Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened - Remastered Edition PC DVD
Published by: Focus Multimedia
Developed by: Frogwares
Frogwares have developed quite a few Sherlock Holmes based adventure games but The Awakened is by far the darkest one they’ve created. Once again we step onto the fog-covered streets of nineteenth century London. Initially you’ll be investigating the disappearance of Maori man but as you investigate, you’ll discover a succession of missing people. To make matters even worse, you’ll discover that a Cthulhu worshipping sect is responsible for the kidnappings and as any fan of H.P. Lovecraft will tell you, that immediately darkens the whole tone of the game. The storyline may be sinister but it’s certainly a gripping one which is exactly what you need in a point and click adventure game.
You could argue that Frogwares’ take on Victorian London doesn’t capture the filthy and generally squalid nature of the real thing and that Holmes himself is a maybe a little too pompous and phlegmatic but in truth it’s not much of a problem and it certainly doesn’t harm the experience in any way. Most will appreciate the way you get to use the magnifying glass and Holmes’ various pieces of laboratory apparatus. The game also requires a great deal of thought and you need to make use of virtually all of the information that you’ll discover. Thankfully you can refer to previous dialogues, Holmes’ reports and documents at any time and you’ll certainly need to if you’re to solve the case. The game certainly makes you use your noggin and this does make solving puzzles all the more satisfactory.
Should you ever hit a point where you’re completely stumped, you’ll be pleased to learn that the game comes with a built-in strategy guide that will give you subtle hints, then stronger hints before eventually spelling the solution out for you. There are times when you have to type in an answer to a question or the location of where you need to go next, with the idea being that you will have to sift through the evidence that you have for clues to the answers. I felt this aspect of the game was laborious and didn’t add much to the experience and could have easily been left out.
For an adventure game, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened looks pretty impressive although you will notice the poor quality of some of the textures when playing in the first person mode. The character animations are rather wooden however, but this doesn’t detract from the experience. Being able to choose whether to play in first or third person is certainly appreciated. You can tell the game originally offered only a first person view however. When playing in the third person view there are times when the view is far from ideal and at times I found myself having to switch back to the first person view to get an ideal view of the situation.
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is subtitled and you’ll be able to appreciate the game’s gripping storyline. The subtitles are shown against a grey band making them easy to see at all times. There are no speaker’s names or portraits to accompany the text but it’s usually clear who is saying what. The game doesn’t have any visual clues or captions for the important sounds. As we’ve already mentioned, the game allows you to access previous text dialogues, reports and documents which is certainly welcome and can help you to get your bearings should you have been away from the game for a long duration.
If you’re an adventure game enthusiast and don’t mind the dark tone of the game, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is definitely an adventure game you should experience. This remastered edition is definitely the preferred version although with that said, if you have the original version of the game there’s probably not enough here to justify a second purchase. For those who have a passing interest in Sherlock Holmes or the works of Lovecraft, this is definitely a game that you should pick up and for less than ten pounds it’s great value for money.