The Testament of Sherlock Holmes has to be Frogwares most ambitious title yet. It 's the first game from Frogwares that has been specifically designed for console. Sherlock did have a crack at a console release in 2009, but it was a port from Frogwares PC series. This time, everything feels more natural with the controller. Movement and navigation is improved, as well as the visuals. This is their best Sherlock Holmes adventure yet, but it does have a few issues along the way.
The game opens in London, 1898. Sherlock and his companion, Dr Watson, are currently solving a new case. A priceless set of jewels have been stolen, and you begin as the detective, trying to find clues to the thief. This is more of a prologue to the game, acting as the tutorial. It begins fairly slow, but the narrative soon turns ghastly. It's not long before your clues lead to a murder, corruption and fraud. There's many twists along the way, and it even leads to Dr. Watson doubting the detective as a murderer. Could the detective go far enough to commit a crime ?
If you've played any of Frogwares previous Sherlock Holmes games, this should be easy to pick up. A lot has stayed the same. You can play the game in a third or first person view. Third person is one of the biggest improvements. The game no longer switches to different camera angles, allowing you to move around more efficiently. Most of your time will require moving around the environment, selecting objects and solve puzzles. Occasionally, you will need to combined items together to solve a puzzle. These are my most enjoyable parts of the game, but I would like to have seen more of them. Some puzzle will require you to move objects with the analoge stick. From lock picking doors, matching coloured marbles, to mixing chemical liquids. They can be very tricky, and it will require lots of patience. It wont be to everyones taste, but the game does feature a new ability to skip puzzles.
One of the more noticeable improvements is the visuals. There's far more detail than Frogwares previous instalment's. For example, crime scenes no longer use a drawing to illustrate a body. This time, you must examine real bodies, showing lots of gore. It makes the game far more believable. The visuals certainly wont blow you away though. Sometimes they can be very striking, while other times they are less impressive. Character models also have some stiff animation, but the voice acting is very good.
I did come across some problems along the way. This was with movement. When I opened certain doors, Sherlock would become completely stuck. I then had to fight with the analog stick to get him walking again. It's a very strange glitch, but I'm not sure if the PC or PS3 version also has the issue.
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is one of Frogwares best games yet. The new improvements are a perfect fit for consoles. Fans of the series are sure enjoy the adventure, but it wont be for everyone.
Review by Gareth Smith