Sherlock Holmes is no stranger to the world of games but, as you’ll see if you watch the video above, Frogwares are doing something a bit different with him this time around. We get a very good idea of what to expect here actually because, in addition to the PR-friendly commentary, we get over ten minutes of actual gameplay footage. No thirty seconds of CG nonsense followed by a release date here, and big piles of kudos to developer and publisher alike for that.
The footage is taken from the PS4 version, but Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter will also be available for Xbox One and PC when it’s released June 10th. There’s absolutely no indication of what that subtitle means. In fact, while the trailer further down the page has a decidedly supernatural tint, this walkthrough is very much grounded in… well, not reality, but.. oh, you know.
The first thing to strike you here is that Holmes and Watson are both presented in Young and Sexy mode, half the lineup of a Victorian boyband. Or possibly Mumford & Sons. The second thing to strike you – or us, at least – is that, surprisingly, the game seems to be taking several cues from the Assassin’s Creed series. The general look of the game, particularly outside, is reminiscent of it (in a good way). Holmes’ ability to spot clues in the environment is vaguely Eagle-vison-esque, and there’s also evidently some eavesdropping and tailing to be done.
That’s not to say that the game is drifting away from the appeal and potential of a detective game though; as talk of puzzles, the need to link evidence, multiple paths and decisions – including the possibility of making mistakes and reaching incorrect conclusions – sew together big trousers that the game will have to work hard to fit into. You’ll even take control of other characters at certain points; whether this is a genius addition or terrible mistake remains to be seen.
There’s a big shed full of potential here. Will it be reached? On the one hand, obvious signs of a limited budget and some totally unnecessary minigames look like warning klaxons. On the other hand, the very concept of Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper is somewhat ridiculous and hints at a lazy project, yet Frogwares produced an extremely good game there. The truth shall be revealed next month.