find an angle you're comfortable with and to take in your surroundings while standing still.[21]

Holmes' face showing a leap in the series' graphics and the use of motion capture

These upgrades are part of a broader move to attract more console players. After the last game, Frogwares got feedback, from Xbox players in particular, that they wanted more adventure games with 3D graphics and also production values to match what other genres are offering. And Frogwares was eager to deliver, though the developer still insists this does not mean forgetting about PC players, as some speculate.[22]

Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper used drawings to depict its murder victims, hiding the full horror of the scenes out of respect for the real historical victims. The new games in the series differ from this (especially The Testament of Sherlock Holmes); holding no restraint in displaying the grisly murders, as the characters depicted are purely fictional.[21]

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is the first in the series to have a great leap in graphics. Designers used motion capture to get realism in characterization. The game also benefits from a new light and shadow system, various post-treatment image effects, and high quality voice-over and cinematographic direction.[23]

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of January 15, 2017; PC scores only.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy 63.17%[24] 61[25]
Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring 70.23%[26] 68[27]
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened 71.32%[28] 72[29]
Sherlock Holmes vs Arsène Lupin 73.41%[30] 71[31]
Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper 71.94%[32] 73[33]
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes 75.42%[34] 73[35]
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments 80.60%[36] 77[37]
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter 62.80%[38] 65[39]

The games were a commercial success, being one of the most successful and best-selling adventure series of all time. The series has sold 4 million copies on PC alone as of 2012.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frogwares Game Development Studio". Archived from the original on 26 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  2. ^ Tong, Sophia (28 July 2008). "Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy Hands-On". Archived from the original on 1 November 2015. Play as the famous Sherlock Holmes in this PC remake that has been redesigned for the Nintendo DS. 
  3. ^ Todd, Brett (2007-03-27). "Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened for PC Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  4. ^ Todd, Brett (21 May 2010). "Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Persian Carpet Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 1 November 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Elementary! New Images of The Testament Sherlock Holmes". sherlockholmes-thegame. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Testament of Sherlock Holmes delayed to late 2011". News.bigdownload.com. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Game website of Testament of Sherlock Holmes". 
  8. ^ "Sherlock Holmes". Sherlockholmes-thegame.com. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Frogwares (18 September 2012). "Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Frozen City for 3DS". WordPress. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Frozen City for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (2 February 2013). "Crimes & Punishments, the New Adventure of Sherlock Holmes announced". Eurogamer. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (19 September 2013). "Sherlock Holmes adventure Crimes & Punishments announced for PlayStation 4". Eurogamer. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter Launching on May 27 for PS4, XB1 & PC". PlayStationLifeStyle.net. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "New Sherlock Holmes Game Airs in 2016". 8 May 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Bigben Interactive and Frogwares Reveal the New Sherlock Holmes Game". 22 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Kerry Shale [kerryshale] (24 October 2015). "Watch this space, Mark. I'm expecting a call, but the voices are added towards the end of the production." (Tweet). Retrieved 25 October 2015 – via Twitter. 
  17. ^ Davey, Jamie (14 April 2016). "Frogwares delays Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter until 10th June, 2016". GameWatcher. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  18. ^ "Game Credits For Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis". Moby Games. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  19. ^ "Adventure game: Sherlock Holmes and the case of the silver earring Review". Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  20. ^ "Adventure game: Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened Review". Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  21. ^ a b "Adventure game: Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened Review". Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  22. ^ "Adventure game: Testament Of Sherlock Holmes". Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  23. ^ "Production". Game Website, Testament of Sherlock Holmes. 
  24. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earring Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  34. ^ "The Testament of Sherlock Holmes Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  35. ^ "The Testament of Sherlock Holmes Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  40. ^ Campbell, Colin (21 September 2012). "Sherlock Holmes Returns to Investigative Gaming". IGN. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 

External links[edit]