The upcoming Sherlock Holmes Chapter One from Frogwares continues to look like more and more of a masterpiece as time goes on. A new gameplay video shows off a lot of details about it, but the one that I want to focus on is the consequences, or lack thereof when it comes to making an accusation. You’ve got one chance to pin down the right person and make the right accusation, if you mess it up though, you’ll be ridiculed and have to move on to find who you now perceive as the true criminal. This can lead you to making incorrect accusations and getting people arrested who had nothing to do with the crimes you’re investigating. It’s a bold move to make players live with this, but I really do think it’ll make the game more interesting.
The beauty of giving players this much freedom is that they’re going to run with it and assume that they’re right. If you’re Sherlock Holmes, even as a young man, you’re going to assume that all the pieces of the puzzle that he puts together are correct. However, this is a younger version of the investigator, and he doesn’t have every tool at his disposal quite honed yet. Instead, he’s got to work on them still, and figure out details that make sense in multiple circumstances. This is the heart of where investigations can go wrong, shutting doors to conversations that might have led to new clues.
I really love how much Frogwares is leaning on the young and naive aspect of Sherlock Holmes here. Not only is he mourning the loss of his mother, but he’s also still fairly new to the investigator game, and wants to prove himself. He’s arrogant and thinks that he knows it all, but that can harm everyone around him if he’s not careful. Players will learn this the hard way, and that’s what I think will help this game blow up. It’s so much more open than past entires, and I want to see more people than ever enjoying the new Sherlock Holmes when the game launches next month.