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 Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened

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PostSubject: Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened   Wed May 14, 2008 10:30 am

Metachronos overall score = 7.6 / 10

Positive
- Puzzles are gooood
- Feels like a real pulp detective story
- Attractive 3D visuals with full range of character movement

Negative
- Cutscenes are long and cannot be skipped

If Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft had ever collaborated on a novel, the duo might have come up with a spooky saga a lot like Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. This adventure, the third in Frogwares Game Development Company's series featuring the protagonist of such classic mysteries as The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Sign of Four, pits the deerstalker-wearing detective against the horrors of the Cthulhu mythos. While that combination may sound more like fan-fiction cheese than a pulp-fiction dream team, the tale here is told brilliantly, and the adventure mechanics are as faultlessly logical as the legendary sleuth himself.



That doesn't mean that the game is easy. On the contrary, Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, have to be extremely careful and observant to stop cultists from setting off Cthulhu's alarm clock. The big difference between The Awakened and the average adventure with its walk-through-prompting leaps of stupidity is that you can figure out all of the challenges that come your way if you approach them as Holmes himself. This means that you need to closely examine your surroundings, keeping an eye out for footprints, scraps of cloth, bits of fiber, and other nearly imperceptible clues that can help you unravel the mystery. In fact, this mystery begins with a missing servant and turns into a globe-spanning investigation into (cue Lovecraftian purple prose) indescribable eldritch horrors from beyond time and space!

However, the game isn't a tedious pixel hunt. If you scan all of the backdrops with Holmes' or Watson's practiced eyes, you'll spot important items almost immediately. Such key areas as desks and shelves can also usually be zoomed in on, so you know when something needs a look-see with Holmes' trusty magnifying glass. There is a great sense of consistency and internal logic at work here that keeps you on the right path as long as you scrutinize everything in sight. You are also presented with the odd bit of old-fashioned adventure-game goofiness. At one point, you McGyver together a blowgun out of a pipe and a hypodermic syringe, but much of the time, it feels like you're a real detective running down leads and collecting clues.



Audio is straight out of the BBC. Although the acting and dialogue are unsurprisingly more workmanlike than the fantastic Sherlock Holmes TV adaptations from the early '90s starring Jeremy Brett, everything remains entirely believable. However, some of the cutscenes are rather wordy, and there isn't any way to skip them or even fast-forward through specific lines. In some ways, this actually adds to the gameplay because it forces you to concentrate on every word spoken, much like the obsessive Holmes would have--or not. Holmes is awfully talky and obnoxious a lot of the time, so there are moments when you long for the ability to just hit the escape button to shut him up. The soundtrack is also sufficiently ominous and worthy of a TV show or movie. Unfortunately, slight audio clipping mars the main score on the menu screen and during level loads. Both true to the character of Sherlock Holmes and a rip-roaring pulp adventure in its own right, The Awakened is a must-play game. Mystery lovers with a taste for the supernatural will feel right at home with this slice of Cthulhu-infused Victoriana.




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Most of my reviews are taken from www.gamespot.com I shorten them and find the most important parts as their reviews are over 3 pages long which can be a burden to read and the screenshots are taken from the internet Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened   Thu May 15, 2008 6:51 am

looks very nice

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