Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

September 30, 2014

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


In Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. Developer Frogwares has employed the Unreal game engine for the first time in the series, and the overall aesthetic has been altered to present Holmes in a modern era. Players get to the bottom of strange disappearances, complicated robberies, and even murders by using the new Sherlock Vision feature to scour crime scenes for clues, examine witnesses and suspects, and piece together evidence to make educated deductions. Crimes & Punishments offers multiple different outcomes for each individual case, and it introduces a new morality element to the series, with Holmes capable of throwing the book at criminals, or letting them walk free.

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Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 8.1GB Minimum
  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine:
    • Unreal Engine 3
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 16 Hours
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'Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments' on the PlayStation 4 is a 2014 released investigation game developed by Frogwares in cooperation with the publishers at Focus Home Interactive. Though the game got its start on the last generation of consoles, it didn't take long to make an impact on the PS4.

Sherlock Holmes may be the most popular sleuth to ever grace the world of fiction. From the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all the way to the hit BBC television show staring Benedict Cumberbatch, there have been many renditions of the famous character. Now the PlayStation 4 is getting a chance to see the man realized on its own system.

Let's take a look at our favorite detective to see if he got the video game treatment that he so rightfully deserves.

Lead the way, Mr. Holmes...

The first title in the soon-to-be franchise for the PS4 focuses in on the Russian novel 'Crime and Punishment' by Fyodor Dostoyevsky--thus the slightly altered title of the game. We dive into the story as Sherlock Holmes himself in the midst of investigating an array of different crimes of which we primarily focus on six different murders. That is how the game is framed and it is written to resonate with fans of Doyle's original work.

Within minutes of popping int he game you'll realize that you've signed up for exactly what the cover is offering you. Make no doubts about it, this is a Sherlock game down to its very core. From the style down to the artwork, everything gives off the feeling that you are living in the dusty pages of Doyle's generational work.

Fans of the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle will no doubt find the game a little bit slower than they anticipated but fans of the hit BBC television series will feel like they've walked right onto set. In fact much of the artwork in the game seems derived from the sets of the television show. So much so, in fact, that we wouldn't be surprised to see Martin Freeman come ambling out of a pub.

As the illustrious Mr. Holmes you are tasked with solving six seemingly unrelated murders alongside your partner, Dr. Watson. Along the way you'll run across other small crimes that seemingly have no connection: thefts and muggings, mostly. Of course this is a Sherlock video game so not everything is as it seems. Things are more related to one another than we may think and with that train of thought the true investigation is to begin. Your eyes must be sharp, your ears must be soaking in information, and you must always, always be investigating.

One of the things we found both interesting and sort of disappointing was the anthology approach that the team took for this video game. As we stated above the game is divided into six different cases. Some of them tie together but for the most part they can be considered self contained. Each case should take you around two hours to complete. Once you are done with a case you are able to move on to the next one. Pretty simple approach, right? This allows us to take on very different cases in completely different settings without worrying about how the plot and pace should tie it all together. Should be great, in theory, but it left us feeling a bit restless.

The greatest thing about a good 'Sherlock' novel is the way everything comes together in the end. The stories push you forward through mysterious plots and dangerous segments. All of the content is cohesive and at the end you feel like you really completed something. Instead of giving us that feeling, these anthologies instead make us feel like we skipped chapters along the way to reading several different 'Sherlock' stories. The anthology approach gives us more to experience but it also leaves us feeling segmented and a little hollow.

That isn't to say that every chapter stands completely on its own. The savvy listener will pick up common threads and frequent callbacks to previously completed tales. In fact, having this information in your head will allow you to proceed through cases even quicker. But it isn't as immersive and it certainly isn't as fulfilling.

As we stated above, 'Crimes and Punishments' echoes the novel of almost the same name. In the original Russian novel we get to meet the protagonist Raskolnikov. He kills an old woman in order to steal her money and jewels. In order to assuage his conscience he decides to do good things with the new found cash, believing that choice to wipe away his sins. That notion is prevalent throughout the video game, as well. Not everything is black and white. Not every villain is the cold and calculating Moriarty.

The strength in 'Crimes and Punishments' comes from where it always should: the gameplay. The game allows you to truly live and breath in Sherlock's skin as a detective. Each individual case requires you to investigate in order to find out the perpetrator before deciding what should happen to them. There are red herrings galore and many ways for you to go off track. You have to actually use your own brand of deductive reasoning to find out who did it.

You investigate similar to 'L.A. Noire'. You scan every crime scene for clues, you talk to all of the suspects, and then you put together your clues on a giant map for your deduction. Finding the clues isn't intrinsically hard but it does take a little bit of elbow grease. The more you think about each situation, however, the easier it will get.

'Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments' on the PlayStation 4 is a wonderful opening to the next generation of Sherlock games. The world of Sherlock is wonderfully realized with HD graphics, beautiful textures, and six helpings of solid story that would make Doyle proud from beyond the grave. The game suffers from a disjointed narrative but the bones of the gameplay are too enjoyable to be worried about it. Fans of Sherlock will find themselves right at home, on the hunt for whodunnit.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
profile deanowen Unlockble Trophies.
Oct 9, 2014

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Focus Home Interactive

Release Date:

September 30, 2014

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