While not perfect, the Sherlock Holmes series from Frogwares has slowly been getting better with each new release, with the previous entry in the series, Crimes and Punishments, being a really great game and one of the best detective games out there. Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter follows this trend by improving the core elements of the game without changing making any drastic changes.
Similar to Crimes and Punishments, this entry is divided into five separate cases instead of one huge case. However, unlike the previous game, The Devil's Daughter features its own narrative arc focused around the true parentage of Katelyn, Sherlock Holmes' daughter. As you progress through each case, you get to see more of the relationship between Sherlock and Katelyn and how he chooses to keep the truth from her, an intriguing story that even gets its own case near the end of the game.
Once again, Frogwares did a terrific job with the gameplay, something that really makes you feel like you are the world's greatest detective. As you would probably expect from this kind of game, gathering clues is crucial to determine the person responsible for a certain crime, however, clues alone aren't enough to arrive at a conclusion.
Each time you meet a new character or interview witnesses or suspects, you have the opportunity to profile them, something that might reveal new clues and questions. While some of these deductions are automatic, others will require some thinking from the player in order to determine the reason behind a certain aspect of the character. During these conversations, you can also accuse a person of lying if you have the evidence to do so, which also reveals new information and clues.
Sherlock Holmes' intuition and imagination also play a key role while solving these cases. Using his intuition skills you can highlights small details that are otherwise overlooked, such as footprints and missing objects. On the other hand, imagination allows you use clues and evidence you gathered to recreate and play out a sequence of events to determine what triggered this chain of events.
Unlike any of its predecessors, where each case would take place in small areas, The Devil's Daughter allows players to free roam the streets of Victorian London. While it gives players the freedom to explore the streets, from a gameplay perspective it really doesn't add much, as its only purpose is to occasionally find a person's house when you are given only a photo of a house or a portion of the address.
Frogwares also tried to add a bit more variety to the gameplay with puzzles and chemical experiments, which add a bit of challenge to the game. There's also some occasional action moments and mini-games, such as tailing a suspect without being seen, running through forest while avoiding being shot by a hunter, and even taking parts in a brawl fight in a bar. While these sections are far from perfect and sometimes boring and frustrating, they add something refreshing to the game, and if you don't these sections at all, the game allows you to skip them anytime you want and go back to investigation and case solving.
As you collect all the clues and evidence, you will come to different conclusions depending on how you connect facts. Although there's only one criminal, accusing someone innocent will happen if you don't pay close attention to all the clues, conversations and other little details. In addition, once you reach a conclusion, you have the option to condemn or absolve the criminal, although, in the end, these moral choices don't really affect the overall story.
The game's presentation is overall the weakest aspect of the game. Considering that this is the first game in the series releasing exclusively on current-gen consoles, I was expecting more from Frogwares. Although the environments look great and detailed, the same can't be sad for character models. The game also suffers from a few technical issues, such as stiff controls and frame rate drops. The loading times are also a problem, as these are overly long, happen often and harm the pace of the game.
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter is another great entry in the series that manages to deliver a solid and fun atmospheric detective experience. It builds upon the best elements of previous games to immerse you in a world that makes you feel like you are Sherlock Holmes. While it's true that it has its own technical issues and its mini-games and actions sequences are somewhat hit or miss, this is a game that fans of the series or the genre shouldn't miss.
|Intriguing cases and storyline.|
|Great investigation and deduction system.|
|Puzzles, mini-games and actions sequences add variety to the gameplay.|
|Long loading times.|
|Dull mini-games and action sequences.|
|Moral choices donâ€™t affect the overall story.|