The Testament of Sherlock Holmes Review
A character study of one of literature’s greatest minds, with lots of brilliant puzzles.
As the sixth primary installment in Frogware's adventure series centered on literature's greatest detective, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes is also the first installment designed specifically for consoles. While many so-called serious gamers may be hesitant to spend money on a puzzle game, let us reassure you that Testament is far superior to the thin plots and static screens found elsewhere in the genre. Puzzles prove to be a challenge, but they're all solvable; unlike the Myst-inspired games that can leave you staring at a screen for hours without any clear indication of what you're supposed to do, it serves up challenges that are not mind-numbingly difficult. Each puzzle, from the clever deduction boards to bomb disarming and lock picking, is not only entertaining in and of itself, but it also advances the plot.
It's the story that really shines in Testament, something that makes sense when you consider the source material. This original tale which centers on the downfall of Sherlock Holmes nails the atmosphere and style of Arthur Conan Doyle's work, and it also embraces the mature nature of many of his cases. It's worth mentioning that this game is rated M for a good reason: the crime scenes investigated by Holmes and Watson are often quite gruesome, and the developers have been unflinching in their presentation of them. While the mobile graphics leave a lot to be desired—playing this after experiencing games like Heavy Rain just makes you wonder what the developers were thinking—everything else in this game is nearly perfect. If you enjoy a cerebral challenge, appreciate a great story, and have the patience to deal with the reticent personalities of Victorian England, then absolutely give The Testament of Sherlock Holmes a try.
This review was written using the XBox 360 version of the game.
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