Review – Sherlock Holmes Chapter One

The first chapter of the Sherlock Holmes series is a highly entertaining mystery adventure with familiar characters and nice visuals. It’s an interesting introduction to this franchise, but only time will tell if it has enough staying power to last more than just one story.

The “sherlock holmes chapter one release date” is the first installment of a new series from the BBC. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good mystery, so it’s only logical that my taste in mystery books would translate to my video gaming preferences. However, for some reason, I have yet to play a Sherlock Holmes-themed video game. I’ve played a few games based on Agatha Christie’s novels, such as Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders and Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases, but I don’t think I’ve ever played any games based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s renowned detective. There’s a first time for everything, after all. I’m overjoyed that Frogwares’ Sherlock Holmes Chapter One was such a positive introduction to one of my favorite literary characters.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, as the title suggests, seems to be an episodic game, albeit no sequel has been announced as of yet. It focuses on Sherlock Holmes in a new light: as an arrogant and precocious adolescent before becoming the famed investigator. After his mother’s death, Holmes returns to his childhood home on the fictitious Mediterranean island of Cordona. Soon, he realizes that his island home has devolved into a hotbed of crime and political corruption. Fortunately, the world’s finest investigator isn’t one to back down from a challenge, and he quickly uncovers the depravity and social class conflicts that surround him.

Holmes, Holmes, Holmes.

As you may assume, the majority of Sherlock Holmes Chapter One’s gameplay consists on examining numerous crime scenes and solving each case. The major plot is on Holmes attempting to put together memories from his past through solving crimes all across the island. Concentration, observing the environment and persons, a camera, a casebook where he can keep track of his cases and pin evidence, disguises, and, of course, his infamous Mind Palace are all tools at Holmes’ disposal to unearth the truth.

The Concentration mode in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One works similarly to the one in Frogwares’ The Sinking City. Clues become simpler to identify while utilizing Concentration, and specific events in the case may be recreated. Concentration may be used to learn more about a person based just on visual cues, which can then be used to form a personality profile for that person. At times, Holmes will be able to employ Concentration to track down suspects by picking up on previous traces. Even though it isn’t the most unique, it is a really useful mechanism.


Is there a fake bottom? It’s as simple as that, Watson… Oh, you’re not a participant in this game.

The employment of disguises was a characteristic I liked in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, even though it wasn’t always obvious. It’s not always easy for Holmes, who comes from an affluent, well-to-do family, to persuade employees and members of the lower class to open up and trust him. Being able to sweet-talk your way into a police station isn’t either. In situations like these, it’s frequently the smartest course of action to dress appropriately for the scenario.

My main criticism of this approach is that it isn’t always apparent what precisely is required in an effective disguise. I was angry because I felt I was dressed appropriately to enter the gated area I was attempting to enter, but I was repeatedly rejected because I was lacking a certain cap. Fortunately, this didn’t happen too often, but I still think the disguises might have been described a little more thoroughly.


Even under his finest disguise, he’s still a lovely lad.

Holmes also has a camera that he uses to photograph different bits of evidence or locations of interest, although he seldom uses it. Because I don’t use my camera very much, I really forgot I had one at times. His casebook will be his primary tool. This is where he will keep track of what investigations he has open, what evidence has been acquired, what evidence is most pertinent to his current investigation, what information he has learned, and how each case is progressing.

Aside from Jon, an imagined companion that only Holmes can see, the casebook is his closest friend. Jon serves as a sounding board for Holmes to discuss his ideas. He may be fictional, but he isn’t ashamed to make fun of Holmes or grow upset when it takes him too long to solve a case. Jon’s presence is unusual, and I found myself liking it quite a bit.


It’s only natural for an imagined buddy to go sailing.

Jon is also there to weigh in whenever Holmes uses his Mind Palace to rebuild a memory or a crime scene. When Holmes has gathered enough knowledge on a case, he may enter a meditative state and utilize his Mind Palace to put together events from the past. This allows him to have a better understanding of what happened before he arrived. Jon will be the first to bring up his errors if he reconstructs the events wrong. Only by accurately determining what happened would he be able to continue the narrative.


That elephant is hugging his handler fiercely.

The Mind Palace is also where Holmes will put all of the information and data he’s gathered together in order to establish firm conclusions about what transpired. One of the aspects of this game that I like the most is that each narrative has two sides. For some of the persons of interest in each case, Holmes will need to create character profiles. Is the individual in question a seasoned con artist aiming to defraud the wealthy, or someone who has endured a lifetime of adversity and is sincere in their desire to start a new life? In Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, you get to choose the profile you think best matches you, and the effects of your choices are revealed much later. Knowing that your actions may have real-world effects increases the stakes considerably.


The ability to choose people’s biographies and destiny gives each case additional weight.

Unfortunately, battle scenarios often stymie these more riveting moments when investigating cases. Throughout the game, Holmes will be forced to fight a variety of thugs on several occasions. Although I appreciate the need to provide something to break up the investigative gameplay, the fighting in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One seems pasted on.

Holmes is armed with a handgun and peppermint snuff, which he uses sparingly to paralyze his foes. Every adversary, as well as the settings, has flaws. Holmes will be able to notice such weak places and auto-aim upon them if he uses Concentration. The objective is to pacify the opponent rather than kill them. The fighting in general seems clunky and superfluous, and it slows the game down considerably.


The battle is clumsy and unnecessary.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, on the other hand, is a game that doesn’t hold your hand. Not at all. There’s basically little assistance in this game, except from some very basic instructions on how to use some of the fundamental gameplay concepts. Some parts, such as needing to look at street names on your map and city signs to figure out where you’re heading, are really refreshing. Other things may be quite difficult, such as needing to pin the exact correct piece of evidence before anybody would speak to you about an open case you’re researching. Thankfully, after experimenting with the many tools at your disposal, the “aha” moment of realizing what to do next seldom takes long.

Cordona Island is also a surprisingly active destination, with each neighborhood having its own distinct vibe. Each of the districts, much like a busy city, is visibly impacted by the local population. The most affluent regions are beautiful and home to mostly rich people. The older neighborhoods feature a higher concentration of retailers and middle-class residents. Then there are the destitute laborers who live on the edges of towns. All of this is done on purpose to address one of the game’s key themes: socioeconomic class concerns.


He may be a jerk, but he is a man of principle.

The backdrop and treatment of certain races and demographics are completely on show here, since the Sherlock Holmes Chapter One stories take place in the nineteenth century. In fact, there’s a disclaimer at the start of the game that reminds players that these people are from another era, and that certain viewpoints, vocabulary, and treatment of other socioeconomic groups were normal at the time.

This is something that might have easily become insulting if not handled correctly, yet the Frogwares team treated the issue with amazing care, not shying away from the unpleasantness in the least. They portray Sherlock Holmes as someone who is unconcerned with these stereotypes and is solely concerned with solving problems and doing what he believes is the best course of action. We basically get to determine the storyline to a degree since the players make the choices on what to do.


In order to reveal new facts, you might sometimes run a chemical analysis on evidence.

Aside from the major cases and attempting to resurrect childhood memories, Sherlock Holmes Chapter One offers a variety of alternative adventures. Sidequests may be found under the Stories of Cordona sub tab of your casebook, and they’re a lot of fun. As you would think, there are a variety of lesser matters that need to be resolved for residents around Cordona. To be honest, I enjoyed these just as much as, if not more than, the big instances. They provide a more realistic peek into the life of Cordona’s residents (yeah, I realize I’m talking about reality for a fictitious area), and they make the island seem more genuine and alive.

They aren’t all occupying tiny cases for townfolk. Treasure seeking is included in a few of the other tasks in the Stories of Cordona parts. There are a few different methods to show them. Some of the sidequests will provide you with photographs of various areas throughout the island, and it will be up to you to figure out where the treasure is buried based on the photographs. Other tasks will need you to solve a series of puzzles and go over the island in search of the wealth. Neither of them adds much to the world’s richness, but it’s a wonderful reason to thoroughly explore the island or have something else to look for as you move from one side to the other.


The archives at the police station, newspaper, and City Hall may provide a wealth of information regarding numerous instances.

Whether or whether you love the more mundane activities while jogging about Cordona, there’s no doubting the beauty of the city. The first chapter of Sherlock Holmes is a lovely game. All of the locations are stunning and diverse, with brilliant color palettes, rich textures, and dynamic lighting. Even the character models, particularly their movements, have been considerably enhanced over previous Frogwares games. Instead of rigid dolls during playtime, the figures now appear and behave more like genuine individuals. I was always struck by how different the fabric textures of Holmes’ vest, gloves, and jacket were.

However, such a large project demonstrates how difficult it is to keep up aesthetics, especially on next-gen platforms. No one can deny that Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is a stunning game. However, there are also significant framerate decreases, particularly while Holmes is sprinting and battling adversaries. It also stutters when there are a lot of individuals onscreen, and notably while Holmes is rushing through the streets. The same may be said about pop-ins, which are most common when Holmes rushes through a segment. So, if you want the finest visual experience, I think you should stroll rather than run, assuming you have the patience for it.


Cordona is full with hidden treasures.

Also noteworthy is the sound design. Throughout Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, the voice talents are outstanding. Each character makes their stamp on the game, from the sassy, swaggering Holmes to the humorous, kind, and at times condescending Jon. The sound effects, particularly the ambient sounds of nature around Cordona, as well as the busy streets and markets, are wonderfully done. 

I had a great experience reading Sherlock Holmes Chapter One for the most part. I’ll confess that there were a few moments when I needed to do something that wasn’t adequately described, but for the most part, it wasn’t a problem for very long. The intriguing nature of the cases and personalities kept me going. I haven’t been this involved in a detective series and its setting in a long time, but Frogwares learned from their previous games and made a lot of improvements. Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is a fun time in a rich environment, even if it isn’t flawless. I really hope there will be more.


A lovely game with some lovely and varied settings. Character models and movements are much superior than those seen in previous Frogwares games. However, there are minor framerate reductions, stuttering, and pop-ins.

Sherlock will have to conduct investigations, methodically comb crime scenes for evidence, and meticulously record tiny details. His mental palace is well-designed, and it aids him in making the correct inferences. The fighting sequences, on the other hand, seem clunky and pasted on.

The voice acting is excellent across the board, and the soundtrack is fantastic.

To solve crimes and figure out what to do next, investigations need some surprisingly rational thinking.

Final Score: 8.0

On PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S, Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is currently available.

PS5 was used for this review.

The publisher sent a copy of Sherlock Holmes Chapter One.

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The “sherlock holmes chapter one ps4 release date” is a review of the Sherlock Holmes Chapter One that was released on PlayStation 4.

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