Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis PC DVD
Published by: Focus Multimedia
Developed by: Frogwares
Take the greatest fictional detective, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and pit his wits against one of the greatest fictional thieves, Maurice Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin, and you have the basis for an engaging adventure game. That’s exactly what Frogwares have done for their game Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis and it certainly makes for an interesting storyline. The game was originally released after the initial release of Sherlock Homes: The Awakened (not the remastered version) and it shows, as the look of the game and how it plays is surprisingly similar.
The game begins with Watson telling Holmes how Lupin has been causing uproar with his crimes and the continental police forces have been unable to stop him. Watson also thinks that Lupin wouldn’t dare show his face on English soil because Holmes would put an end to his shenanigans. As luck would have it, Holmes has received a letter from Lupin that morning. It’s a rather disparaging letter mocking the intelligence of the English and it also throws down the gauntlet for Holmes. Lupin is planning to steal five symbols of English grandeur within the next week and he’s provided clues about what these items could be. It’s up to Holmes to use his famous powers of deduction to prevent him from doing so.
Nemesis has to be one of the most challenging games that Frogwares have created to date. The puzzles demand you pay full attention to the dialogue, items and reports you’ll encounter in the game. Most of the puzzles fit in well with the nature of the storyline and have clearly been well thought out. There are still some puzzles where you have to type in your answer and as with The Awakened, I really don’t see the point of these, other than to make you sift through all of your evidence over and over again, and at the very least they should be optional. However, it has to be said that you are given a fair degree of flexibility when it comes to entering your word so if the answer required was ‘boat’ you could enter ‘boat’ or ‘ship.’
From a presentational point of view, Nemesis feels a lot like the original version of The Awakened. The game is played from the first person perspective with no option to return to the classic third person perspective that you usually find in adventure games. The graphics engine has remained the same and if you’ve played The Awakened you’ll recognise several locations in Nemesis that are exactly as they were in that earlier game. Of course there are many new locations such as Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and The British Museum. The subtitling remains the same too, as does the lack of captions or visual clues for sounds. The subtitles are displayed in white text against a grey band and feature no speaker names or portraits. For the most part this doesn’t cause any problems but there are times when you switch control from one character to another and it’s not immediately obvious which character you have control of. You can access previous dialogue text (which does make clear who was speaking) as well as reports and other important information at any time you desire.
If you’ve enjoyed Frogwares’ previous Sherlock Holmes titles then Nemesis comes highly recommended. Be prepared for the game to prove a stiff challenge however and you’ll certainly do well to complete the game without consulting a walkthrough (and Nemesis doesn’t come with a built in strategy guide as The Awakened Remastered Edition did). At times the game can feel too challenging and frustration can creep in if you’re not the most patient of adventure gamers. However, the storyline is enjoyable and the puzzles are mostly well thought out.