I’ve not played a Sherlock Holmes game before although this is the eighth in the series but The Devil’s Daughter has me eager to go back and try some of the earlier titles.
I finished this game within two days with it clocking in around roughly 8-12 hours and I was glued to it – I had to know what would happen next and how Holmes’ journey would end. The Devil’s Daughter follows Holmes and Watson, his faithful assistant, as they solve several cases. These cases don’t link but there is an overarching story concerning Holmes’ relationship with his adopted daughter, Kate, and his new next door neighbour Alice. Alice and Kate have quickly become good friends but Holmes’ isn’t entirely comfortable with Alice’s presence, so Alice’s story unfolds throughout the course of the game whilst Holmes’ attempts to strengthen his relationship with his daughter. It can be pretty heartwarming and has many great twists and turns, and it’s written well enough to encourage you to continue and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The Devil’s Daughter is quite a relaxing journey when it comes to gameplay itself with much of the gameplay revolving around searching for clues, putting clues together to make deductions and profiling people. You’ll spend a lot of time solving puzzles which range from straightforward to being rather vague, but they all felt like they fit the spirit of Holmes’ character and I enjoyed them for the most part. What I found to be really interesting is that when you’re making deductions at the end of a case to choose who’s guilty of the crime the case is following, you can come up with multiple outcomes and the game won’t tell you if you’re correct or not – you have moral choices to make and you can read up on the outcome of your decisions in the next chapter. I found this to be a creative and unique way of handling Holmes’, and it’s easy to talk with others about how you came to this conclusion or why you think it’s the correct one because none of the solutions are far-fetched – some cases you can end prematurely by making a deduction near the beginning of a case, although it’s clear there’s much more to be investigated. There are various mini-games where many take form of quick time events, rhythm games and various puzzles to break up the investigating segments, and they did a great job in adding more flavour to the game.
The Devil’s Daughter isn’t going to turn heads with its visuals and it suffers from some several framerate issues, but I like how they’ve brought the 1890’s to life and whilst it isn’t open-world, it does give you a fair bit of freedom to explore some areas and see various people going about their day to day life. I really like Holmes’ and Watson’s depictions in this installment and I can’t shake the feeling that this Holmes’ is inspired by Robert Downey Jr’s live-action movie take on Holmes, and they’re well animated which is important in some of the more intense and emotional scenes. Developer Frogwares have painstakingly recreated Holmes’ world and fans should be pleased.
I particularly like how well voice-acted the cast is, especially Holmes and Watson, and they further helped me to become engrossed in the game and helped to develop their characters. In case you’re wondering, the voice-acting is appropriately British and there is one American in the game by the name of Orson Wilde who is an actor, and he sounds great – he provided a lot of laughs with his exaggerated acting. The soundtrack does well to reflect the city and tone of the game, although it’s not something that has stuck with me after completing the game.
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter is a game that took me by surprise with how much I liked it, and how engrossed I was until the very end – I ever earned the Platinum which, to be fair, is a very easy one to earn. It features a clever narrative and some unique gameplay elements that I really enjoyed and whilst it offers little replay value (you can change your deduction at the end of each case to watch them all there and then), it’s a fun ride that’s worth seeing through to the end. I eagerly look forward to the next Sherlock Holmes game, and I plan to finally play Crimes and Punishment which is available on PS4 and PS3.