Sherlock Holmes Review: Chapter One. The adventures of a young detective

Ukrainian studio Frogwares has been creating productions related to Sherlock Holmes for nearly two decades. Based on the ten titles they created with the most famous detective in the world, you could probably write a diploma thesis. You can clearly see how the tastes of players have changed over the years, including those in love with adventure games. Frogwares from point and clicks has turned into an action adventure game with an open world. That is Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One, which was released a few days ago on the market.

The new title in the series is actually a prequel to the whole story. We move to the Mediterranean Cordona, the detective’s home island. Holmes returns there after ten years, having left the island earlier after the death of his mother. The events he experienced as a child left their mark on him. His return is not only a visit to his mother’s grave, Sherlock aims to unravel the mysteries of her death.

Do not miss: Dead Cells – characters from other universes are coming to the game!.

Back to the old garbage

Sherlock does not go to the island alone, he is accompanied by his friend Jon, whom we soon have time to like. He turns to Sherlock (“Sherry”) affectionately, motivates him to act, has his own view of things, and is fun and direct at the same time. And it is made up … thanks to which we get a looser atmosphere at times, despite the fact that the matters that Sherlock takes are often serious and touch many problems of that time. Sherlock and Jon, after the first unraveled mystery, which takes place in the hotel, immediately after their arrival (also serves as a tutorial), go to the old detective’s house. Holmes, despite the fact that he is young, is already showing signs of not only genius but also experience and cunning. For sure, Jon is more suited as a collaborative partner to such a young man than Watson. Chapter One focuses on recreating the key moments of Sherlock’s childhood, the mystery surrounding his mother’s death and a number of puzzles behind it. The main axis of the story is about a maximum of 15 hours of play, but when we add side matters and various additional activities to it, we will easily double this time. Cordona is quite a large island, it has been divided into several districts where we can find a few things to do. Sherlock will be able to get additional orders from the police, supporting characters, or his older brother – Mycroft. Frogwares did a great job in this aspect. I didn’t get bored during the game, in both main and side issues. It is also due to the experience of the creators who, as I mentioned, already know how to catch the player’s attention.

Sherlock does not go to the island alone he is accompanied by

Do not miss: Arcane Review: League of Legends Becomes Legendary.

Routine at work

Solving a given case usually involves a few or a dozen minor “tasks” to be performed. I can explain it on the basis of the case from the tutorial, where an item is stolen during the screening, and then it is murdered.We have a mechanic related to questioning witnesses, extracting information from them based on evidence gathered earlier, and examining them closely (their special signs, clothing, etc.). We need to collect some information in the archives – so we will visit the police, local press or municipal office to dig to addresses, names or press clippings. It is related to the mechanics in which we give 3 key phrases out of a dozen to “hit” the material that is valuable to us. If anyone played The Sinking City, the previous game of the Ukrainians, he knows what I’m talking about (I recommend Konrad’s review). Sometimes dress is the key to certain things. Cordona is a mix of many communities, often hating each other. With Holmes dressed as an aristocrat, we can’t do much in the poor neighborhood. In turn, dressed in some rags, Sherlock will not get information from the inhabitants of the wealthy estates. Sherlock can buy or rent clothes from one of the several clothes vendors scattered around the island. Identity theft? In one mission, it will definitely be useful to us. Sherlock’s paranormal abilities are also a key moment in any serious matter. Sherlock is able to recreate the course of events on the basis of an earlier inspection of a given area and searching for items or traces that someone might have left. Then we take control of Jon for a moment and assign them in the right places, as if we were placing pieces on a chessboard, characters, and as a result we get a scene that happened in this area.

Solving a given case usually involves a few or

Do not miss: Gameplay for the “Marvel’s Avengers: Spider-Man” DLC has been released.

Can Cordona be liked?

At times, force will have to be used, and in that aspect Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One has definitely failed. Fighting is an irritating element, even in a sense – unnecessary. Sherlock gets the opportunity to confront bandits, which Cordona does not lack. The fights take place in closed rooms, Sherlock has unlimited ammo, so in theory it sounds good. Unfortunately, it is quite stiff (animations, firepower of the weapon) and … ill-considered. The skirmishes between us and the thugs involve shooting at specific points to stun the opponent, and then a short QTE sequence ending with the pacification of the opponent. Sherlock is even rewarded when he arrests them, although there are no contraindications just to shoot anywhere and send your opponents to the sand. Unfortunately, this way combat is more of a parody of action games, not an interesting insert to a few things. As much as I could, I did not push myself into the activities related to eliminating bandits – it was too annoying the mechanics, deviating from the quality of the rest of the game.

Do not miss: Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous – Getting Started as Aeon! The difficult beginnings of the king.

The visual setting is a debatable topic. Cordona is pretty and I like the different accents of individual locations, attention to detail by Frogwares studio, but many players suffered from stuttering during the adventure.The main plot may not be the longest, but the whole thing is tied together into a specific, engaging adventure of the most famous detective in the world. At the same time, it seems to me that Frogwares might be tempted to abandon the classic for a while and try with a new IP. I would see something new, but set in much different climates. I know the Frogwares could handle that, looking at the quality of their recent games.

The visual setting is a debatable topic