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whatshot The Testament of Sherlock Holmes PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes
Reviewed by
Cameron Grimes
on
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes PS3 Review. The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is an intriguing and well-written interactive adventure, itís just a shame that less attention was paid towards the presentation.
Rating:
3.0

Gameplay 6.5
Graphics 4.5
Sound 6.0
Value 7.0
Distributor: QVS
Developer:
Frogwares
Review Date:
Oct 2012
Reviewer:
Cameron Grimes

6.0


The Testament of Sherlock Holmes 

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is the seventh game in the long running crime solving series developed by Frogwares. Set in late 18th century London, super- detective Sherlock Holmes finds himself in a bit of a pickle; heís trying to crack a case in which he is the main suspect, which begins to affect his relationship with his partner and dear friend Dr. Watson.  Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is quite an enjoyable mystery solving game, despite being disappointingly easy and not the prettiest thing to look at or listen to. 

Gameplay 

The majority of The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is controlling either Holmes or Watson, walking around a room and searching for clues. The gameplay is very reminiscent of fellow crime game L.A. Noire, with players having to search every nook-and-cranny of a room in order to piece the clues together and solve the case. It sounds complicated, however the game is unfortunately very easy. All clues in the room can be easily seen by the push of a button, taking some of the exploring aspect out of the experience. While some of the puzzles in the game are sometimes ridiculously hard and challenging, if the game realises that youíre taking longer than it wants, itíll allow you to skip it without any penalty. Some of these puzzles are poorly introduced; on several occasions I was faced with a mini-game with little instructions, leaving myself puzzled. The solving of a case can be quite fun if you pay attention to the dialogue and analyse the clues, however the layout and presentation of the clues you discover leaves a lot to be desired.  

Graphics 

While the newly developed graphics engine shows noticeable improvements over previous games in the series, the overall quality in the presentation is subpar. Every character looks as if theyíve recently had Botox injected into their face, as no emotion is shown at any point throughout the game. Body animations are extremely dated and stiff, and the in-game cutscenes are painful to watch because of this. Environments and locations are rather well done on the other hand. The developers took extra care in recreating 19th century London and the result has paid off, itís just a shame the frame rate is extremely inconsistent. The game would frequently dip to less than 25fps or freeze; I considered myself lucky if it maintained the same rate for more than five seconds. The Testament of Sherlock Holmes wants you to to fully Ďexploreí Holmes as a character, but if he acts like a cardboard cutout in an environment on the verge of crashing, you might not get very far. 

Audio 

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is heavily driven by dialogue, and the quality of voice acting on display is an assorted mix of decent and appalling. Sherlock Holmesí voice is calm and composed throughout the game, which fits well with his confident character, however his voice would be much more effective in telling the story if it wasnít for Watson using his outside voice every time he opened his mouth. Itís very inconsistent and distracting, and I found Watson to be exceedingly annoying, and Holmes an idiot for putting up with it. The rest of the voice acting is rather poor, with the child voice acting being some of the worst Iíve heard since Heavy Rain. On the other hand, the soundtrack for Sherlock Holmes is rather good, with the dark and moody piano jazz heard in the background adding some emotional intrigue to the gameplay when searching for clues. So despite the awful voice work, the gameís soundtrack makes the audio one of the highlights.  

Final Thoughts 

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is an intriguing and well-written interactive adventure, itís just a shame that less attention was paid towards the presentation. It may be just the PS3 version, but the frame rate may be an unfortunate distraction for people used to the high standard set by the current generation of hardware. For fans of the series and characters however, thereís plenty of solid narrative and development that may cause you to look at your beloved Holmes in a much darker light.





 

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