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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is an adventure mystery video game in the Sherlock Holmes series developed by Frogwares in 2014 and published by Focus Home Interactive from 2014 to 2019 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. In October 2019, Frogwares announced it regained the publishing rights to the title on Steam, while the game was delisted on the other platforms.
The game takes place in London and its suburbs in 1894 and 1895 with gameplay focused on finding the right culprit and making the moral choice of absolving or condemning them. The game is the first in the series to use the Unreal Engine 3, and was inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories. The game is split into six cases of murders, disappearances and thefts written in the tradition of Doyle novels. Its title is a play on the title of the Russian novel Crime and Punishment by author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Sherlock Holmes is the main playable character with Dr. John Watson, Toby and Constable Marrow playable briefly. The majority of the game involves exploring crime scenes and examining clues. Once discovered, clues are added to a "deduction board," a gameplay mechanic which involves linking pieces of information together. It will lead to possible different deductions. Once deductions are connected together, player will have a full tree of deductions. Depending on how players interpret the clues, they will have different conclusions. Therefore, the player can fail or succeed in finding the culprit. He also decides whether he wants to absolve or condemn the criminal. The moral choice the player makes will influence the further gameplay. Each case will have 3-5 possible solutions; in total there will be 6-10 different endings for each case. In total, the game offers 14 investigation mechanics, including Sherlock Holmes' skill to deduce many details about someone's life simply by glancing at them or to imagine and reconstruct the course of event by carefully observing all the key details of a crime scene.
There are two camera views available – a first person point of view and a static third person camera. The player is able to change between them at any time. Sherlock can also draw evidence from autopsies and scanning the people he meets. For the latter, players will enter a first-person view for an up-close inspection of a character's face and emotions, clothing and belongings, where he'll find everything from scars and bruises to the quality of an outfit. Frogwares have fully detailed Victorian-era London using the new engine and it can also be explored.
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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP / 7 / 8
- Processor: 2.4 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- Video Card: 256 MB
- Hard disk space: 14 GB