The Ukrainian development team Frogwares returns with a new version of the Sherlock Holmes game series 5 years after the last release. This version is titled Chapter One because it takes us on a journey to learn more about how the famous detective began to find out “the truth” about an important event in his life.
The Story of Chapter One
The story takes us to the island of Cordona, which lies in the Mediterranean and is controlled by the United Kingdom. 21-year-old Sherlock Holmes returns to this island where he spent years of his childhood to remember the events following the death of his mother, Violet Holmes, and to remember what actually happened. He returned with his brother Mycroft. He returned to London shortly after his mother’s death without the detective at the time realizing what had actually happened, and here he is back in the prime of his youth with his imaginary friend Jon (yes, an imaginary friend) on the search the truth. Here are some details that contradict what you previously knew, leading you to believe that Violet Holmes was killed!
Technical Level and Audio
On a technical level, the game offers a good graphical level and a significant improvement over the team’s last game entitled The Sinking City, but still presents the same lip movements and characters that seem mechanical and strange, and it was possible to provide one better level in this regard. On the audio level, the game offers a number of varied and good melodies. It accompanies you throughout the entire examination, but is nothing special.
The Game Experience
The game is all about solving cases and puzzles. You always start at the crime scene and collect details from there. The investigation then branches off in different directions, requiring you to interview witnesses and suspects or solve some simple chemical puzzles and process some evidence. If you really want to step into the role of a detective, this is for you. The game gives you what you want as it doesn’t require your hand to do anything but rather gives you a simple guide to the meaning of the evidence symbols. It indicates that if you know a particular person you need to search police files or newspapers, and it tells you that you need to talk to the people involved in the case, but it doesn’t help you with anything else, and it is doesn’t tell you who to talk about or what records to search. These are all details that you need to read carefully to know.
Stealth and Social Dynamics
Although Cordona is under the control of the United Kingdom, the ethnic and class differences between each region are markedly different, and this is where the role of stealth comes into play. In some missions you have to ask about a specific person, and if you go to a poor area in your beautiful and elegant suit, you will not get any answers and here you have to wear a costume. One of the workers asking questions about a worker working on a drilling site, or wearing a police uniform to get answers from a stubborn person, or dressing up as a refugee from Africa to get an answer from another refugee. Although the game presents racism and classism in its story, it doesn’t go into depth about these issues or be interesting, it simply shows these behaviors and nothing more.
Sherlock’s Investigative Skills
One of the skills you will benefit from is Sherlock’s ability to focus on events and draw conclusions when he examines certain evidence, such as a trail of blood on the floor and other details, and when he collects all the details from the crime scene . You will rearrange the events at the crime scene to reach further conclusions that will help you. Continue the investigation and when you have collected all the necessary evidence, resort to the Mind Palace, where you can get the most important details to find out the identity of the criminal. If you are one of those who played The Sinking City, the investigation process is identical to the game except for some of the additions mentioned.
Battles and Side Content
The game experience also includes some battles that do not appear very often in the basic missions and you can sometimes avoid them, which we recommend, since this part is very primitive in its game mechanics and the aiming is inaccurate and annoying to target the enemy’s weak point and then arrest him. Or you can shoot at an element in the area to obstruct his view and thus make his arrest easier. The game encourages you not to kill criminals, but doesn’t punish you if you kill them. and there will be no consequences related to the story in this case. The decision to kill or arrest the criminals is yours. Luckily, battles make up part of it. The content of the game is simple and there are some challenges that you have to complete. You can undertake battles to earn money, but money is not very useful in the game unless you want to buy furniture for the family palace, which is the only one side activity that the game actually offers.
The Narrative and Longevity
Although the story focuses on learning the facts behind the murder of Violet Holmes, you will discover a small detail and then have to solve a large, complex case that will take hours to complete. This is, in our opinion, a cost-effective way to increase the longevity of the experience. What’s frustrating is that the game has some holes and also focuses on… The concept of “truth” and how it depends on your own perspective, and in the end you won’t know if your decision is yours when making the choice of the perpetrator was right or wrong, just like the truth behind Violet’s murder depends entirely on the choice you want! These choices in the narrative narrative leave you frustrated and making no sense of what you have done in the last few hours of searching for evidence and forming conclusions. You may be surprised that imaginary friend Jon isn’t mentioned in this review because he simply doesn’t play an important role in the gaming experience, rather than being part of the narrative. No more, and you will hear many of his sarcastic and unhelpful comments during the investigation.
We finished the game in 16 hours, and investigating the main case actually only takes about two hours of the total time. The game offers a lot of interesting and complex side crimes and the content is very satisfying for fans of investigations and puzzles, but instead of solving cases and fighting thieves, there is hardly any side content. In addition to buying furniture for the palace, Sherlock Holmes Chapter One allows you to play the role of the detective in the best possible way. It will not satisfy your curiosity to know the circumstances of the story. It asks the right questions and surprises you with its evidence, but in the end it doesn’t give you a satisfactory answer.
- The game offers a good graphical level and a significant improvement over the team’s last game, The Sinking City.
- The game provides a simple guide to the meaning of evidence symbols, allowing players to step into the role of a detective.
- The game incorporates stealth mechanics, requiring players to dress appropriately for specific areas and situations.
- Sherlock’s ability to focus on events and draw conclusions adds depth to the investigation process.
- The game includes interesting and complex side crimes, offering additional content for fans of investigations and puzzles.
- The lip movements and character animations can appear mechanical and strange.
- The audio level of the game, while good, is not particularly special.
- The game only scratches the surface of the racial and class differences present on the island of Cordona, without delving deeper into these issues.
- The battles in the game have primitive mechanics and inaccurate aiming, making them less enjoyable.
- The game’s narrative choices can leave players frustrated and questioning the impact of their decisions.
- The game’s main case can be completed in a relatively short amount of time, with only a few hours dedicated to the investigation.
- While the game offers the opportunity to buy furniture for the family palace, there is limited side content beyond that.
- The game does not provide a satisfactory answer to the circumstances of the story, leaving players wanting more.
1. What is Sherlock Holmes Chapter One PC Game about?
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One takes players on a journey to uncover the truth behind an important event in the famous detective’s life. Set on the island of Cordona, Sherlock Holmes returns to his childhood home to investigate the death of his mother.
2. What is the gameplay like in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One?
The gameplay in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One revolves around solving cases and puzzles. Players start at crime scenes, collect evidence, interview witnesses and suspects, and solve chemical puzzles. The game provides a guide to understanding the meaning of evidence symbols, but players must carefully read details and make their own deductions.
3. Are there stealth elements in the game?
Yes, there are stealth elements in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. Players may need to dress in specific costumes to blend in with certain areas or social groups. Wearing the appropriate attire can help players gather information more effectively.
4. Is combat a major part of the gameplay?
Combat is not a major part of the gameplay in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One. While there are some battles, they are not frequent and can often be avoided. The combat mechanics are considered primitive, and players have the option to arrest criminals instead of killing them.
5. How long does it take to complete Sherlock Holmes Chapter One?
The main case in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One can be completed in approximately two hours. However, the game offers additional side crimes and content that can extend the total playtime. On average, players can expect to finish the game in around 16 hours.