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Dostoevsky's Deerstalker: Crimes & Punishment

I can’t have been the only person in the world who found The Testament of Sherlock Holmes thoroughly entertaining, can I? They probably wouldn’t keep making the damned things if that were the case, but I don’t know anybody else who enjoys Frogwares’ Holmes adventures. There have been some rough entries over the years, but between Lovecraftian insertions, uncanny Watson and some clever deductive techniques, there have always been aspects of the series deserving of closer scrutiny. I’m hoping Crimes & Punishment, which introduces CHOICES OF JUSTICE, will be a decent mystery, building on Testament’s investigative systems.

I hope that the addition of a branching storyline doesn’t distract from the actual process of deduction, which Testament laid a decent foundation for. I was hoping I’d be joining Watson and Holmes for a Christmas brandy but that won’t be the case – at least not this year. Crimes & Punishment isn’t due until Q2 2014. Curses.

The possibility of messing up a deduction is exciting. One of the issues with Holmes, in any media, is that he can pull a solution out of his arse, explaining his process by referring to things that nobody else noticed and therefore couldn’t possibly have realised the significance of. In a game, that can be extremely frustrating and some of the worst moments in previous titles involved Holmes making a deductive leap that the player couldn’t have made themselves – even though they were playing as Holmes.

Being able to miss a clue, or misinterpret it, should put the player back in control and ratchet up the tension. Hope they pull it off.

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Adam Smith

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