I enjoyed the last two Frogwares Sherlock Holmes adventures so much that I anticipated the next part eagerly. Supposed to be released in May, it came out in June, on my wedding day, so I thought ‘Hey, I’ll buy this one now as a gift to myself’.
Was it fun? Yes, it was fun! 20 hours of fun, to be exact.
There are a lot of things going for this title. I love the dense Victorian London atmosphere, the hidden references, the ‘mind palace’ and character portraits.
But sadly, there are also many things that felt off to me.
The voice acting and characters in this series have been getting better and better. They were well done in the previous titles, e.g. ‘Crimes and Punishments’.
And they changed the voice actors, which is always a shame. I liked the previous interpretations and I was disappointed to not meet old acquaintances.
(Except Lestrade. They didn’t change Lestrade. Hey, Greg.)
I’ve grown rather attached to that version of Watson. The Watson character in ‘The Devil’s Daughter’ looks like a Spanish rent boy and embodies none of his characteristics as charmingly as his predecessor.
How is that the same person?
Also Katelyn aka the Devil’s aka Moriarty’s daughter was just plain annoying. Her story arc was well executed, but she didn’t feel like a kid you’d want to save at all. Sorry. Her voice acting felt like an adult playing a cranky girl.
Sherlock was more or less ok, though he looked very disheveled – not very English, right? You don’t even get a suit until the third case. How I am supposed to live?
New and old elements
Some old elements were changed: The lockpicking system has gotten more intricate, which is good, because I like lockpicking! Now there are two levels you can switch between. I think I prefer with system to the previous one (turn the cylinder until the lines match, boring).
They added a some new elements to the game: There are some balancing and chasing scenes. The balancing acts felt very contrived to me. I’m not a assassin, I’m a dectective. I detect. I don’t want to join the circus. In one episode you play street urchin Wiggins (from the ‘homeless network’) observing a suspect, that was in character and appropriate. The chase was fun and ‘Assassin’s Creed’-like. But I feel that the game could have done without that extra element, which just makes you spend more time on not solving any cases. Which is what this game is all about. Or it should be.
The bar fight was fun, though, and had the right pace! So not all the new elements are useless, but some just weren’t very ‘fitting’. Character portraits, deductions and crimes scene mechanics are the same, thank God.
All in all, it’s worth spending time and money on. But I miss my old pals, and I have no sense of balance whatson-ever.