Sherlock Holmes: The Devil´s Daughter Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
I can still remember when my grandparents got me a set of Sherlock Holmes books for Christmas one year. As a kid I initially didn't know what to do with them ( I was in the fourth grade, I wanted video games and Ghostbuster figures) but I instantly fell in love with the intrigue, the mystery and just how cool the world's greatest detective was. I've been waiting eight games for developer BigBen interactive to recreate that feeling in an interactive environment and sadly; I'm still waiting. Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter is easily the best game the series has seen to date but it still lacks that certain suave that comes with Sherlock. By the end of the game I felt less like a world class detective and more like a participant in a tourist trap mystery dinner theatre.
Much like previous games in the series, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter puts you in the loafers of history's greatest detective as you try your best to figure out five self contained but loosely connected cases. It's clear right away that the production values here have been dramatically increased since the last game. There's a remarkably high theatrical feel to The Devil's Daughter and it's easy to get engrossed in the world the director's have crafted. Adding to this, save for a few minor characters, the game's voice acting is miles ahead of what's come before. This all adds up to an experience that's easier to believe than any of the past seven games in the series. You truly believe that this is a world that these characters could have inhabited and that rarely falters.
While the world he exists in may be believable, I sadly can't say the same for Sherlock Holmes himself. Rarely during the entire experience did I ever truly feel like I was the cunning, suave and brilliant detective that I was supposed to. It's a fundamental problem really as the game's own systems put this limitations on it's most important character. At it's heart, the Sherlock Holmes series is a point and click style adventure; you'll interact with people, search for clues and investigate potential leads. It could most easily be compared to Rockstar's LA Noire from a few years ago (side note, holy crap that was five years ago) it's a pretty straight forward but limited system. You see, you're never able to really beat that the developers want you to be on. You'll regularly figure out clues before the game allows you to move on and you're left clicking on random things in the environment until you've found everything.
The result is the complete opposite of feeling like you're the smartest guy in the room; you feel like you're a guy who just happens to stumble upon answers. There's nothing more frustrating than knowing what you're supposed to find out, only to be restricted just so you can interact with some footsteps or random item that the game thinks you have to. I couldn;t help but feel like the game wanted to believe it was smarter than the player which was incredibly frustrating. Keep in mind that this happens for pretty much the entire game and you get the idea of why Devils' Daughter is so disappointing; especially so when you realize that each case is set up in a way that really makes you want to solve it.
All of the pointing and clicking is broken up by a series of one off, inconsequential mini games like trailing a person of interest through the streets of London or lock picking. Don't get me wrong, I liked having a break up in the gameplay but the game introduces these elements and then they're never seen again. I would love if these small elements came back inside of missions to break up the monotony even more. As it stands you never really get the chance to get better, let alone master these mechanics before you never see them again.
All I want in a Sherlock Holmes video game is to feel like the smartest guy in the room, is that too much to ask? Of course not, but it's something that the Sherlock Holmes games continuously fails to deliver. It's even more frustrating when you see that there are elements of a much better game here but they're just plain not used enough. Like the previous games before it, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter is worth playing, as long as you don't mind stumbling around a better game in the process.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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