by FROGWARES; FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE; STEAM
Jud’s Game Rating:
Graphics **** Player participation (PP) **** Satisfaction Factor (SF)** Frustration Factor (FF) ***** Fair Play (FP) ** Tedium Factor (TF) ***
UNDERWHELMING SO FAR!
I bought this Frogwares game, which is currently only available for PC and not Mac, through Steam where there were no apparent Free Trials. I thought as it was a new Sherlock Holmes it would be updated in many ways and so worth gamble of buying it without trying it first. I was wrong. During the Opening Sequence I had to quickly write down the tiny print Validation Code for when it was asked from me at some unspecified time during the game. So I missed any instructions that may have been given then.
I spent 36 minutes of major FF working out by trial and error how the controls worked and making educated guesses. I quickly collected the first clues with a few Instructions on the screen about how to go forward, walk, run, etc which then would not turn off so they impeded the play thought they were semi opaque. I could access the Inventory by Right Clicking, and pick up Items but could not work out how to make Holmes use them – all I could do was get him to walk around the room, back and forth. I couldn’t engage with him, or when I worked out how to be him I couldn’t interact with anything or with Watson.
I pressed ESC which took me (as I suspected) back to the Main Menu. There I saw CONTROLS which took me in and gave me the run down on how to play – well physically anyway. BUT – and it’s a huge BUT as far as I am concerned – you have to use the Keyboard as well as the Mouse for many of the actions. There was a Bonus, or so I thought at first, of using the Space Bar for Sixth Sense (a possible Hints), but it turned out to be useless – Holmes’ face appears in the Top Right Hand Corner then fades away.. It does nothing more than that. Well not so far. It just added to the FF as at first I thought it was telling me to send Holmes to that area of the room, but Nooo.
You can access many of the things by Right Clicking into Inventory and using the Icons beneath it which lead you to Dialogues; Documents; Deductions; Map; and the final one lets you change from 1st to 3rd person modes. However the Dialogues was only the Diary record of what had just been spoken during the time that the screen was partially obscured by the so-called instruction window. And the rest, apart from the Mode-Changer, had nothing in them as I had done nothing.
Meanwhile I had distinctly heard Holmes say he had already solved the case. How?! And why, at such an early stage? Ridiculous.
Tips: BEFORE you press Play go to CONTROLS and physically copy them onto a Notebook – I think for this game, as for most other Holmes games, a Notebook is a necessity. NEXT I suggest some Meditation or some form of pacifying potion to enable you to float around with Holmes for long periods of time examining the same things endlessly without caring too much! THEN, if there is one ‘out there’, look for a WALKTHROUGH posted by some Clever-clogs aka Dinosaur who only uses Keyboard controls and hasn’t emerged, as the game hasn’t, into this Century, and thus, knowing what to do, has already finished the game! I USED to know but left all that behind me years ago.
Now I have to be fair here – the Graphics are greatly refined especially re the 3D CG and Movement elements. But what is the use of you can’t play the game smoothly, logically, steadily progressing, using your brain to solve the problems because you are hampered by antiquated Navigation Controls?!
I will make another attempt – some time soon, when my blood pressure has returned to normal – and will do an Update with perhaps some more comprehensive information for you. Meanwhile, if anyone of you have actually tried the game and got out of the first room, then please let me know how! So I can pass it on.
Any of you who have read my SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES Review will know that I love Sherlock Holmes games – I consider THE HOUND to be one of the better Sherlock PC Games created, despite being a Hidden Object/Adventure Game rather than 3D CG Adventure, with a modified yet gripping storyline. It’s Graphically pleasing, with good Navigation/Controls PP that make it most Satisfying to play and to complete – high SF. It’s shame that THE TESTAMENT OF SHERLOCK HOLMES game doesn’t live up to that one.
At this point I don’t recommend it – but may in the future. 😀
Jud House 26/07/2013
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