New Sherlock Holmes game Crimes & Punishments announced, features moral choices

Developer Frogwares has revealed the latest entry in their long-running series of Sherlock Holmes-based adventure games, one of which resulted in the most terrifying video on YouTube . While their previous games haven't strayed too far from the Jeremy Brett school of Holmes, there are changes afoot for The Great Detective's latest mystery, a couple of which appear more than elementary. This new game comes with a new Sherlock, who publisher Focus Home describe as a "more modern character perfectly matching the new artistic ambitions of the title." The released screenshots suggest that statement can be translated as 'Sherlock's not wearing a coat', an act which was close to scandalous in Victorian times.

But the greatest change in Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes promises to be the new engine; Frogwares have pushed their own from the Reichenbach Falls in favour of the ubiquitous Unreal Engine 3. As for the mystery itself, well it turns out there will be eight whole cases for Sherlock to set his mind to, including "murders, disappearances" and "spectacular thefts". However, the most interesting part is the addition of Mass Effect-style moralising, which Focus Home elaborate on below.

"Each case offers real freedom to players, who will have to make important moral choices instead of simply enforcing justice by the book. All decisions have an influence in the game and affect your character's reputation in addition to having realistic, sometimes unexpected, consequences. You will have to bear the weight of your choices, as Crimes and Punishments offers an exciting system of actions/consequences that forces players to think before acting by giving true depth to every decision they make."

I'm hoping one of these consequences will result in a creepy Watson, like the one seen in Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.