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RE[2]: Game Reviews

Kroc

:: The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

* Point and click adventure

This is the next game from the same developer of ~Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper~. The technology has been improved so things look better overall, though the engine shows its heritage; objects change 'state' rather than being animated through and the actors just pick up / interact with things by holding their hand up and using the force. This is a shame as otherwise the acting has improved a lot from the previous game through the use of motion-capture. Sherlock Holme's voice acting has improved greatly but attention to detail is lost in the NPCs -- the Jews in Whitechapel talk like cockneys. Whilst detail in the environments has increased, the NPCs suffer a hit with not enough variations (particularly with the women) and badly-fitting voices in some occasions. There's far more gore involved this time which ~vs. Jack the Ripper~ stayed away from (given its basis in reality); I'm no fan of violence or gore at all and whilst not needless it does mean this is less of an accessible game for young teens.

The puzzles follow the same format as before, taking the shape of a variety of IQ-tests, thematically fitted into the narrative. These are very fair but again suffer from the lack of instructions on how the interface works. There are less deduction boards this time which I feel is a shame. There's far more 'hunt the pixel' based item puzzles here which can be a nuisance and bottlenecks your progress.

The story, not being based off of real life happenings, is very good and suitably lengthy but lacks the grounding depth of the previous game. There are a couple of completely bizarre turns that seem rather ridiculous and merely there to drive the 'you're not in on it' plot. The atmosphere is still there and succeeds most at the 'abandoned circus' final level. The game has a decent ending, able to keep secrets even to the end.

I think ~vs. Jack the Ripper~ is the stronger game and what I would recommend first, but if you enjoyed that then ~The Testament~ is well worth your time.

:: Highlights:

* More Sherlock & Watson, which is always a good thing!

:: Areas of Improvement:

* Inherits all the flaws of the previous game
* Too much pixel hunting, not enough relevant hinting from the actors

Your friendly neighbourhood moderators: Kroc, Impressed, Martijn