I’ve made no secret about how much I love video games, with a couple of my favourite genres being puzzle, mystery and crime solving. This is where Sherlock Holmes comes into play. love the Sherlock books and have played a number of games such as Sherlock Holmes vs Jack The Ripper on the PC and Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments on the PlayStation 4. As soon as I heard about Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter, I immediately added it to my wish list. I HAD to have this game!
A little after Christmas, in the PlayStation Networks January sale, Mr J was having a browse and came across Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter on sale. The price was slashed from £44.99 to £11.99!! He quickly logged onto my PlayStation 4 and purchased it. Although I would have loved a hard copy of the game to add to my own personal collection, how could you argue with a saving like that!
The game is afoot…
* This article may contain spoilers. *
* It is also written from a PlayStation 4 players perspective. Be aware that controls will be different on Xbox One and Windows PC *
Sherlock Holmes: The Devils Daughter is an adventure mystery game with puzzle and action elements in the form of quick-time events (QTE). In terms of play style, it is best described as a hybrid game of Heavy Rain, Murdered: Soul Suspect and Nancy Drew.
You play as Sherlock Holmes where you have to search for clues and solve cases to complete the game. There are 5 cases in total; Prey Tell, A Study In Green, Infamy, Chain Reaction and Fever Dreams.
There is a persistent back plot throughout the game which revolves around the games title. Not spoiling it too much, but the secrets and final outcome were exactly what I suspected them to be. The final case, Fever Dreams, is really just a small case to solve the back plot of the game. It involves finding a few clues, completing some puzzles and the ending quick-time sequence.
When starting a new game, you have the choice between two difficulty levels; normal and hard. Normal mode allows you to have a variety of hints and easier puzzles whereas hard mode takes away a lot of the hints and makes the puzzles harder to solve.
Each case starts with a cutscene introducing the case. In the case of A Study In Green, it starts with Watson entering 221B Baker Street to find Holmes playing bowls with some vases. After the cutscene, the case is added to your casebook. The casebook is opened when clicking the square button. The casebook is planned out in the same way as in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments with 7 casebook tabs. The tabs are Tasks, Map, Evidence, Documents, Dialogues, Echoes and Character Portraits. To cycle through the tabs, you click the L1/R1 buttons.
When you meet characters that are suspects or are involved in each case, you have the ability to interrogate them with questions pertinent to the case and complete a character portrait. This will use Sherlock’s observational skills to complete a character portrait and add it to your casebook. To initiate the character observation, press the square button while speaking to the characters. Use the L1/R1 buttons to move through the observation screen to identify the characteristics and character observations to complete the character portrait correctly. Each character observation has one or two characteristics which you must choose between two options. If you chose the incorrect option, an incorrect character portrait will be added to your casebook.
Sherlock Holmes also has two special abilities; imagination mode and detective mode. Pressing L1 activates Imagination mode. This ability allows Holmes to recreate event sequences that would have taken place in order to find more evidence. Pressing R1 activates detective mode. This ability allows Holmes to find hidden or difficult to find pieces of evidence.
One the map, there are only a select number of places to visit per case, with each one being opened up with evidence gathered. As an example, Scotland Yard is opened up when you can visit there to collect evidence from the suspects/victims possessions, autopsies and suspect interrogations. 221B Baker Street is permanently open on the map.
Something that I think adds to this game is the costumes that Holmes can wear. In some cases, you have to disguise yourself in order to earn the trust of suspects but you can wear any of these disguises at anytime. There is also a makeup table where you can equip Holmes with a variety of hairstyles, glasses and facial hair.
Sherlock’s dog, Toby, also helps out on select cases. You have to collect him from Baker Street and take him to the scene. With Toby, you follow scent trails to find hidden evidence. At Baker Street, Holmes also has an archive collection which you can search to give insight to evidence and an analysis table for analysing clues such as chemicals.
Gaining evidence adds clues to your deduction screen, accessed by pressing the triangle button. In this, you use the clues you have to form deductions to lead you to your case conclusion. You have to link two clues together to get a deduction. The good thing with the deductions is that you can get multiple endings to a case; the correct conclusion and a number of other conclusions. These may be wrong, but it gives you extra story to see. At the end of each case on normal mode, it gives you the option to see if you chose the right conclusion and collected all pieces of evidence.
For me, a game like Sherlock Holmes always draws me in. I love playing games like this. It isn’t an overly difficult game but a few of the puzzles and QTEs may be a little tricky for some; mainly the one QTE in the case Infamy. Completing these more tricky puzzles and QTEs gave me a sense of accomplishment.
On to the nitty-gritty of game visuals. For me, you can see such a significant difference between Crimes and Punishments and Devil’s Daughter. They look smoother and better quality. The details look more defined too. I’m impressed. Below are two screenshots from a very similar view; one from Crimes and Punishments and one from Devil’s Daughter. You can see the difference just by those pictures.
I love this game. I’ve enjoyed it so much, I have even started playing Crimes and Punishments again. No doubt I will move back onto Devil’s Daughter again at some time in the near future too.
If you love games like this, definitely give this game a go. I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter is available on PlayStation 4, XBox One and Windows PC. It has an age rating of 16 with a violence content rating.
PSN: £11.99 until 20th January 2017. £44.99 thereafter.
PS4: £26.49 on Amazon UK
Xbox One: £23.52 on Amazon UK
PDC DVD: £21.97 on Amazon UK
Have you played either of the Sherlock Holmes games? What do you think about them? Are they one of your favourite games or didn’t you enjoy them as much as I did? Either way, I’d love to hear from you with your opinions. Feel free to get in touch.