Back in May, we mentioned the announcement of a new Sherlock Holmes title to be developed and published by Frogware Studios and Bigben Interactive. The game was set to become the eighth in a series that started on PC and has since made its way all the way to the so-called “next-gen” consoles. And recently, more details were revealed.
PC Gamer’s October announcement confirmed that the new game will be called Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter. It’s a direct follow-up to Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, which was generally viewed as a triumph. Crimes and Punishments may not be as widely recognised as some other popular console titles in the mystery or adventure genres, but it was beautifully done and earned an 8/10 from Gamespot. Across the board, the reviews praised sharp graphics that helped to bring the series into the modern era, as well as mysteries (six of them, to be precise) that felt like actual detective stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In short, what the game may have lacked in action or speed it more than made up in genuine intrigue.
Those elements are exactly what the Sherlock Holmes franchise needed, as mystery games, and specifically those that invoke the name of literature’s famous detective, have often focused primarily on simpler delivery. In fact, in recent years there have been various takes on Sherlock Holmes in gaming that relied entirely on atmosphere or point-and-click puzzle solving rather than spinning together the total experience that came to life in Crimes and Punishments.
HAAB’s SHERLOCK: Interactive Adventure app, found on iTunes , is perhaps the best piece of digital Holmes material outside of the Sherlock Holmes PC and console series, and it’s recognised now as a very impressive digital book. The app uses original text from Doyle’s stories, complete with animation that’s satisfying if not necessarily advanced, to allow users to experience the Holmes stories graphically, as opposed to simply through reading. It’s like a modern version of an illustrated novel and should please most Holmes fans, though its interactive quality will leave those seeking an actual game wanting.
Elsewhere, Bet Fair’s Sherlock Mystery slots experience serves as the primary modern Holmes game that isn’t connected either to the PC series or to the Robert Downey, Jr. films. It essentially goes the opposite direction from the Interactive Adventure app, as it’s a slots-focused game that embraces atmosphere with some old fashioned flavour. It employs the use of magnifying glasses, pipes, and even the detective’s iconic hat in its design. There are light, playful elements of mystery used to make the slot experience richer for players, but there’s little in the way of narrative comment. Ultimately, it’s a game meant for those who already prefer the casino style of gaming.
So with games like these representing the bulk of modern Holmes gaming, the enhancement of Crimes and Punishments on the latest consoles was something of a revelation. This was a Sherlock Holmes interactive mystery experience vividly imagined in a full adventure environment—and early indications are that Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter will take this concept even further.
Now Gamer featured a number of screenshots from the game that look simply wonderful and even more packed with detail and beauty than what we saw in the previous title. It’s actually interesting timing for the game given that Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is set in Victorian-era London, and Holmes’s stories are essentially in the same setting. But if anything, the screenshots at Now Gamer look like an even darker and more twisted take on London, which suits a Holmes saga quite nicely.
The game is due out early next year, and suddenly looks like one of the more exciting console releases slated for spring.